Don’t Wait Until There’s a Crisis to Formulate a Plan
Our hearts go out to everyone suffering from the many disasters happening right now—hurricanes, fires, flooding, earthquakes, not to mention security breaches. Whether you’re suffering personally or professionally, or perhaps you haven’t been impacted at all, now is the right time to ensure you have a Crisis Communications Plan in place for your business.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “It won’t happen to me.” It doesn’t have to be something as epic as a hurricane to create a crisis in your golf business. It can be an equally crushing tweet or negative Facebook post about your product that could send your business reeling and place your brand in jeopardy.
When a crisis occurs, the need to communicate is immediate. If business operations are disrupted, your customers will want to know how they will be impacted. A Crisis Communication Plan considers the messages that will be communicated to those affected by the crisis.
Determine what constitutes a crisis. A crisis is an event that occurs suddenly and most often unexpectedly. Crises can include everything from natural disasters to equipment recalls to reputation management (think United and the passenger being dragged off the plane).
Understand your target audiences. Identify whom you will need to communicate with in the event of a crisis. This could include customers, employees, key stakeholders, and the media. During and following an incident, each audience will seek information that is specific to them.
Anticipate and develop key messages. Consider all possible crises your business could face and develop key messages to be used in response.
Identify who will respond on your golf company’s behalf. Identify one individual who will serve as spokesperson and serve as the main point of contact.
Outline your channels for communication. Your website and social media channels serve as great forums for sharing information during a crisis.
Create communications guidelines. Outline what communications you will and will not respond to in advance.
Own it. If there is a crisis, it won’t take long until the word gets out, especially with social media. Own the conversation and control the messages.
Monitor. Utilize social media monitoring tools to listen to what’s being said about your golf company—not just during a crisis, but on an everyday basis.
We hope you never have to use a Crisis Communications Plan, but in the event that you do, your golf business will be prepared.