Guidelines for crisis communication – the biggest risk is to do nothing

Read this article in Finnish >

We live in a time where people expect responsibility, transparency and solutions to problems affecting society as a whole from organizations and companies.

The corona crisis, the war in Russia and the crisis of the coming winter have shown on a large scale that two years ago, the next crisis communication plans with channel selections can help the freedmen – if companies or organizations had them.

At the crisis communication training day, THL’s communications manager Marko Lähteenmäki talked about his 2.5 years of experience in handling the corona crisis. Lähteenmäki is still responsible for THL’s campaigns, social media and brand, and below is his advice.

Guidelines for good crisis communication

1. Responsible persons
Based on the crisis, you should choose a working group for the organization’s responsibility, which includes crisis managers, spokespersons for media cooperation and people needed for communication.

2. Resources
Initially, more resources are always needed – where is it possible to detach additional people or an additional jet to implement communication?

3. External partners and stakeholders
It is important to know and engage not the parties who take your side in the public debate and are also ready to share constantly.

4. Common basic messages
Make sure everyone is telling the same story. Sometimes in the middle of a crisis, informing your own personnel can get stuck, but it ensures everything else, the useless trash radio starts spinning and brings extra rounds with it.

5. There is no information vacuum
If you don’t dare say anything yourself, someone else will. Again, there may be extra rounds ahead, unless you tell your own message the way it should be told.

6. Be on the channels where your audience is
The press release and website are not used. Audiences are dispersed, and multi-channel must be taken into account, especially in cry communication.

Management of crisis communication

A quick summary of the speech is that the biggest risk is to do nothing.

The smallest thing is to prepare for a crisis as well as you can (effective communication will help you avoid crises in the future). When you find yourself in the middle of a crisis, you should remember that in addition to management and the situational picture, communication is always important. If you are inspired to research the topic further, I recommend you to read the book Exceptional Communication (ProCom), which you can find in electronic version here.

Writer of the article: Jonna Ekroos, Fabrik’s communication strategist