Emergency Response Communications Protocol

Over the past five years, I’ve worked with airlines, oil and gas companies, and financial services organizations on developing crisis management plans.

Sooner or later, every organization faces a crisis. It can start out as something relatively minor, like a rogue employee tweeting something they shouldn’t from the company account, or it can be something major that immediately causes operational upheaval across your business. Either way, anything that harms your reputation has the potential to harm your bottom line.

Is your team fully trained in how to manage a crisis? Does your organization have an Emergency Response Communications Protocol in place? Have you got an actionable, up-to-date procedure in place for crisis communications?

I surveyed my email subscribers on this topic, and the results revealed that just 19% of you feel prepared to manage a communications crisis.

That leaves an overwhelming 81% of you who could be in for a nasty shock if crisis occurs on your watch. That’s a BIG deal, because your reputation is one of your most valuable assets.

So, what can you do?

Just last year I sat down with a client who was in this exact position. They needed a document versatile enough to cover both small and large scale crises; something they could use to train their teams in crisis management, and a document that would be easy to follow in the event of a live incident. That’s why I created the Emergency Response Communications Protocol. We spent months putting together a lean and nimble crisis communication document.

We weeded out everything that wasn’t necessary, to create a document that will actually work for you when a crisis is breaking Who has the time to leaf through a 120-page policy and procedure document in the middle of a crisis? Answer: No one. That’s why we’ve only included what’s absolutely vital to get you through to the other side with your reputation intact.

And now I’m making it available to you. This document is totally editable – just paste your organisation’s logo on there and make some minor adjustments to fit your requirements, and you’ll have a customised crisis communications document ready for your organisation in less than 15 minutes. It couldn’t be easier.

What’s included?

A comprehensive communications protocol that you can rely on in a crisis

  1. Introduction and Key Principles1.1       Approvals1.2       Scope and objectives1.3       High level principles


    1. Communications Response Protocol

    2.1       Communications protocol

    2.2       Proactive versus reactive consideration

    2.3       Spokespeople & press conferences


    1. External and Internal Stakeholder Engagement

    3.1       External stakeholders procedure

    3.2       Internal stakeholders procedure


    1. Release of communications

    4.1       Communications channels

    4.2       Materials development

    4.3       Guidelines for drafting statements



    Appendix A:    Contacts checklist

    Appendix B:    Initial actions checklist

    Appendix C:    Media holding statement template