The crisis is over and your organization is gradually returning to business as usual. However, before you leave the crisis behind you, there are four actions left for you to complete. (Read Part 1 and Part 2)
1. Communicate – If, during the crisis, you promised to provide follow-up information, it is time to do so or risk losing the trust of those who requested the information. This might be a consumer of your organization, a member of your board, or someone affiliated with the media. If the information is best conveyed via print materials, they can be sent through the US mail or, better yet, delivered personally! Email messages and phone calls are also effective communication mediums.
2. Evaluate – A crisis should be a learning experience for your organization. Take time to evaluate your organization’s response to the crisis and determine what worked and what needs to be improved. Gather your crisis response team for a post-crisis evaluation. The following questions can be used to help guide your discussion:
o Could we have recognized the impending crisis earlier?
o Did we follow our crisis response and crisis communication plans? If not, why not?
o How effective was our response?
o Were the right people in the right roles on our crisis response team?
o What could we have done differently?
o How can we better prepare in the future for a similar crisis?
Incorporate the results of your evaluation in your crisis communications and crisis response plans.
3. Document – Make sure to document what happened before, during, and after the crisis. If a similar event happens in the future, such a record will be an invaluable resource to help guide the actions of you and your crisis response team.
4. Copy – You may find yourself in the midst of a crisis at any time of day or night! To ensure that you are prepared, make sure that you and every member of your team has a copy of your crisis documents both at the office AND at home! This will allow you to effectively manage the crisis without wasting valuable time retrieving these resources.
A HIGH five to you! You are now prepared for any crisis that comes your way!