Storytelling by its own nature conjures up ideas of fantasy and entertainment, but not when it’s paired with authenticity and a mission. When in a crisis, storytelling provides a means for you to engage with your audience and help convey your message or set their minds at ease.
As communication professionals, we handle about 27 major crisis issues per year. Of those issues, 98% never make it to mainstream media. Why you may ask? It is because we train clients to always focus the issues back to their core story. Training spokespeople and internal staff to echo core messages and to know your core story is critical to surviving during a crisis.
The recent COVID-19 crisis hitting the world is a perfect example of the high need for people to know their core story and learn how to present it and lead the media back to it when things stray. We are always asked, “When should I do my crisis communication planning?” Our answer is BEFORE you are in a crisis. A crisis communication plan will always be strong if it is done during routine work time and not in the middle of an emotional crisis. If you are in crisis there is no time to plan, you are what we call in the “Reaction Code Red” mode. That will be addressed in another blog.
Everything in a crisis is compressed by time. Then it comes to fall out reactions, which like a pandemic, can cause serious new crises. It is always best to plan, practice, then implement. Having a great plan is wonderful, but if you do not conduct mock drills to test the plan, you’ll more than likely make major mistakes when facing a crisis.
If you have concerns or need help crafting or testing your plan, we stand by ready to help. Just reach out to us via this website or the social media platform you may be reading this blog post on. In the meantime, take deep breaths, clear your mind of worry and focus on what you can focus on which is your story.