Did the recent Corona crisis make you realize the importance of crisis communication? Did you also notice that without a precise plan, chaos ensues? No problem. Every soccer club, swimming club, handball team, ... will experience it at some point. It is inevitable. You can, however, prepare yourself to have something to hold on to in the chaos.
1) A structured plan
To keep an overview and not act like a headless chicken, a crisis communication plan is a must-have. How am I going to communicate? Who needs to know what? What communication channels do I use? The 'tone of voice? These things are all in your plan. The big advantage? These things have already been decided in advance, so they are not rushed.
2) The right communication channel
As just mentioned, this is one of the crucial elements in your plan. In crisis communication, you must always keep the following things in mind: how do I quickly reach the right target group? Speed is important because you want your information to reach the right person quickly. That is why traditional text messaging is the most powerful weapon in crises.
A text message is read within 15 minutes in 99% of the cases. Therefore, you need to think carefully about how you want to deploy it. This is how our Smstools specialists see it.
A text message is not suitable for communicating a lot of information because a text message is limited to a maximum of 160 characters. Therefore, you should keep these strengths of text messages in mind.
- Large Groups
These strengths all speak for themselves. However, I will explain 'messenger' a little further. Text messaging is the fastest and most reliable communication channel because of its immense open ratio. You can sleep on both ears. Your text message will reach your target group in no time. Now it is important what you communicate in it. I will give an example.
In your sports club, unfortunately, a covid-19 infection has been detected. Now you have to inform all people involved as soon as possible about this incident to stop any further infections. Therefore it is best to use 2 communication channels. A text message and, for example, the website or Facebook page of your club.
With a text message, you quickly inform the people involved in the changed situation. You can refer in your text message to the website to find the detailed and possibly stricter measures.
In this way, you play to the strengths of every communication channel. The SMS is quickly at the scene and informs the recipient that the situation has changed and that more information can be found on the website. You can even include the URL of the web page in your text message. This way, the recipient can immediately consult the information.
3) Understand the situation/correctness of information
This is of crucial importance. You must, first of all, ensure that you understand the crisis itself before you start communicating. Later refuting a message is not only bad for your reputation but also affects your credibility. Moreover, it creates ambiguity among the recipients.
Therefore, always have your crisis communication plan at hand, gather all the stakeholders to go over the plan and adjust it to the current situation. Only by approaching the crisis from many sides will you get a better overall view of the problem. That way, you can better assess the situation and also communicate it clearly to the outside world.
A crisis communication plan is the basis for clear and uniform communication in distressed situations. It's nice that you can fall back on a thoughtful plan. The only thing left to do is adjust it to the current situation before communicating effectively. Furthermore, designating the right communication channel is perhaps the most important thing. In times of crisis, speed is of the essence. It would help if you were sure that the recipients are informed quickly. Therefore, play out each communication channel according to its strength. This way, you can be 100% sure that the right information reaches the person concerned in time.
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