Welcome to May, otherwise known in 2020 as Jumanji level 5. As we head into the month six of the pandemic, I’m wondering where you’re at in terms of settling into the ‘new normal’ and what steps you’re taking to prepare for what’s to come.
The standard Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Lifecycle consists of five stages: Pre-Crisis; Initial; Maintenance; Resolution; and, Evaluation.
Much like life, these stages are not always moved through linearly, or distinctly. Sometimes, you may find yourself moving into the Resolution Stage and then wind up back in the Initial phase. Similarly, the Evaluation stage may be taking place throughout the entire cycle.
Things to consider for each cycle:
1. Stakeholders – not all stakeholders will be impacted the same through each stage. What communications do you need to adapt to each one? Listen to your stakeholders, and address their needs accordingly.
2. Preparedness Saves – the more you can get ahead of something, the more time, money, and lives you have the potential of saving. It’s equally as important not to skip any of the steps in the cycle.
3. Psychology of a Crisis – the way people process information during a crisis is VERY different from the way they process information during non-crisis. Four ways to help is to: Use simple messages; always use credible sources; keep messaging consistent; release accurate messages as soon as possible. Remember to always deliver your communications with compassion – people cannot process information through their heads until you reach their hearts.
Download the Fives Stages of Strategic Crisis Communications Checklist, to see where you are currently in the pandemic, and what your next steps should be.