Planning is essential in Public Affairs. A crisis, by definition, is an unplanned event. Having a general response and contingency plans in place can save time in the event of a crisis. It is also possible that predicted issues and incidents have the potential to become a crisis. Being prepared for these can prevent escalation.
Planning is necessary for dealing with crises that cannot be prevented. Once the crisis strikes, having a plan will save time, reduce stress, mitigate confusion among team members and make good decision quickly.
To be prepared:
- Consider all of the possible situations that could occur, especially those specific to the base location (i.e., aircraft crash, ship breach, fuel leak, etc.).
- Write out detailed media and visual information procedures, so there is no confusion about what must be done, especially during a crisis.
- List out team members, Higher Headquarters personnel, and their contact information to ensure everyone can be brought in quickly in the event of a crisis.