How to prepare for a crisis – UPDATED for Corona Virus

Australia has seen it all this Summer and there’s more on the way! We’ve had everything from Destructive fires, devastating floods, Australia really is the country of extremes and being prepared in a crisis is critical for any business of any size.

In this post, we share our tips so you can take steps NOW so you’re well armed should you face a crisis.

Communication is key even before you start any of our suggestions. Communicate with the office what will be undertaken and that updates will be provided as is necessary.

PLANNING is critical.

You may have to put aside a day to brainstorm and work out who in the office will be responsible for what tasks.

If you’re a solopreneur make a timeline of what steps will be done when. (If you’re in a team this should be included as part of your plan too!)

Think about who will need to be contacted IMMEDIATELY should a crisis or issue occur, then think about the way this will be communicated. You’ll also want to include in your timeline preparation for power-outages (back-up power supply) or damage to equipment and where back-up equipment can be sourced quickly. Think about stock levels what will need to be done with any stock that’s damaged. Think of all eventualities and make sure someone is responsible for an action from start to finish.

You’ll also want to have draft communications to customers, suppliers and staff drafted for a variety of scenarios. Include in this communication copies of out-of-office messages for employees to use, so messaging is consistent across the company. Include in your out-of-office messages how long you expect to be out of action and best contact details for urgent queries.

Finally, but importantly, keep your social media pages updated. You’ll want to have draft posts created for your social accounts too. Again, let your followers know how long you expect to be unavailable and a generic contact address that should be administered by an executive who is able to respond quickly to customers /followers queries.

These are just *some* of the components of being prepared in a crisis or emergency situation.

EDIT: 

In light of the Corona Virus – here are some EXTRA tips;

*Be transparent at all times – let the public know WHEN the next update will be in terms of communications

*Save media releases online for ease of reference for media and general public

*Health of employees and public must be a priority, follow recommendations from local and Federal Governments

*Ensure best contact details for media contact /PR agency are visible on your website

If you’d like Pursuit Communications to assist your business with creating a crisis or emergency plan, contact us today to organise a meeting. 

Three things you can do before Christmas

It’s little over a month until Christmas Day… You may be thinking, “What else can I do to capitalise on the Christmas rush?”, or you may be thinking – “Eeep, I’ve left it too late, what can I do?”

Never fear… we have three easy to achieve activities for you to get some cut-though before the big day!

ONE: Thank your customers for their patronage this year. If you’re an online store, send a discount code to your email database as a token of gratitude.

Keep your message festive, short, sharp and ensure you include any terms and conditions with your discount code. Now is NOT the time you want to get caught up in any legal matters.

TWO: If you have a bricks and mortar store, have candy canes at reception or at the service counter for your customers. You may also want to reward your customers who visit in December with complimentary services or bonus items.

THREE: Keep in mind people’s budgets. If you’re noticing a lack in sales, don’t panic. Remember there’s always the January sales period, start thinking about what discounts you can offer (now’s a good time to get a head start on stocktake).

If sales are exceeding expectations, why not tell your local press? Get the word out there about what you’ve achieved.

BONUS: Why not offer a percentage of profits to farmers in need or a local charity? You’ll be able to promote your donation once you’ve finalised the total. Think about a cause that’s close to your heart and get started now.

Why I might switch to a Google phone

Last week Google released their PIXEL phone. I’ve been reading various blogs about the benefits of the phone.

While THIS BLOG is specifically targeting PR professionals, the reasons for switching to a Pixel could be applied to anyone really.

I really like the idea of being able to search specifically for photos and while you can do this (in limited capacity) with the iPhone, it would appear on the surface that the Pixel takes searching to the next level. (Shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Google).

What features would you like from a mobile device?

-Brooke

 

Issues Management 101

Issues management, it’s enough to make any manager feel ill. Below, we’ve shared some of our top tips for managing an issue when it arises.

Rule 1 – Always have a plan. Get your team together and block out an entire day (yes, you’ll need this long) to consider all possible scenarios that could go wrong at your business. Then come up with a plan for these scenarios. You’ll find that at its core, you’ll have the same basic methodology, it’s simply the messaging or communication that will change. (We can help with that!)

Rule 2- Ensure everyone – yes EVERYONE knows what these plans are, when a new employee starts, induct them with some training which includes issues management. Sure they may never be directly involved, but, preparation is the key.

Rule 3- Update, Update, Update – Every 6-12 months, refresh these plans. Staff may move on, systems may change. Keep it current.

Rule 4 – If it’s related to social media employ the KISS technique. There’s no need to go over the top on social media, be authentic, short and to the point. (for more on social media no-no’s read this)

Rule 5 – Remember we can assist with your issues management planning and management. Contact us today.