What is Crisis Communications?

In the event a high profile organizational setback or emergency occurs, what is know as the crisis communication mode takes over.

At these crucial times, the corporate communications office immediately becomes the face and voice of the organization, especially when dealing with the media.

Corporate Communications blends the roles of public relations, advertising and marketing into a single, highly focused campaign.

This involves carefully managing talent. A corporate communications consultant will accurately assess each person, with a goal of utilizing of their relative strengths, weaknesses and personality traits.

Under the old model in which outside firms were contracted for PR or advertising help, any organization, no matter how big or influential, was still just one of many clients, regardless of the circumstances.

While this approach is fine for the consultant, it denies the client – it denies you – continuity, quality control and the kind of accountability that can only come from a long-standing relationship.

These methods are and always were expensive and time-consuming. It also limits marketing to either sales or fundraising, and tends to put communications in a box and exclude it from a client’s overall strategic mix.

The new model for any corporate communications strategy must employ a focused and strategic approach. Ideally, the consultant will set up an in-house communications office that acts as an on-call liaison for all other departments in the organization.

The consultant will support the various departments in writing, editing, public speaking, speech writing and provide assistance to existing publications and websites. The communications consultant will ensure a single message is reported to affected audiences and media outlets.

In any crisis situation, the only successful strategy is for the corporate communications consultant to bring any bad news to the media, first. The worst possible posture is for the organization to find itself reacting to bad news that is generated by the media.

Can Corporate Communications and the principles of communication benefit virtually any organization in vital and relevant ways?

Yes. There are three primary categories of organizations that a corporate communications consultant can effect most directly:

(1) Corporate, or for-profit, businesses and corporations, embracing companies of any size and any industry. They can vary from industrial and service-oriented businesses, to professional sports teams, leagues, entertainment venues and everything in between.

(2) Not-for-Profit organizations, which usually range from schools, to labor unions, to cultural settings like museums or foundations, to charities of all types.

(3) Government Organizations that include the local, state and federal levels.

The real goal of corporate communications is to send the right message to the right audience at the right time, using the most effective tools available.

You need to be able to create those messages, identify the target publics or audiences, and make wise selections in the channels used to send out those messages.

Pungky Dwiasmoro Hiswardhani

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