We have reached the end of the second week of this strange new world we inhabit and I just realised next weekend is Easter. I really don’t know how I missed it given that Easter eggs have been the subject of a lot of discussion this week. The world of crisis consultancy continues to move along and some great conversations and support throughout the week.
I continue to be in awe of all those communicators and PR officers that have been working flat out within the NHS, emergency services and key businesses. The work they are doing is so vital and I know how physically and emotionally exhausted they must be. But as many people have said, and continue to say, the emergency we are facing is going to be a marathon not a sprint. Heading into the Easter period is a good time to take stock of where you have got to and where you are going.
In a long running crisis running debriefs and undertaking reviews of the communication are essential. It may feel like another task to add to the burden but capturing the learning you have had from the first few weeks will be vital for future revision and development of crisis communication plans. And as we move further into the ‘lockdown’ period we need to know what worked, where gaps may be and what the priorities are going forward.
There is time to recognise good work and what went well, even in such difficult and stressful circumstances. But it also needs people to be honest about what could be improved or done differently. You won’t get this time again and the longer the situation continues the more things will become relegated to memories which can then lack clarity.
This doesn’t need to be a long process that sucks time out of the day. It can be adapted to fit the requirements of the time and resources that you have. As the situation looks set to last for some months having the chance to reflect and refocus will be the way you can keep communication fresh.
Finally, don’t neglect your own well-being. It is ok to say you need help or support so don’t just try to push on regardless.
If anyone needs support or guidance to undertake a communication debrief or review please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
“In a long running crisis running debriefs and undertaking reviews of the communication are essential. It may feel like another task to add to the burden but capturing the learning you have had from the first few weeks will be vital for future revision and development of crisis communication plans.”
This seems like such an obvious statement doesn’t it? Make sure you monitor, evaluate and review throughout. And yet whether it’s a crisis, a standard PR campaign or the execution of a social media strategy, I’m still amazed by the number of Comms professionals who DON’T do this as standard best practice.
How on earth can you tell whether or not your plans have been a success if you don’t measure performance and make improvements along the way??? Even more so during a crisis!