Moving forward during a crisis is problematic and it can be tempting to try and avoid stepping into the unknown. Starting to consider the recovery phase of a crisis can feel unsettling. The first concern is whether the time is right to move to recovery and this is about more than the logistics of the business. Communicators need to consider the mood and tone from firstly the people who are affected and then the wider public.
I have said many times that the recovery phase and the time as you move away from the initial moment the crisis struck is the most difficult. The focus in training and exercising for crises is always on the initial response and ensuring things can be put in place quickly and efficiently. But it is as you move away from that time where the complexity increases.
To start with you will have people trying to get back to ‘normal’ work and pushing communicators to resume the pre-crisis work. Add to this the requirement to continue the crisis communication and start to plan the recovery phase, and the pressure increases. When I worked in the public sector you would have the benefit of additional resources and streamlining activity when you were in the eye of the storm. The additional staff would then go, and the work would start to quickly be piled back onto the communication team.
PRs and communicators have been working hard in the weeks since Covid-19 hit, and the country went into lockdown. They now need to find that reserve of strength to help companies chart the way into recovery. This means scenario planning, understanding the data, assessing the mood of customers and service users. I have said many times that crisis communication is high stakes work, and it is. Recovery communication after a crisis leaves little room for error and there is no manual to tell you exactly what to do.
It is why I have written a Recovery Communication Readiness Assessment guide that will hopefully give those working in business continuity, recovery, resilience, and communication some prompts about what they need to be considering at this difficult time. The guide is available by contacting me email@example.com . This is a challenging time but there is a way forward it is just going to take a lot of careful thought and planning.
If you want to book a bespoke Recovery Communication Readiness Assessment or want to access a self-assessment get in touch to discuss.