Crisis communication plan template

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8.5 x 11 in
6 pages

A crisis communication plan provides a system for your organization to follow, so you can quickly respond when a crisis occurs. Follow this crisis communication plan template to create a crisis communication plan for your organization.

How to create a crisis communication plan:

A crisis communication plan should include the following elements:

Potential Crises Brainstorm

Identify and list every potential crisis scenario. Your list should include crises you would expect such as a merger or a layoff, and it should include more extreme examples such as a natural disaster or a security breach.

Crisis response team

Identify your crisis communications team. Identify decision maker roles such as the CEO, chief legal counsel and public relations executive. Include managers and executives who would handle internal communications with each department.

Spokespersons

Having a trained spokesperson in the time of a crisis is critical. Identify several spokespeople based on their area of expertise. Be sure to include both internal and external communication. Identify someone with media training to answer questions from the news media.

Stakeholders
Create a comprehensive list of every individual and group of individuals that will be impacted by the crisis. Identify the self-interests and appropriate messaging for each stakeholder. Include how you will communicate with each stakeholder and how often. Be sure you have an updated database of contact information for each stakeholder.

Crisis communication response template

Create a template for understanding and verifying a crisis that can quickly be updated and distributed when a crisis occurs. This will prevent spokespeople from spreading false information.

Holding Statements
A holding statement allows you to acknowledge a crisis has occurred and reassure stakeholders that you are preparing a response while giving your team time to understand what happened and prepare a detailed response. A good holding statement should state where and when stakeholders can get more information. Example: We are aware of the situation and will have a press briefing at 6 pm. 

FAQs

Brainstorm and come up with answers to possible frequently asked questions during a crisis.
 

Key messages

Come up with three key messages for each stakeholder based on that stakeholder’s key interests. These messages can be modified after the crisis has occurred. 

Communication and monitoring systems

Identify a system for monitoring for potential crises. Tools such as Google Alerts can alert you when a negative conversation has popped up online. 

Set up a notification system that will allow you to quickly get a message out to key stakeholders.

Post-crisis evaluation

Avoid the temptation to move on once a crisis is over and complete a post-crisis evaluation, so you can improve your plan for the next event. Identify what went well and what didn’t and how you will improve.