How Institutions Can Succeed in Rapid Crisis Response

Pete Campie

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Minutes count during a crisis. And instant news is available to nearly everyone via push notifications, email, and Twitter.

How can you be the first—and most accurate—source of information? The answer is to provide authoritative, timely content that brings calm in a crisis.

Even with a limited team, you can institute a Rapid News Response plan that delivers the news and information your audience needs—and the return on investment your stakeholders want.

crisis communication

Deliver Relevant Content Now

When people have questions or things are uncertain, make the best use of your valuable time by focusing on communicating key messages.

Create Once, Publish Everywhere

While there are plenty of ways to get your message out, focus on distributing single pieces of content on a variety of different channels. For example, if you are developing a blog post, create social media posts and possibly a quick update to the website itself with the same messaging.

We even use this with our own messaging at Stamats, our homepage message has been updated three times based on audience needs. It was also a part of email messaging that has been sent out to current clients.

Listen to the People

To stay out in front, create content that assuages concerns and supports your institutional brand. While it can take extra effort, the payoff for properly managing crisis communication will be repaid in loyalty and engagement from your audience.

It’s also a good idea to know what your audience is talking about. This way you can create content that speaks to their needs directly. Tools like social listening or Google Trends can help. Don’t forget about following trending hashtags on sites like Twitter to make sure you’re up-to-date.

Tell the Story Your Way

You aren’t a news institution—you are a business, a school, a health system. Share your experts’ perspective on the situation at hand.

Tell the story in a way that resonates with your audience rather than repeats facts they can find elsewhere.

Whether the situation demands instructions or guidelines, reassurance, mitigation of false information, or something else, the goal should be to get ahead of the media frenzy. Tell the real story with a response that leads the story based on your expertise.

Related Reading: How to Handle Crisis Communication Support and Strategy

Success in Thought Leadership

Proper, timely responses can improve your institution’s overall footprint. Social media posts and blogs are today’s press releases. Crisis communications can serve a dual role. Not only covering your audience, but also providing ample opportunity for earned media.

When something happens, members of the public (and journalists) will be searching to learn how you’re managing the situation. Don’t forget, they are also searching for your competitors’ responses. Sharing reliable, timely information can keep your organization top of mind.

To take full advantage and get the most proverbial media mileage, consider using the “create once, publish everywhere” model detailed above to get blog posts, email content, ads, social media posts, and more out of your work.

Also look for opportunities to get new life out of older pieces by adding new, relevant information and updating the timestamp.

Measure what Matters

You’ll also want to assess performance metrics like pageviews, opens, and video views. Do this as soon as possible to find new or emerging opportunities no matter where you are in the crisis.

Measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) and properly analyzing your results can help you inform your audience better and continue to build trust.  

Build on successes and understand where initiatives came up short to further refine rapid communication moving forward.

If this sounds great but your team is already pushed to the limit, let’s talk options. Set up a consultation with Stamats about Rapid News Response options today.

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