Crisis Communication Checklist for Businesses

crisis communication checklist graphic smt

March 17, 2020

“Plan for the worse and hope for the best” - but are you leaving out the planning part? Your business is too important not to be prepared for the worst like a natural disaster, financial turmoil, or more recently, “coronavirus disease 2019” (aka “COVID-19”). Here is a checklist for a crisis communication plan to protect your business or minimize damage from unforeseeable crises.

1. Assess

Before you can create a crisis communication plan, you’ll need to conduct a business analysis and risk assessment. Assessing your business will provide deeper insights and better documentation which will strengthen your crisis communication response.
Questions to consider:
  • What are my key products and services?
  • What activities are required to deliver these?
  • How would a disruption impact these activities?
  • What are the resources required to resume these activities?

2. Plan

An effective crisis communication plan is one that takes into account all possible situations. For example, your plan could outline:
  • Chain of command for distributing information
  • When to contact authorities
  • Evacuation plans
  • Security measures for data, property, etc.
Your business should also have assigned spokespeople, who could be the president, public relations specialist, or head of a department. Make sure your spokespeople are trained and know how to calm a situation and provide reassurance that things are under control or an effort is being made to resolve the situation.

3. Consistency

Align your brand and messages to ensure consistency and build trust. You can do this by preparing statements for your spokespeople to make in different scenarios and making sure everyone knows who is assigned to talk to the media in various situations.

4. Proactive

Not responding to a crisis can fuel rumors and misinformation so it’s best to take a proactive stance. Depending on the crisis, you could respond by writing press releases, sending out emails, holding press conferences, and more. Be transparent with your employees and the public about the crisis, how it has affected the business, what the business is going to do, and what it has done so far.

5. Practice

Having a crisis communication plan won’t be of much help if your business doesn’t practice it. If not, then the crisis’s impact on your business could be made much worse. Hold regular crisis training meetings so your team knows what to do and say when certain situations arise.

Enhance Your PR with Digital Marketing

Protect your business from emergencies by using this checklist to create an effective crisis communication plan. Digital marketing is a powerful tool for communicating messages and managing the online conversation around your business and the crisis. Sales & Marketing Technologies is an Orlando-based digital marketing agency that offers PPC management, web development, content marketing, and more to increase the reach and engagement of your PR messages.
Call (407) 682-2222 or use the contact form below for a free 30-minute strategy session!

Did you like this post?

Sign up for our Tips and Trends list and we'll let you know each week when we have a new one.

SMT Marketing Podcast


Web Design (26)
Web Development (35)
Misc. Website (21)
Search Engine Optimization (95)
Social Media Marketing (111)
Local Search Marketing (24)
Content Marketing (35)
PPC Advertising (31)
Digital Marketing (123)
Marketing Automation (23)
Sales Automation (19)
Company News (10)
Other (27)