By Gerard Braud
Many public relations people who need a Crisis Communications Plan search for the words “crisis plan.” This leads to problems.
Sometimes, as soon as you type the word “crisis,” your browser will auto fill with these options:
Crisis Plan Template
Crisis Plan Free Template
Crisis Management Plan
Crisis Communications Plan (with an “s”)
Crisis Communications Expert (with an “s”)
Crisis Communication Expert (with no “s”)
School Crisis Plan
Crisis Intervention Plan
The list goes on. Try it.
In public relations we face a problem with terminology. Did you know that people in the business continuity world, the emergency response world, and the public relations world all generically use the term Crisis Plan, yet each document is very different?
Likewise, there are many bad examples on the web of documents that serve no real purpose. This one has been at the top of the list for years.
I guess this is what most people think a Crisis Communications Plan is because they find it on the web and it is free. I think of this as only a list of standard operating procedures, yet it is far short of what I prescribe as a Crisis Communications Plan.
For a short time my website was #2, behind this site. However, I slipped in the SEO after a website server glitch.
Bottom line – if you are in PR, please call your document a Crisis Communications Plan. If you are in business continuity, please call your plan a “risk management plan” or a “business continuity plan.” If you are in emergency response, please call your plan either an “emergency operations plan, emergency management plan or an incident command plan.”
Every organization should have all three plans.
Do you have all three plans where you work?