Note: This is the final segment of a three-part series on crisis communications. Part One is here and Part Two is here.
The key once the crisis has occurred and you have handled the immediate response is follow-up. You simply have to stay on top of the residual stories that always occur once events have taken place.
Follow-up must include traditional and social media monitoring to stay abreast of both favorable and unfavorable reaction. This is not just to see if you passed, but whether there are additional fires to put out that may have gone unresolved.
Follow-up must also include monitoring your own response, numbers of customers or stakeholders affected, pace of recovery, new problems, etc. The immediate crisis may be over, but the long term solutions may take time.
Provide ongoing updates to the media about the aftermath. If you anticipated moving back into your offices within one month but find out it will take twice that long, then a press release or other kind of announcement will be necessary. And, if you are able to make a quicker recovery, that's also worth announcing so that customers and the public know you've succeeded.
Assess the response from all angles. How did you handle the media? Did you have any problems reaching key members of your crisis team? Were your documents appropriate and up to date or were you left scrambling at the last second to come up with something new? Consider establishing an "assessment group" to review your team's effectiveness.
Above all, determine how things went and what can be improved for the next time. Because, there will always be a "next time."
Contact us at Mack Communications today!