A united front
As part of their crisis management and business continuity planning efforts, many organisations quite rightly consider media communications as an essential element. As a result, they give the directors or senior managers who may be called upon as media spokespeople training in crisis communications and media interview techniques. This is a very good thing to do.
But how many organisations consider their "front of house" staff, such as receptionists, telephonists or security guards when drawing up their crisis communications training plans? The answer is not many. But these people may well be your "front line troops" in an emergency and may find themselves having to deal with the media because of the nature of the job they do.
A crisis communications plan is an essential part of good crisis management. And a good crisis communications plan considers all avenues. It considers not only all the likely audiences but also all those who have a role to play in putting your message across. And as part of the planning process it provides the necessary tools, including training, for all these people.
So don’t neglect your front line troops. They can influence the way your organisation is perceived just as much as your top brass can.