Following an audit, Chelgate can work with a client to improve the company’s readiness for a crisis.
The crisis plans and the documents
A crisis communications plan is the basis of any company’s response to a crisis. Painfully often, however, crisis plans get ignored in an actual crisis. A manual is often too out of date, too long, hard to find or distribute, or too rigid in its advice to be useful in a given crisis.
All of these problems are avoided in a good manual.
The value of a high quality manual is enormous: it allows all staff to understand the team’s common approach to crisis response, to predict team-mates’ behaviour, and to draw upon vital resources quickly (e.g. legal contacts, relevant mobile phone numbers, photographs for the press, etc.). The ideal manual is short, and leaves room for flexibility and executive judgement when deciding the overall crisis strategy.
We walk our clients through the drafting process. At the outset, we introduce them to the ideal format of a crisis plan, or manual, and then explore the specific requirements of their particular organisation. The client will then produce a first draft of their crisis manual, and Chelgate will review it in discussions with the client. Chelgate can play a role in helping the client to update the manual periodically, to ensure it stays relevant as time passes.
Flexible, lasting teamwork
Effective crisis teamwork involves far more than good working relationships and leadership. In all companies, members of staff come and go. And in a crisis, key members of staff can be ill, absent, or hard to reach. So teams must be able to work effectively as the members that make them up come and go.
In group and one-to-one sessions, Chelgate’s experienced senior staff mentor and develop the staff’s skills understanding of the company crisis communications plan. We help teams set up the protocols that will help future team members to inherit a good understanding of the plan, a knowledge of how it should be used, and a good understanding of the modular roles taken on by available staff members.
Some clients choose to put their preparations to the test with a simulation.