As a tactical process, crisis management is built around three phases which respectively cover the ante, during and post-crisis time period.
During the first phase, the focus goes out to the prevention of the known risks and to putting in place a preparation step. As part of this preparation, we can devise a crisis management plan that is to be kept up to date and tested on a regular basis. This plan involves the selection of a crisis management team, the training of spokespersons by way of purposive media training sessions, the set up of Q&As, the identification of the in-house and outside stakeholders, the writing of pre-draft crisis-centric messages and templates, the choice of communication channels and monitoring systems to be used.
During the actual crisis, we devise and conduct duly considered communication actions targeting the media and the stakeholders, if necessary along with the roll-out of a victim-centered strategy. Also during this stage, we implement a reputation repair strategy if this should be required.
Finally, in the last phase, which sees the organisation return to normal, it is also imperative to communicate the information that may have been promised regarding the recovery process which may still be ongoing for instance, along with taking stock of the situation and the lessons learned from the way the crisis was effectively managed.