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Are you prepared to communicate
for your library during a crisis?

With a news cycle that continually fuels our concerns for ourselves and our organizations, you may find yourself wondering, "am I prepared for a crisis?"

When it comes to crisis communications planning for libraries, I am here to help. I have extensive experience managing many different types of crises for a major library system.

I have a section on crisis communications strategies in my upcoming book for ALA Editions, coming out later this year, but for now, here are a few tips.

Assess Your Library's Preparedness

In order to manage communications during a crisis, you need to first know your organization's Crisis Response Plan, i.e. what you will do in the event of a crisis. A crisis response plan may be complemented by a Continuity of Operations Plan, which describes how you will continue to operate (or not) in different types of situations, such as a large number of employees staying home due to illness.

If your organization does not yet have a Crisis Response or Continuity Plan, I recommend that you quickly designate someone to be in charge of creating one. In libraries, this responsibility typically resides with the Director of Security or Facilities; but depending on your structure, it could be a director, assistant director or some other responsible person. You can request examples from other libraries; most libraries are happy to share. 

Once you know your crisis response plan, you can develop and implement your Crisis Communications Plan, which describes how you will communicate in the event of a crisis. This includes who will communicate, what they will say, what audiences need to hear the message, and how you will reach them. Here's a blog post about creating a Crisis Communications Plan. 

The distinction between a Crisis Response Plan and a Crisis Communications Plan is an important one. Library leadership team members need to be clear on what their responsibilities are for responding to and communicating during a crisis. Otherwise, it’s easy for people to get overwhelmed when a crisis occurs and not know what to do.

Recommended Listening

Last year, I did an interview with the Business Resilience Decoded podcast about crisis communications for libraries. In it, I share practical tips as well as specific scenarios and examples from my experience. Click here to read a transcript or listen to the recording. 

Need More Help?

I am here to help. Whether via consulting services or training, in person or online, I can walk you through the process so that you can develop a comprehensive, easy-to-implement Crisis Communications Plan.

I am also available to review your existing plans and provide suggestions. I can help identify where you might have gaps, recommend who might need to be involved, and help you manage other aspects of your planning. 

Crisis communications doesn't have to be scary or daunting. With the right plans in place, you can rest easier knowing that you have a process and a plan in place. 
Blog Posts About Crisis Communications
Copyright © 2020 Cordelia Anderson Consulting L.L.C., All rights reserved.