Where is your crisis plan?
Did it disappear when you cleaned your office or moved? Is it so old that it still lists fax numbers for colleagues who left the company 10 years ago? Do you even have one?

A crisis plan that includes and leads with strong and useful communications strategies and tactics, is often discussed in business but all too often it is either half written or never finished!

If you manufacture products, you need a crisis plan.
If you make food or ingredients, you need a crisis plan.
If you “simply” work with other people, in an office, using a computer, yes, you need a crisis plan.

Factories blow up. Good food can, despite every effort, go bad. And while an office may seem “clean” and safe,” computers fail, data can be lost, and ceilings fall and water pipes leak.

Travis Taylor, a senior vice president at Fineman Public Relations in San Francisco, outlined on May 26 what business and organization leaders need in a crisis plan. He spoke before one of the great Bay Area professional organizations of which I’m a member, the San Francisco Public Relations Round Table.

First, prepare your crisis plan: Your industry most likely has a template for a crisis plan and you should get a copy today. Your very own plan — it doesn’t need to be long — should and will include concrete safety-oriented steps to take, emergency personnel who must be notified, and corporate representatives to contact and call in to be on the scene. It is always helpful to run a drill at least twice a year so everyone knows what to do, where to go, who to contact.

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