If we thought 2020 was a difficult year I think we have all found 2021 as hard if not harder to navigate through. This is something I talk about a lot when looking at crisis management and communication. The initial stages of a crisis are a challenge but things become much more complicated and challenging as it develops and ultimately moves towards a recovery phase.
The arrival of the Omicron variant has reminded us we are far from reaching the end of the pandemic. There is still a lot that we need to understand and to be ready to address. All crises lead us towards change, transformation of systems, processes and organisations, and a need to refocus our focus on risk and crisis management. What we are experiencing now is the unsettling feeling of having questions that cannot yet be answered and hopefully a dawning realisation that some things need to change.
We cannot always just pick up from where things were before the crisis hit, and this is a difficult message to try and explain to people. It is even more difficult when there has been so much focus on the pandemic being ‘over by Easter’ or ‘over by Christmas’. Listening to the many radio phone ins and wading through social media you can see and hear the damage that has been done by over promising about things that you cannot be certain will happen.
In the middle of the current state of flux there is one thing we can do and that is to capture the learning we have had during this year. This is why I have set up an advent giveaway for the best crisis communication lessons of 2021. I will be giving away a copy of my book Crisis Communication Strategies to whoever provides the best lesson. The deadline to get the lesson to me by either social media or email (email@example.com) is Wednesday 15 December at 9am.
Sharing the learning we have is essential to improving the way we approach crisis, risk and recovery communication. They can be large or small, about external or internal communication. Whatever you feel you have benefitted from learning this year help to share it with others. I look forward to reading the messages.