Communication in Crisis and Business Continuity
26 May 2019
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Communication in Crisis and Business Continuity
Noke Kiroyan, President Commisioner – Kiroyan Partners
Doc. PR INDONESIA

By Noke Kiroyan, President Commissioner of Kiroyan Partners

 

JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – The progress of issues can be monitored by media monitoring before the crisis occurs. Meanwhile, risks can happen suddenly. On a larger scale are natural disasters. The handling process happens across sectors and the main task of prevention is on the government’s hands. The business world also needs to be alert with mitigation measures. Corporate unpreparedness for natural disasters will exacerbate the impact of the crisis.

Issues, risks, or natural disasters are factors that must be taken into account by companies. Companies need to design mitigation measures and communication with the stakeholders. Mitigation measures are outlined in Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

SOP in the field of communication in a crisis situation (crisis communications) and who is authorized to be the company’s spokesperson. The appointment of the spokesperson must be explained clearly and cannot be misinterpreted. The following are examples of a mining company that I have led:

  1. The ones who are authorized to deliver comments, statements or information to the public or media on behalf of the company are only the president director and general manager of external affairs, and in the case of both being unable, the authority rests with the general manager of HR affairs.
  2. Employees who are asked by the media to give comments or discuss policies, procedures, company operations or other issues related to staffing should invite the interviewer to meet the general manager who will bring the relevant person in charge with the authorities in accordance with the provision (1).
  3. Employees who are not authorized to provide statements to the media must inform them to meet with their superiors who will bring together a spokesperson who is authorized to provide information to the media. Full information about the related reporter, the media represented, telephone numbers, and deadlines must be obtained from the reporter in advance.

From the excerpt of SOP above, it is clear that all employees must have the same understanding. The understanding that is formed through international communication activities. All general managers, including those who do not have the authority as a spokesperson, must undergo media handling training.

In the era of social media, there are additional skills that PR practitioners must possess.  In Timothy Coombs’s book titled Ongoing Crisis Communication – Planning, Managing and Responding, he said that today there are many companies in the United States that created the position of social media manager. They have the task to organize and oversee the company’s social media strategy.

Including identifying threats and opportunities that arise on social media. The requirements that social media managers have are also not technical, but also an understanding of communication and marketing activities. A discussion about a crisis is not complete without reviewing business continuity. Related to this, I quoted Timothy Coombs called The Handbook of Crisis Communication. He said that business continuity strives for operations to keep running, as a whole or in part in the event of a disaster or crisis. Business continuity is very closely related to crisis management. Every company needs to have a Business Continuity Plan and a team that coordinates with the crisis management team. When a disaster or crisis occurs, the company’s leadership is guilty of not preparing himself and all of his staff for all the possibilities that could occur.

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