So you planned ahead, invested in a strategy, and survived a business crisis. How do you know if it worked? Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” So let’s measure the effectiveness of your plan and find out what needs to be improved.
1. Employee survey
From an internal perspective, it is important to create closure for those employees actively participating in the crisis communications response by reviewing the execution of your crisis plan. A few questions to answer:
- Where did the execution not follow the plan?
- Was it an error in execution or in the planning?
- Is more or different training needed?
- Should roles be modified?
These questions can be sent through an email tool like Survey Monkey, where your employees may feel more comfortable anonymously identifying problems that need to be addressed. But there is also real value in one-on-one and group conversations to talk through the highs and lows of the implementation.
2. Media monitoring
Engage a communications firm to evaluate the media coverage (if any) of your crisis. Did your side of the story get told? If not, what could have changed that? At times we see the company in crisis does not respond quickly enough with facts (sometimes this is because the facts are not yet clear), so the media turns to secondary sources with less reliable information to fill the void.
3. Business review
The ultimate goal of a crisis communications plan is to ensure your business emerges from a crisis positioned to grow. So give your books a thorough check…how are sales trending? Depending on the severity of the crisis, you should expect a short-term impact to profitability. But an effective strategy can speed your path back to growth.
4. Incorporate lessons learned
A crisis communications plan should be a living document. Each time you emerge from a corporate challenge, even a minor one, take the time to review the implementation and outcomes, then update your process and plan to reflect current best practices.
In a media-driven business environment, developing an effective crisis communications plan can be a real competitive advantage that positions your business to survive and thrive beyond the current challenge. Invest the time and resources in creating your strategy now, ensuring you can face an uncertain future with confidence.