Tried but not tested: How well developed is your crisis communications plan?

Digital has transformed the way we communicate, but how are we using digital channels in a crisis? Many companies, PR and communications professionals fall short in understanding that digital communication can play a key role in crisis communication, which is proving to be costly – affecting both revenue and reputation.

On 12 November, we worked in collaboration with CIPR Scotland to deliver an event in Edinburgh aimed at arming attendees with detailed information on how digital channels can be used during a crisis.

The presentation was jointly delivered by our Creative Director Simon Gittings and our Global Head of Social Media and Creative Content Lucy Hartley. Kicking off the evening session, the duo engaged the audience with a poll and exercise to get them thinking about their own crisis communications plans and the role that digital should play.

From the straw poll taken by attendees, a disappointing 25% said they had no digital crisis communications plan. However, 75% said they did have a crisis communications plan which included digital, but that 50% had never tested it. Of those 50% who have tested their plan, approximately 20% test it every quarter, and approximately 20% test it yearly. Roughly 90% of the attendees said that their focus was on their own website and Twitter as the most relevant social channel.

The presentation covered the types of crisis that could happen to a company with industry specific examples, and then went on to provide advice on what you can do in advance to safeguard your reputation. Simon and Lucy then followed this by discussing the best way that digital channels can be used to communicate with your stakeholders and mitigate the fallout.

The event was attended by PR professionals from across Scotland, and since opening our office earlier this year, we hope to be doing similar sessions in the coming months.

Investis holds a number of events throughout the year offering advice on optimising the use of digital channels. To register your interest for future events, please email: jennie.guay@investis.com

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