The 3 pieces of the crisis communications puzzle – SCN Encourager

Make sure your body backs up your words.

body at 5.44.23 PMThe more I learn about the real-world crisis communication plans that went haywire once the heat was on, the more I’m convinced that wordsmithing effective “message points” is overrated.

Agreed, it’s an important piece – you need prepared and coordinated message points for the distribution to your staff and your designated spokesperson.

But there are two other strategic components to include in your crisis communication implementation planning.

And they’re easy to forget.

The next piece of the puzzle depends upon your understanding of your community’s message distribution channels.

Just this component alone demands greater attention than we typically give it.

It’s constantly changing.

Social media has quickened the crisis communications pace, expanded the number of active contributors and commentators in every community, and is totally free from whatever protocols and step-by-step phases we’ve spelled out in our spiral notebooks and manuals.

I’ve got some ideas about this to toss your way in a future Encourager.

I know this is a big deal.

I’m just waiting for Cindy to go on an out-of-town shopping trip with her mother.

That’s my best thinking time.communications puzzle

The third piece of the communications puzzle may seem obvious, but it isn’t.

I can’t even recall ever mentioning it in any crisis communications strategy talk-through in our district.

It has to do with body language.

It should be discussed and defined, too.

More than a century ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

You’d be surprised to find out how many terrible crisis communication plans – despite their clever messages conveyed in speedy-kwik fashion – were derailed because of the insensitive or inappropriate body language displayed by the people involved.

So, if you’re in the process of hiring a leadership or personal growth mentor this weekend, keep “body control and discipline” in mind.

Don’t skip past candidates who have listed mime, gymnast, politician, contortionist, or professional wrestler on their resumes.


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