Media and Crisis Communication in CIM
When a crisis unfolds, most media and communications team members have access to too little information or a structured way to respond to incoming enquiries. The pressure exerted by external media agencies and the press in general can be overwhelming- they expect regular updates and will stop at nothing to access the latest information from the organisation affected.
Each department of the organisation should conduct a risk analysis to determine which incidents might harm the business most and importantly, the reputational impact of one being handled poorly. Communications strategies form an integral part of a crisis management plan and the media team’s role in plans, checklists and procedures should reflect this.
In most cases, the media will receive the initial information relating to the incident as fast as you do. When it comes down to the finer detail, this may be available to the organisation sooner from people on the ground, staff and members of the emergency services and it’s important that this is combined with tried and tested procedures to ensure a consistent, appropriate media response.
Things to consider include:
- Has the media team been included in your crisis management planning?
- How to you record incoming media and other stakeholder enquiries?
- How do media team members respond to these?
- Is there an official ‘company line’ on the issue? Is this visible to staff?
- Are pre-approved holding statements part of your crisis management plan?
- Which journalists/media outlets should receive press releases and other items?
- Are you monitoring social media channels?
CIM for Media and Crisis Communication
The items above are only a few of the key questions that organisations must ask themselves when conducting audits of crisis management processes. CIM includes a fully integrated media and communications management module, which interlinks with other crisis management modules to provide visibility and transparency of interaction with the press, public and other stakeholders.