Crisis Communication Plan
Media and Community Crisis Communication for Natural Disaster
3001 N.E.W. Way Hays, Kansas 67601
Mandeh Dapoet/Tasha Richmeier/Kylie Morel
The CEO or HR manager should assign a person either in the crisis communications team or an executive assistant the job of updating the information in the manual on an ongoing basis as changes are made either amongst managers or other key personnel. Information such as cell phone numbers should automatically be forwarded to the person responsible for updating the manual should be updated often a year to identify any outdated information.
In the case of Nex-Tech Wireless, which is located in a geographic location prone to natural disaster, it is important to update the plan prior to the commencement of such seasons.
Review of the Crisis Plan Manual:
The manual of the crisis plan should be distributed to those leaders and staff in the organization who may be called upon during a crisis situation. Typically this would include;
- CEO and senior management
- Board members
- Crisis communication team leader and staff.
The completed communication plan should be presented and explained at a meeting of the management team. In addition, the entire staff should be informed of the new communications plan that has been developed and that a specific policy / procedure now exist for how to respond to a crisis.
This communication should explain in general terms what kinds of events and issues could constitute a crisis and impress on all staff to the importance of alerting their immediate supervisor to any eventual situation that may pose a risk to the organization.
This Plan review chart will allow the Crisis Communications team (CCT) to keep track of when changes were made, who made the changes, which approved the revision and any special notes regarding the update. The Crisis Communication team (CCT) will review this plan either monthly, quarterly or bi- yearly basis to check that;
- Contact list and information list are current.
- New initiatives or identified risk are assessed and included.
- Changes to risk communication policies, practices or procedures are up to date
Plan Instructions- Nex-Tech Wireless will keep a copy of this plan both at office and off-site. A copy of the plan will also be maintained offsite both electronically and in paper format. It is the responsibility of the crisis communications leader (CCTL) to ensure that a copy of the plan is available to each member of the team, other staff and key emergency response partners for use in the event of a crisis. It is also the responsibility of the crisis communication team leader to ensure that the plan is kept up –to –date and that the team members have read the plan and understood the content.
However, communicating before, during and after a crisis is important not only when working with the media, but also with employees, family members and company stakeholders.
Firstly, the spokesperson must recognize and have a comprehensive list of the media, and then proceed by stating that our primary objective here at Nex-Tech Wireless is for the safety of our employees, the communities in which we operate and our esteemed customers who at this point in time have been affected by the unexpected interruption of our service caused by the heavy storm that brought down our network tower located beside the Hays regional airport. We are putting all hands on deck to restore the excellent service that you have helped us build and maintained over the years, we have in place a capable crisis management team that are working with relevant authorities to curtail the situation as soon as possible. Thank you for your time and we will keep you updated as events unfold.
Plan Review Chart
|Plan Revision Date||Name of Reviser||Approved By||Notes|
Introduction: Nex-Tech Wireless’s Crisis Communications Plan
Why is this plan important?
It is imperative for any company to have a well thought out and prepared Crisis Communications Plan. Nex-Tech Wireless has a reputable image in the community that we would like to maintain even if faced with a crisis. An effective Crisis Communication Plan will ensure that Nex-Tech Wireless can stay on track with its goal of being a superior nationwide cell phone provider.
What could happen if the plan is not followed?
If the Crisis Communication Plan is not followed in the event of an emergency it is possible that Nex-Tech Wireless could lose its reputation of being an honest, trustworthy, and reliable company. This in return will prohibit our goal of providing superior cell phone service to customers in a community driven atmosphere.
Had a Crisis Happened to Nex-Tech Wireless before?
Fortunately Nex-Tech Wireless has not been subjected to any previous crisis. However, preparedness is the key to avoiding, and properly handling any emergency we may encounter in the future.
Has a Crisis Happened to Similar Companies?
Yes. Cell phone providers, large and small encounter crisis everyday. It is how the company handles those crisis and emergencies that determine the success of that particular company in any given situation.
By signing this statement, I verify that I have read this crisis communications plan and am prepared to put it into effect if a situation arises.
President and CEO
Director of Network Operations and Engineering
Director of Finance and Operations
Director of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Care
Crisis Management Team:
Johnie Johnson-President & CEO
Karly Rogers- Director of Sales, Marketing & Customer Care
Brian Spurgeon-Director of Finance & Operations
Jeff Kisner- Director of Network Operations & Engineering
Jeff Schumacher-Supply Chain Management Supervisor
Thomas Zimmerman-Customer Care Supervisor
Alicia Hering-Retail Manager
Corrina Hudsonpillar-Marketing and Public Relationships Supervisor
Tasha Richmeier-Marketing Coordinator
Evan Pfannenstiel-IT Specialist
Dorothy Stieben- Agent Manager
Jackie Flemming- Super Agent Manager
Aaron Gillespie-Carrier Relations Supervisor
Brian Brungardt-Switch Operations Supervisor
Brad Williams-Cell Operations Supervisor
Equipment and Supplies:
- Flip Charts
- Highway Maps
- Street Maps
- Computer Printers
- Cell Phones
- Cell Phone Chargers
- Extension Cords
- Telephone Directories
- Contact Lists
- Media Directories
- Press Kit
- Crisis Communication Plan
- Non-perishable items
Statement from Management to Employees:
Cell phones are becoming any essential part to almost everyone’s daily life. This leaves Nex-Tech Wireless with not only a large opportunity to expand business, but also with a large responsibility to protect our customers, and the company in a time of crisis.
Nex-Tech Wireless is primarily based in western Kansas, which situates us right in the middle of tornado alley. While tornados are not a common occurrence, they can be devastating if equipment, buildings, and other items are damaged. Because of these potential dangers it is essential for Nex-Tech Wireless to have a well-devised and practiced Crisis Communications Plan.
Although we have fit this plan to assist in the event of a natural disaster, this plan can be quickly modified to assist with other crisis. Nex-Tech Wireless has worked diligently for several years to build a superior network as well as provide affordable and cutting edge technology to western Kansas. If this Crisis Communication Plan is not followed in the event of an emergency it could mean dire consequences for the whole Nex-Tech Wireless community.
Nex-Tech Wireless has prided itself on improving the communities where we all live, work and play. In the event of a crisis it is imperative that we remain calm while restoring service to all of our customers and also offering assistance in the community.
Nex-Tech Wireless Quick Facts:
•Rural Telephone/Nex-Tech formed a partnership with Golden Belt Telephone to create Nex-Tech Wireless: May 10, 2004
•Mutual Telephone joined the Nex-Tech Wireless partnership: March 22, 2005
•Nex-Tech Wireless Chief Executive Officer/General Manager: Johnie Johnson
•Current Company Headquarters: 3001 New Way, Hays, KS 67601
•Telephone:785-621-3600; 877-621-2600 ( Toll Free)
•Employment: Approximately 75 employees in central and western Kansas
•Estimated Annual Payroll of Nex-Tech Wireless Employees: $4.7 million
•Nex-Tech Wireless Retail Stores in Hays: 4310 North Vine, 2918 Vine
•Nex-Tech Wireless Super Agents:
- Golden Belt Telephone – 826 Washington, Ellis; 114 West Main, Ness City; 103 Lincoln, Rush Center Rural Telephone – 118 West Main, Hill City; 145 Main Street, Lenora; 1127 Castle Rock Street, Quinter; 137 Main, WaKeeney; 238 East Wichita, Russell; 901 Morgan Avenue, Downs; 221 West Main, Osborne
- Nex-Tech – 2418 Vine Street, Hays; 117 North Norton, Norton; 770 4th Street, Phillipsburg; 112 South Main, Plainville; 705 North F, Smith Center; 523 Main, Stockton; 3705 10th Street, Great Bend
- Mutual Telephone Company – 365 Main Street, Little River; LR Communications, 108 East Avenue South, Lyons; 127 South Broadway, Sterling
•Nex-Tech Wireless Agents: The Great Outdoors, Atwood; TRW Communications, Hoxie; Ultimate Fertilizer Company, Oberlin; Dennis Wilson Auto Center, Inc., Larned; S&T Telephone Cooperative Association, Dighton; S&T Communications LLC, Colby; S&T Communications LLC, Goodland; S&T Communications LLC, Oakley; Keller Auto, St. Francis; Nancy Baird, Ellinwood; Bruce’s Carpet, Tile, & Appliance, Scott City; Lincoln Grocery, Lincoln; Ellsworth Antique Mall, Ellsworth; Healy Oil Company, Healy; Cheyenne Hardware, Hoisington; Heim TV and Appliance, Hoxie; Carr Auto-Electric, Larned; Cowboyz Video, Goodland; Cooksey Appliance & TV, Quinter; Beringers, Colby; St John Floral, St. John; R&R Communications, Scott City; and Phone Depot, Hays.
•Technology Used: CDMA 1XRTT and EVDO Rev A
Biographies of Nex-Tech Wireless CEO & President, and Directors:
Johnie Johnson CEO/General Manager: Johnie brings more than 13 years of wireless experience in operating and managing rural, regional and national wireless companies. He has held positions with U.S. Cellular, Telecorp PCS, SunCom Wireless, AT&T Wireless and Mid- Missouri Cellular.
Jeff Kisner Director of Operations and Engineering: Jeff brings more than 18 years of telecommunications and wireless experience. Prior to joining Nex-Tech Wireless, Jeff held positions with MCI, Kansas Cellular and Alltel.
Karly Rogers Director of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service: Karly brings more than 13 years of wireless experience to the company. Prior to joining Nex-Tech Wireless, Karly held positions with Kansas Cellular and Alltel.
Brian Spurgeon Director of Finance and Operations: Prior to joining Nex-Tech Wireless, Brian was part of the leadership teams for Community Broadband, CASCO Communications and Keith Brown Building Materials. Brian’s management experience spans departments including finance, accounting, operations, IT, customer service and human resources.
In the event of destruction to company property from any natural disaster it is vital to take immediate action to restore service to all of our customers. It is also key to provide accurate information to the media so that our publics may be informed quickly and accurately. By being open and honest we will maintain a close relationship with our customer base and show we truly are passionate about the communities where we live, work, and play.
We will make every effort to:
Set up a central command center for all crisis team personnel to meet and discuss solutions while initiating the crisis communications plan within 2 hours of the incident.
- Inform all employees and board members as to the damage, progress, and possible solutions for the situation.
- Inform all media outlets in our area within 3 hours of the crisis.
- Maintain all contact with media and key publics over the duration of the crisis.
- Handle crisis with diligence, openness, and honesty through the entire process.
- Evaluate the crisis after it has been resolved so to prevent further incident, or to perfect crisis management plan.
Our marketing and public relationships department will keep updated information on our website. This will reduce both the number of phone calls from the public and the amount of time we put into crisis recovery. We will encourage feedback, comments and questions from our publics. Keeping updated information on our site will alert the public and provide them with responses and explanations.
Blogs & Social Media:
Our marketing and public relations department will update both our Facebook and our Twitter page with information as soon as it is received. This will prevent confusion and allow us to provide our publics with the necessary information.
Nex-Tech Wireless Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/NexTechWireless
Nex-Tech Wireless Twitter Page:
List of Key Publics:
It is important to note that when crises occur some key publics are to be informed and can be categorized in this form of importance:
- Enabling publics which include- board members, shareholders, investors, and key executives
- Functional publics which includes- employees, unions, suppliers, customers
- Normative publics- professional organizations and competitors
- Diffused publics- media, neighbors of physical plant, community groups
Identifying the Media Spokesperson:
The media spokesperson will represent Nex-Tech Wireless and speak on behalf of the company; it could either be the CEO, PR/ media coordinator, HR/Safety division head or the information technology coordinator. In considering the main spokes person or back-up spokesperson it is good for the company to consider the following:
- The spokes person must be articulate and accessible throughout the crisis
- The spokesperson must have the power to make decisions.
- The spokesperson must be professional, rational, concerned and empathetic during the crisis.
In the event of multiple spokespersons their comments must be the same. The following key executive will serve as key spokesperson and alternates for Nex-Tech Wireless in a crisis situation:
- The CEO and President, Johnnie Johnson will be the key media spokesperson.
- Karly Rogers- Director of Marketing, Sales & Customer Care
- Corrina Hudsonpillar- Marketing & PR Supervisor
The primary and backup spokespersons contact information should be listed for ease of communication in the case of absence or when vital information is needed urgently.
|Johnie JohnsonCEO and President||
3001 N.E.W. Way
|Karly RogersDirect of Marketing, Sales & Customer Care||
3001 N.E.W. Way
|Corrina HudsonpillarMarketing & PR Supervisor||
3001 N.E.W. Way
The spokespersons should be prepared to answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions.
A focus of 3 key messages should be rehearsed by the spokespersons and communicated repeatedly during the interview or press statement.
Useful information regarding company safety / emergency procedures should be handy and on point.
Reporters like attention and recognition, be courteous, show respect and always answer them by their names.
Honesty is important avoid misinformation and exaggerated statements.
Key Messages by the Spokesperson:
Key Message 1:
Most often reporters will call before all the facts have been gathered, in such instance, a simple statement acknowledging the situation is extremely useful. The short statement should avoid “NO COMMENTS” and acknowledge the need to communicate with the media.
At approximately———(Time) Today———(Date) A ———-(tornado, storm, fire, etc) occurred at the Nex-Tech Wireless administrative location beside the Hays Regional Airport, however our crisis team is working with emergency services and law enforcement personnel are now responding to the scene.
Key Message 2:
Nex-Tech Wireless is a wireless communications company of elevated quality, dedication, compassion and pose to meeting the information technology needs of its esteemed customers.
- Nex-Tech Wireless has for the past 6 years provided wireless phone services and installations to over 40 counties in western Kansas and eastern Colorado.
- Our major focus is to provide affordable wireless solutions. Nex-Tech Wireless utilizes an interdisciplinary team of telecommunications professionals and trained technical staff that address the various needs and challenges expressly tailored towards qualitative communications delivery.
Key Message 3:
As always our major concern is for the safety of our customers, community and our staff, we are currently determining the details of the incident and determining how this might affect our ability to provide services. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Evaluation of the Plan:
During and after the crisis the Nex-Tech Wireless crisis communication team leader (CCTL) will coordinate with the crisis communication team (CCT) to:
1. Review crisis coverage
• Review media outlets that have inquired about the situation
• Review media within a designated area of the facility (distance depends on the nature of the event)
• Review national and business media
• Conduct regular searches through Internet search sites for key words, such as the name of the incident, people involved, etc.
• In some cases you may want to monitor blogs, comment boards or chat sites to evaluate community/employee concerns and comments. Keep in mind the following when reviewing these sites:
1. Although things should be taken seriously, understand that blogs and comments board can be used simply to “let off steam.”
2. Nex-Tech Wireless or members of the crisis communication team (CCT) should NEVER respond, even anonymously, through a blog or chat site. The only exception is if Nex-Tech Wireless establishes a comment board specifically to address concerns and clearly advertises the site for that purpose. Keep in mind, however, that all communication can be pulled for legal purposes, so all communication through this site, like all media communication, should go through official review/approval procedures before posting.
2. Identify story trends
• What is the media’s main focus?
• Is the focus changing?
3. Identify public and key stakeholder issues
• What are the major issues being addressed through the media?
• What questions or concerns are being posed?
• Incorporate lessons learned into crisis plan when updating.
• During the crisis and afterward, lessons learned (e.g., what types of information are needed, what approach the media takes to a certain type of story, what the media, public and shareholders are asking, etc.) should be noted to assist in planning and response for future situations.