preparedHave you ever stopped to wonder what is communicated when you choose not to prepare for a crisis or respond to one? In our estimation, almost without exception, it communicates, at best, carelessness. At worst, it can communicate disregard or even apathy, neither of which are loving responses. Example: I know of an organization whose email is outsourced to a small company who has no backup power generator for their servers. The result? Although the org is a global org with a global purpose, its email communication can be brought to a screeching halt by a single unfortunate lightning bolt in the small Midwestern town where the email hosting service is located. The result? Hundreds of people are now out of touch, perhaps at a special time when some needed to communicate with friends and family, e.g., on a special holiday. The worst part about situations like these is that inaction or lack of communication can be misunderstood by some as a lack of diligence to fix the problem — or worse. (It can even be perceived as a lack of concern or vision — because silence, itself, can be loud.) So how do we adequately prepare for crises? We’ve found a helpful resource in…

http://www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com/

The CEO there, Jonathan Bernstein, has written a TON of stuff that he gives away for free at…

http://www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com/articles.html

and

http://www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com/newsletter.html

When it comes to crises, when I grow up, I’d love to be as prepared as this guy would help me be. :-) Maybe we should start with this article on “Ten Steps of Crisis Communications.”

http://www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com/articles/10-steps-of-crisis-communications.html

So — let’s start preparing today. Because your next crisis might happen tomorrow. If you’re an email host, it might cost you a client. But even worse, if you’re a global organization, it might cost you lots of goodwill from your members. And don’t forget, by the way — if you’re a husband or wife or even a best friend, silence can also be equally confusing and hurtful in your situation as well. The solution? Don’t leave your best friends hanging. Ever.

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