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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

5 key steps to crisis planning for the brand

Kami Watson Huyse recently wrote a useful article published in Communication World Bulletin (membership required to read the fulltext).

The article is called "Crisis Planning in a Digital Age: Beyond Tylenol" and makes the following point: Modern crisis planning has to happen faster than ever. Johnson & Johnson responded to the Tylenol crisis within a few weeks. Today we are operating on a "30-minute news cycle, driven by the wild card of the Internet." "All it takes is one influential blog to take up the story, followed by accelerated coverage by online and mainstream media."


Huyse offers a number of ideas for communication channels for dealing with a crisis in today's accelerated environment. Most of them make sense to me; here are my top picks (see the full article to read all 10):
  1. Be ready to send email blasts out as needed.
  2. Connect with important online blogs and forums before a crisis ever occurs.
  3. Create an online communication center (like a blog).
  4. Be ready to send out messages by text message or pre-recorded phone call.
  5. Make it easy for your website visitors to use your information in blogs and social media platforms (she doesn't say how but I imagine that it's something like what you do in a social media press release where you give relevant pieces of content).

This article seems important for anyone who needs to be prepared for a crisis in the age of Web 2.0 (and who doesn't?)