Communications in Crisis

In 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika to be an international public health emergency. In response, many companies operating within the affected regions were left struggling as to how best to handle the risks, and to ensure employee awareness and safety. Writing for Forbes, PR/Marketing manager for Insect Shield Janine Robertson offers five lessons that could be learned from the Zika virus, and how these lessons could be applied to other PR crises:

  • Ensure you have an emergency communications team in place in advance, and have identified experts for handling public discussion of technical oriented matters.
  • Prepare a list of external sources and experts, who can be used as unbiased sources to augment internal knowledge, or to evaluate existing plans.
  • Develop a set approach for notification, expanding from high level internal, throughout staff, and to outside contractors, consultants, and vendors.
  • Ensure employees are aware of both the risks of the crisis, and available resources to support them, in both professional and personal aspects.
  • Maintain monitoring and establish procedures for the flow back of information back to key people within the organization, so as to allow for adaptation of approaches and responses.