Why communication is key in a crisis

The coronavirus outbreak has amplified the need for organisations to provide fast, insightful and transparent communications during a crisis. Though much resilience planning has focused on enabling employees to work from home securely and productively, and ensuring businesses can operate at distance, it is communication with staff, stakeholders and customers that is truly defining those who have adapted most effectively to the pandemic.

“Health concerns, job security, economic turmoil; it’s a challenging time to operate,” says Shalen Sehgal, managing director at Crises Control, a disruptor in the mass-notification market, whose mission is to democratise access to mass-notification engines.

Crises Control automates and simplifies the distribution and management of thousands of messages to relevant stakeholders in a crisis. “For the moment, the world as we know it has turned upside down and, in the midst of COVID-19, many organisations are slashing marketing and communication budgets to save costs. Yet if long-term survival is your goal, now is the best time to keep effective communication open,” says Sehgal.

With crises having the potential for significant business impact, companies need a secure and reliable way to communicate with stakeholders at all times. A timely and efficient response to any incident or crisis is critical, which is why so many companies have found themselves struggling amid the chaos of the pandemic. The speed at which people can engage, the support incident managers can provide and the efficiency of communications all impact the time and cost of recovery.

Reaching people via various channels, from emails to SMSs and automated calls, is paramount to underpin an efficient communication that reaches all parties. All crises can be understood as the final stage of a longer period of disruption and the first hour after an incident occurs, known as the “golden hour”, is the most important period during which a response is won or lost.

Those who fail to seize control during the golden hour will undermine their response. A multichannel approach is vital to targeting that response and getting messages to the right people, in near real time, through the right media and platforms, and within the golden hour.

The most important function when dealing with any incident is the exchange of information. One of the first steps companies should take is clearly communicating their response and approach to staff, clients, suppliers and all other stakeholders. This should be backed by swift investment in tools and systems that helps them better prepare for unexpected scenarios, learn from previous events and act quickly in times of trouble.

Problems of any nature deepen with a lack of communication and Crises Control has found that companies lacking in this area will find even a relatively small incident escalating out of control.

The most common communication failures are related to technology, message clarity and the communication chain of command. Unlike most business-critical incidents, such as a fire, flood or power outage, where access to technology is the problem, during the COVID-19 pandemic access to people is the problem and technology can provide the solution.

Crises Control’s incident response solution delivers preformed incident action plans rapidly to stakeholders across all devices and channels. These include multilingual push notifications to the Crises Control mobile app, emails, SMS, phone calls or any combination.

The platform provides a common operating picture throughout the incident life cycle in a client-configured, easy-to-use dashboard. This allows incident managers to manage tasks, resources, communications and collaboration effectively. The service comes with 24/7 support and training through its online academy.

By speeding up their incident response, our customers reduce the impact and costs of a crisis

“In a crisis, when time is of the essence, at the touch of your screen, Crises Control enables you to send predefined or customised two-way notifications, generating common situational awareness, to global audiences using our many networks,” says Sehgal. “Our vision is to democratise emergency communications and simplify the management of crises, and this is where we are able to accelerate the resilience planning of our customers.

“By speeding up their incident response, our customers reduce the impact and costs of a crisis, helping them survive any disruptive event and keep their people and assets safe. This means they can move forward with confidence, aware they are properly prepared for any potential disaster in the future.”

For more information please visit www.crises-control.com