7Collaboration: Collaborate and Coordinate With Credible Sources

In almost all cases, crises are abnormal events that require people, groups, companies, agencies, and communities to behave in nonroutine ways. Often this includes the participation and help of outside groups and stakeholders in responding to the crisis. Sometimes these are groups the organization facing a crisis knows well, such as suppliers and customers. In other cases, these may be groups the company has little experience with, such as regulatory agencies, government groups, first responders, and community support agencies. The support and cooperation of those groups and agencies can be very important in helping an organization successfully manage a crisis. Collaborating, coordinating, and cooperating with these groups is a best practice of crisis communication.

Good risk and crisis communication is based on establishing strategic partnerships with key groups and communities before a crisis occurs and maintaining those partnerships as the crisis develops. These collaborative relationships allow agencies and organizations to coordinate their plans, messages, and activities and pool their resources. Developing a precrisis network is a very effective way of coordinating and collaborating with other credible sources. To maintain effective networks, crisis planners and communicators should continuously seek to identify and validate sources of information, identify subject matter experts, and develop relationships ...

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