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8 Key Components of a Crisis Communication Plan

hybrid business meeting in conference room

In today’s volatile business environment, organizations must have a plan before a crisis strikes. Whether it is an operational crisis that disrupts business continuity or a reputational crisis that destabilizes the brand, being prepared ahead of disruption may help minimize impact.

Having good communication during a crisis is key to navigating uncertain times. Further, an organization’s employees can be its best (or worst) message mouthpiece. For this reason, communication needs to reach every employee at the same time, regardless of their physical location or their level in the organization. One of the best ways to quickly achieve this is through an internal communication platform.

However, with both internal and external communication (including with stakeholders and on social media), it is crucial that organizations craft messaging that is clear and has a consistent voice and message.

Sometimes one message is not enough. An organization should, therefore, be prepared to share its vision during a crisis, and the employee’s role within that vision, more than once.

Team of businesspeople sitting and standing around a table looking at reports.

Follow these eight key components of a communication plan to help set your organization up for success during the next crisis:

  1. Identify the goal of the communication plan
  2. Identify the stakeholders
  3. Create a hierarchy for sharing information
  4. Create fact sheets
  5. Identify and assess example crisis scenarios specific to your organization
  6. Identify and answer common questions
  7. Identify potential risks
  8. Create social media guidelines


If you would like to learn more about communication during disruption, watch the on-demand recording Communication in Crisis with UNC Professor Stephanie Mahin.


Stephanie Mahin is Clinical Assistant Professor of Management and Corporate Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Source: HubSpot