3Preevent Planning: Engage in Preevent Planning for Crisis Communication

A second crisis communication best practice is preevent planning. Planning the response to a possible crisis is one of the most important steps in creating an effective response. In general, planning is most effective when it is an ongoing process rather than a specific one‐time outcome or document. Although we recommend having a crisis plan on the shelf, having a plan does not necessarily ensure an effective response. The plan must be updated and, when needed, executed correctly. Planning does have a variety of benefits, including identifying areas of risk and making efforts to reduce them, presetting the initial crisis responses so decision making during a crisis is more efficient, and identifying necessary resources to respond. These resources include people, information, skills, and materials. In addition, analyzing and assessing the most likely risks are important for crisis prevention and management.

What Does Planning Involve?

Planning is something we all do. It is a process of thinking about and anticipating what might need to happen to achieve a desired outcome or goal. Planning to cook dinner involves developing a menu, determining ingredients, anticipating how many people will be eating, and working out the timing of the cooking. Planning is necessary to prepare a good dinner. Planning is also part of our everyday efforts in almost all our activities, such as studying, traveling, shopping, ...

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