Development of a crisis management plan
Assignment Due date Weighting
2. Crisis management plan and scenario 21/10/14 60.00%
Select a small organisation that you know well or have easy access to. Develop a crisis management plan for this organisation that can cover any type of crisis, using your course materials as a guide. This crisis management plan should be no more than 10-15 pages long but can include appendices in addition to the plan. Appendices should contain supplementary information only, such as lists and forms – any information critical to the plan should be included in the plan.
When it comes to stakeholders, you must:
• List the key stakeholder groups, carefully segmenting the groups. For instance, you would NEVER say “the general public”. This group would be broken down into a number of segments (with the general public, you would have literally hundreds, so carefully select the most relevant).
• Give one paragraph explanation of each.
• Outline the best ways to communicate with them (this is VERY important). Communication methods need to be relevant to the audience. For instance, you would not use a media release for people aged 18-25 who do not read newspapers or watch much TV and you wouldn't deal with older people solely via social media as many won't be on Facebook. If you were dealing with farmers, you would select the local farming newspaper as a key communication channel for this group.
While it is accepted that in-company and key stakeholder lists will be difficult for you to develop, you MUST develop a media contact list that is most relevant to your organisation. This can be undertaken using the Margaret Gee’s online resource, available through the Library databases or by doing a Google search of media in your area. It must include radio, television and newspapers, plus bloggers and specialist freelancers if you can find them.
Then, referring to the list of crises that you included in your plan, select a particular crisis that figures highest on the impact/probability scale and develop a specific scenario, complete with date and time and what happened, plus the effects that would make this scenario a crisis. It must be a scenario that would be of interest to the media.
You then need to build materials specific to this scenario, consulting your materials on how each of these tools should look:
A. a profile of three of the most relevant stakeholder groups to this crisis, including the best means of communication with these stakeholders (this does not have to be limited to one means). This profile must detail demographic and psychographics features where relevant. Media for instance, will not have pyschographic factors, but it WILL have readers who are of relvant demographic groups.
B. a holding statement for the initial impact while you gather information, presented in media release format. Do extra research on what a holding statement should look like. This is a NOT a full media release and should be some words that you can put out before you have much information available.
C. three to five key messages for those stakeholders that should recur throughout the organisation’s dealing with the crisis. You may find that each stakeholder group needs a tailored set of messages. In some cases you may find that one set will be suitable for all the stakeholder groups. You MUST use the key messages format presented in the materials.
Spelling, typographical errors and grammatical mistakes will not be tolerated as this is a report that ostensibly will be prepared for and presented to a client, with some components for stakeholder consumption.
Assignment 2 – Marking criteria
HD A B C F Mark
Background –includes definition of disaster from the organisational point of view, goals of the plan, objectives of the crisis management process. Exceptional.
Shows thorough research on how the plan ties in with other organizational documents, research on what crises might affect the organisation and prioritisation from most likely to least likely. Goals are sound and objectives are realistic and obviously developed from research about the organisation. Uses the impact/probability scale to prioritise. Good.
Treats each component in some depth and demonstrates that research on the organisation and its environment has been completed. Includes some prioritisation of crises and the goals and objectives developed reflect the research done on the organisation. All the elements are included. Uses the impact/probability scale to prioritise. Competent.
The majority of the elements are included and most can be linked to some research on the organisation. Some of the linking prose is copied from the example. Basic.
Many of the elements are included, although more depth in the explanation of each is desirable. Crises types and stakeholder groups are listed, but the list is not comprehensive or prioritised. Much of the linking information is copied from the example. Insufficient.
Leaves out elements and does not seem to have used research on the organisation as a basis for the development of goals and objectives, or the types of crises that might affect the organisation. The stakeholder list is not fully formed. Much of the assignment is copied from the example. /10
Who is involved - who is on the crisis management team, who is on the communication team, the spokesperson/s, the stakeholders Each section is obviously developed from research on the organisation. The sections are informed by wider literature, not just the example supplied in the materials. The CMT, communication team, spokesperson and stakeholder lists are clear and prioritized. Resources of the organisation are recognised and acknowledged in the formation of this section developed realistically according to the resources available. This section is informed by research and all the elements included. The work is original and reflects reading wider than just the course materials. Competent.
Lists all the elements but could go into more depth in terms of the CMT and stakeholder lists. Reflects a shallow understanding of the impact of the organisation’s resources on development of this section. Passable.
Includes most of the require elements, and could provide much more detail. On the right track, but misses the fact that a small organisation will not be able to resource large teams. Stakeholder groups are not segmented in sufficient detail but do cover all the key stakeholders. Insufficient.
Leaves out elements and reflects lack of research on the organisation and on the contents of crisis communication plans generally. Does not include all the elements or copies unashamedly from the example plan, thereby failing to adapt it well enough for use by the subject organisation /10
What to do –immediate response, ongoing activity Gives a detailed, easy to read guide that accounts for the organisation’s situation, industry and size, and also takes in the principles of communication studied in the course. Obvious drawing of responses from wider reading for the most appropriate response specific to this organisation. Shows a superior understanding of the media cycle and stakeholders’demands for information. Gives a detailed, easy to read guide that accounts for the organisation’s situation, industry and size, and also takes in the principles of communication studied in the course. Shows a good understanding of the media cycle and stakeholders’demands for information. Provides a workable approach that accounts for media and stakeholder information needs. Easy to read and understand. Provides a list of activities that would provide a basic approach to a crisis. Takes into account some media and stakeholder information needs, but could be presented in more depth. Fails to provide a process that would enable the organisation to deal with the information needs of the media or stakeholders. Does not show an understanding of the media information needs cycle or the information needs of stakeholders according to their particular situation. In short, this section would provide no comfort to a communicator or senior management in a crisis. /10
Introduction of the crisis, outline of type and effects. Gives an excellent understanding of the protential crisis and its effect on the organisation. Gives a good understanding of the potential crisis and its effect on the organisation. Outlines the crisis and gives some insight into how it might affect the organisation. Gives some facts but does not present the whole picture. Leave some questions unanswered that would be problematic if a scenario was to be developed for this potential crisis. Does not give sufficient detail on the potential crisis to allow development of the following sections. /2
Profile of stakeholders –prioritisation of the top three groups (although the issue may concern fewer than three groups), demographics, psychographics, how to communicate with them (channels etc). Excellent.
Demonstrates an in-depth understanding of how stakeholder groups should be segmented and the information that must be sought in order to communicate with them effectively. Use of wide reading to glean information that would normally be gained by focus group or survey (eg demographics, psychographics, situation). Good.
Shows ability to segment stakeholders sufficiently to ensure that channels and messages are effective. Demonstrated ability to find information on stakeholder groups that would inform more in-depth research if resources were available. Sound.
The stakeholder groups are well identified and sufficient detail is included to allow selection of communication channels and messages for this particular crisis. Basic.
Gives the bare bones of stakeholder segmentation and a few demographics and some psychographic data. Gives some leads on how to communicate with these groups, but not comprehensive. Does not identify specific stakeholder groups, but instead refers to general groups such as “the public”. Does not provide sufficient segmentation to identify effective ways to communicate with stakeholders. /8
Development of a holding statement for the crisis –inclusion of what is known, what the organisation is doing (eg working with authorities), message for key stakeholders and when it will have more news. Relays in a succinct and genuine way the key elements of a holding statement. The statement reflects a professional standard and could be used by the client immediately. It is well designed and easy to read. Relays all the key elements of a holding statement and is well written and presented. With minor amendments could be sent out by the client. Would satisfy the media and stakeholders while more information is sought. Outlines most of the key elements required in a holding statement but may needs a little work to develop it to a professional standard. Contains most of the elements of a holding statement relayed in a basic way. Would need some work to develop it to a professional standard. Misses many of the key elements of a holding statement and would require much work to bring it up to scratch for presentation to a client and then stakeholders. Language is clumsy, not clear or convoluted and the article poses many questions. /8
Three to five key messages – includes what is happening, what the company is doing, what stakeholders need to do, what will happen next. Key messages are well developed for the target stakeholder groups and obviously based on research of the groups and situation. Key messages include all the important messages and are based on some research. Key messages include most of the elements suggested in the course materials would resonate with stakeholder groups adequately. Key messages are adequate, but may not quite be tailored sufficiently for the stakeholder groups targeted. Key messages do not include the imperative elements and therefore do not provide important information for affected stakeholders. /8
Grammar, punctuation, spelling and typography. No errors. Occasional errors, still good quality work. Some errors. Quite a few errors. Too many errors. /4