Who Does What?

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    Good crisis management means being prepared for the worst

    Being well prepared beforehand is probably the number one way to minimize the impact of crises on your organization. While this may seem obvious, most are at a loss as to what steps to take to ensure this preparedness. In a recent post on the Preparis.com blog, Cassie Harman gave a good list of steps that should get anyone started thinking on the right path, including this one:

    Who does what?

    Decide who is going to be your primary company spokesperson (usually the CEO in a major crisis) as well as two backups, and provide them with crisis media training to help them communicate effectively and deal with the kind of challenging questions that they would be asked in a real crisis situation. Clearly define the role of other key executives, such as the president of the company, in both external and internal communications. Identify subject matter experts within your organization that may need to be called upon to provide specialized information relating to a particular topic, and ensure that your legal and PR departments or agencies are on board with your plan and are prepared to support the spokespeople during a crisis situation.

    Especially with the speed at which information is expected to move these days, there is no time to make these decisions mid-crisis. By having every role assigned, you can react smoothly and decisively to the twists and turns that are bound to arise.

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    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
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    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]