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How does communication plan help in disaster preparedness?

Updated: May 18, 2022

Many organization, be it small or big prudently work on business continuity and disaster recovery plan for cybersecurity incident as well as for natural disaster, but often fails in implementing an effective communication plan.

Only 34.1% of respondents are confident about their crisis plan in the event of an actual breach or other PR crisis, according to a study conducted by law firm Morrison & Foerster and Ethisphere. 

crisis planing

A well drafted communication plan addresses the steps to be taken for notifying the key stakeholders and the public for minimizing the adverse effect of a crisis. Below are the key points for drafting an effective crisis communication plan: #1. Incident Response Team

Create an internal incident response team and identify the roles of each individual in the team during the crisis. Communication team involving the stakeholders such as CEO or high-level executive, PR executive, heads from different departments should also be formed and documented in the plan.  #2. Identify Communication Medium

All type of communication medium should be identified and tested at regular intervals for maintaining effectiveness during the disaster event. The HR or concerned department should maintain a record of contact details for each employee and their family members.    #3. Training

Train the key spokesperson involved in the communication plan for different mediums such as the internet, press, social media, etc. and channels of communication such as internal or external. Training should involve both the table top discussion and virtual scenarios. A backup spokesperson should also be identified and trained for the role.  #4. Communication Team

In this digital era, the rumors spread faster which may impact the business. So the process for closely monitoring the social media and other mediums can also be employed in the plan for responding to the rumors. Each employee is a PR representative of the organization, special care should be taken while communicating the internal updates. The communication team should ensure that the  right information is being collected from the sources   #5. Identify Key Components

Identify and document stakeholders and supply chain vendors such as fire department, hospitals, etc. for effectively responding to disaster scenario for eliminating the operational dependencies. The stakeholders for recovery location should be identified and documented in the communication plan. 

#6. Holding Statements

Holding statements for disasters should be prepared and documented in advance for use during the crisis while full details are yet to be released. Holding statements can be scenario based and review of statements can be conducted during training exercises.

Ex: “We have implemented our crisis response plan, our utmost priority is the health and safety of our employees”.  #7. Testing Communication Plan

Last but not least the "Communication Plan" should be tested and updated at regular intervals.  Organizations around the world due to continuous cybersecurity threats are shifting their focus on disaster preparedness. We are seeing continuous demand from clients to draft an effective BCP & DR policy including communication plan. If you are interested in talking to crisis management experts to draft or review your disaster preparedness Contact us!

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