Takeaways From a Recent Crisis Communications and Planning Workshop

Takeaways from a crisis communications workshop

written by Atlas Marketing President, Christopher Martin

Lately, the topic of crisis communications and planning has become a hot one within many associations, organizations, and companies reaching out to discuss or request a seminar.

I’m glad. Not just for the obvious reasons of continued conversations but more for the attention crisis preparedness has gained.

As the construction industry is typically known for extensive planning and following schedules, it’s not surprising that a crisis can have an immense and far-reaching impact on a company or jobsite. That is why sharing key takeaways from the recent activities surrounding this topic will help those not as focused on preparing for the inevitable.

An eye-opening discussion

The most common comment I receive upon completing a crisis communications and planning seminar or session is, “You’ve forced me to rethink so much.” I believe this is because a crisis comes in so many various forms. In fact, our team at Atlas Marketing defines a crisis as a disruption to a company’s daily operations. That broad definition opens the conversation well beyond the construction industry’s traditional focus of an onsite injury or fatality.

To that point, many companies realize that preparing for a weather-related event or a cybersecurity threat has just as large an impact as the more traditional definitions of a crisis.

As leaders, expanding your thinking and planning for the worst-case scenario is vital to success. It is our responsibility as leaders to prepare and protect not only the company but those who work there. The more company and industry leaders I have the opportunity to speak with, the more I realize that the vast majority take this responsibility seriously and seek planning methods.

Safety and crisis preparedness go hand in hand

Most professionals within the construction industry acknowledge that having a strong safety culture will reduce crises. The challenge comes when an event occurs, and the necessary roles and responsibilities are not defined. Chaos ensues.

The construction industry has become so adept at planning, recognizing, and improving the safety of jobsites across the country that developing a communications response has been pushed to the wayside. I believe that many Safety Directors or Risk Managers have realized that the safety message has permeated the industry, and it is time to strengthen that message with details on the response aspect. With that said, I am not talking about submitting incident reports or post-event debriefs, but more so strengthening the existing safety culture to define roles and responsibilities for others within a company.

In a recent seminar, I witnessed each participant share their intent on understanding how to improve communications when an incident occurs with their teams. These conversations were not happening even five years ago around crisis communications and planning. We are progressing as our understanding of and acceptance of safety improves.

At its core, successfully managing a crisis response lies in the communication skills of leaders. It is for this fact that I believe the construction industry is ready to tackle the next wave of safety message expansion, and that is supporting your internal safety message with a crisis response plan.

The bottom line strengthens during a crisis response

After a crisis subsides and the proverbial dust settles, most company leaders return their attention to future work. It makes sense. Once the crisis is over, it should be time to move on and return to business.

However, there is more to crisis management than just getting back to work. And if you don’t understand this, your reputation could begin to tarnish.

Many companies that successfully manage a crisis may not realize the impact their company reputation takes but may quickly see its impact or limit on future work and recruitment efforts.

These unforeseen impairments are why a proper crisis communications response plan is necessary. Managing your company reputation builds trust and ensures that future clients and workers feel comfortable working with your firm. Is it worth the risk to not prepare?

Insurance and risk management rely on a focused crisis communications program

Lastly, many insurance providers and risk management firms offer a reduction in premiums to those who have developed and maintain a crisis communications plan.

In working with many insurance providers, Atlas Marketing has found that this crucial industry partner will go to great lengths to help their clients achieve success. In fact, many will engage with our team to provide planning seminars or individual communications support.

Most importantly, many programs provide the financial support of a crisis communications plan development or crisis response within policies. Please confirm with your provider as to the specifics of your policy.

Preparing for a crisis builds trust with your employees, clients, and partners. It also allows future clients and workers to know and understand that events or incidents that may impact them are being acknowledged and safely maintained. Crisis planning is a practice well worth the time and money to prepare today.

Want to learn more about crisis communications and planning? Atlas can help!

Atlas Marketing, with offices in both Lititz, PA, and Pittsburgh, PA, is a digital marketing agency with a focus on telling stories for companies that build things. Our agency provides marketing services tailored to clients within the construction, automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and industrial industries. We offer both traditional and digital marketing services such as advertising, digital marketing, content creation, public relations, construction marketing, brand development, social media management, and proposal writing. Atlas also specializes in crisis communications and planning, with the ability to set up workshops and custom workbooks for interested companies. Learn more about our wide range of services and our team members through our website and stay updated on our latest news through our quarterly newsletter, blogs, and social media channels. Contact us today to explore how our skilled team can support your needs and to discover more about crisis communications and planning.