What Are Your Clients Top Challenges to Effective Crisis Communication?
Clients can intuit that business crises often become infamous when communication with stakeholders goes awry. But to get their crisis communication capability in order, they need to understand what the top challenges to effective crisis communication are in the first place.
What are they? Read on to find out.
Four challenges to effective crisis communication
Well, in looking at the academic and real-world research, we see that a few broad areas emerge. The most significant problem areas include:
- Limited situational awareness
- Clogged communication paths
- Poor communication forms and content
- Lack of a common ground
But what does each look like in the context of an actual business crisis your clients might face? They often look like this:
- Lack of situation awareness. The inability to communicate long and short-term goals, functions, capacity, and resources. Uncertainty and worry can result from resources arriving as a surprise – or not arriving at all. Here, dynamic information central to the task at hand isn’t relayed due to communication problems.
- Clogged communication pathways. Information is relayed but problems arise with finding the right person to contact. As a result, information gets “stuck.” Staff might become overloaded with information of unclear origins.
From there, informal communication paths form, hindering the cohesion of the operation.
Why does this happen? Well, researchers have found that it’s often a lack of practice in informing others about their own activities that clog communication pathways.
- Poor communication forms and content.Similarly, time-consuming and ineffective forms of communication can also bog down operations. For instance, when adequate documentation is lacking, the hand-over of roles becomes more laborious. It’s, therefore, unclear what information other actors need.
- Lack of a common ground.When multiple parties are involved in crisis response, different opinions and ideas about fundamental concepts often occur. This results from the different communication styles of different organizations. Staff rotation might also affect communication since it takes time for people to get to know each other.
Software to overcome key crisis communication challenges
What can clients do to overcome these challenges, though? Fortunately, this is an area where critical event management technology can definitely help.
Clients with certain integrated systems can better centralize, approve, standardize, and manage their crisis communications. What’s more, these solutions provide effective communication pathways for all aspects of crisis and incident management.
What digital capabilities should you be helping clients find? We’d consider the following:
- Send email, SMS, voice, and app push notifications to people, groups, or roles
- Define message templates, with dynamic content populated from a related event or other data
- System inbox to receive email messages
- Relate messages to events, assets, or other objects, to form part of that record and include in timelines
- Include message response links in email or SMS, and audible response prompts in voice messages, to capture responses from recipients
- Include links back to objects in the system in your message content
- Automate messages, notifications, and responses using dedicated workflows
- Define system email addresses to organize communications according to business areas and manage who can view and respond to certain communications
Those, however, only scratch the surface. For more on the use cases for crisis communications technology and their benefits, download our Best-Practice Guide to Crisis Communication and Collaboration.