Crisis Management Plan

What is a Crisis Management Plan?
A Crisis Management Plan is a strategy focused document designed to address the associated risks detailed within the Risk Assessment Plan (i.e., Mid-Term). The Final Project should be a comprehensive step-by-step guide to (ideally) plan accordingly to reduce the risks of any threats that may directly impact a brand’s reputation, profitability, safety, and/or overall operational readiness.
• The topic selection is the same organization and crisis scenario included in your Risk Assessment Plan and Process Map.
• A Crisis Management Plan is not the same as an essay (think Standard Operating Procedure). Information should be concise and clear, to direct and guide your organization on how to proficiently address the complexity of the core crisis scenario and the associated risks.
• This assignment should read as a cohesive and actionable document that aligns with your Risk Assessment section (which should be included in your final submission as an annex).
• Optional examples of Crisis Management Plans are provided below for your background/reference (but are not required) to be used (scroll down to see the examples). If you opt to use any of the provided templates (or other templates), you should ensure the project reflects your own original work. Anything that you did not create including images/verbiage/charts/templates must be cited and thoroughly explained in your own words.

Assignment Directions:
The Final Project submission should include the following elements:

  1. In the beginning of the Crisis Management section of the document, specifically detail your core crisis scenario (to include noting if it is real, hypothetical, or a combination of both), purpose of the Crisis Management section, and organizational background information for context. You can remove the crisis scenario and organizational background information from your risk assessment section and include it in the crisis management section.
  2. Create a checklist of tasks to be completed in each crisis phase: Pre-Crisis, During the Crisis, and Post Crisis. Specify at least one task that needs to be completed in the first 24 hours of the crisis (ensure each crisis phase checklist to include task(s) to be completed in the first 24 hours are clearly labeled). At least two specific and detailed tasks should be included in each crisis phase checklist.

     The checklists can be in a bullet/list format but ensure to clearly specify each task in the checklist. The checklists set the tone for your organization to prepare for and address the core crisis scenario.
     The checklists in each phase should be detailed (i.e., expand beyond using one/two words to ensure clarity/intent), illustrating an in-depth understanding of organizational preparedness and operational readiness.
  3. Detail the positions on the Crisis Management Team to include the specific responsibilities of each member to handle in alignment with the core crisis scenario.
    • Each position should have an accompanying description detailing specific responsibilities to handle during the crisis.
     There is no set number of positions for the team but ensure you have included members with the expertise to address the selected crisis.
     Crisis Management Team members are not just limited to positions within the company (i.e., the company may have to bring in other external experts/consultants to help in managing the crisis and/or collaborate with other organizations).
     Expand beyond including names of actual people and focus more on the position names (i.e., spokesperson, etc.) on the team. In a real-world situation, people may come/go within an organization, but positions usually stay the same.
  4. Detail and explain at least one secondary crisis (real or proposed) that the selected organization should anticipate as a result of the core crisis scenario.

     For Example: Think about other crises your organization should anticipate, that may happen as a result of the core incident. Be specific in your analysis to illustrate the importance of being proactive and forward thinking.
  5. Detail in-depth and specific strategies for each category: Prevention, Response, and Recovery based on your selected crisis. This information should be clearly labeled in the plan. If not specifically labeled, it will not be assumed that applicable information is included.
    This is an opportunity to illustrate your creativity, innovation, originality, and research skills to exemplify a deeper understanding and application of course material to include demonstrating your subject matter expertise based on your organization and core crisis scenario of choice.

    o Prevention: often deterrence or preparedness measures taken to avoid or avert the incident from causing extensive damage or from occurring all together (i.e., these are usually various measures that occur in the pre-crisis phase but may be continuous throughout the duration of the crisis if the incident is not preventable)
    o Response: intervention during or immediately following the crisis. Depending on the severity of the incident, this can sometimes occur over a shorter-time frame such as hours, days or weeks.
    o Recovery: the coordinated process of supporting impacted communities, stakeholders, and other entities effected by the crisis. Depending on the severity of the incident this can be occur over a longer-time frame such as months and/or years.
  6. The following required module activities should be clearly labeled and included (in the Crisis Management section) for consideration of credit:

    o Module 6 (Label 1): Press Questions and Answers (Q&A) Script
    o Module 6 (Label 2): Holding Statement Template
    o Module 10 (Label): Evaluation and Measurement

Annex Section:

  1. Risk Assessment Plan (i.e., the Mid-Term) should be included in your Final Project submission as an annex that directly follows the Crisis Management Plan requirements detailed above.
    The following elements should be included in the Risk Assessment section:
    You can remove the Risk Assessment Plan cover page but should label the Risk Assessment section accordingly.
    • The purpose of the Risk Assessment section (in the beginning of this section), the required Mid-Term analysis, the required Module 2 activity with the correct subheading, and your SWOT or PESTLE process map in its entirety (including any accompanying process map analysis).
    • Any previous feedback on module activities, the Risk Assessment Plan, and the process map should be addressed as this is a part of your grade.
    • Ensure the Risk Assessment section is in alignment with your Crisis Management Plan section. When submitting your Final Project, it should read as one comprehensive plan with applicable labels to indicate the transition between the crisis management section vs. the risk assessment section.

• Based on your identified core crisis scenario, develop a detailed script with at least two original questions and answers (Q&As) that organizational leadership (and/or spokesperson, designated member(s) of the Crisis Management Team, etc.) should be prepared to answer if asked by the media.
• Your Q&A should be included and clearly labeled within your Crisis Management Plan (and be in a question-and-answer format).
• Required information should be labeled with the following subheading: Press Questions and Answers (Q&A) Script.

• In a real-world context, even though a spokesperson may be the designated “authority” to engage with the media, “behind the scenes” other subject matter experts may help prepare communication and media engagement materials depending on the nature of the crisis.
• Even if engaging with the media (or developing communication materials) is not your usual role/profession (in a real-world context), this is a chance for you to practice developing a realistic and actionable script that can help guide your selected organization’s crisis communication efforts.
As you develop your script, think about the following:
• While it may be tempting to say “no comment” that is not a realistic response as that could be viewed by stakeholders as a lack of preparedness and/or understanding about the severity of the situation. Your script should help organizational leadership anticipate the types of questions they may receive.
• Expand beyond answers that simply say “yes or no”- and add responses that will truly prepare a spokesperson to address and respond to questions with clarity and confidence.
• To gain additional insight, you are encouraged to watch/research news conferences (and any other applicable media engagements) that can help provide additional examples and context to preparing for “tough” questions during a crisis.
*Due Date: the required Module 6 information should be included in the Crisis Management section of the Final Project submission and is due by the Final Project

Create a media kit based on your crisis scenario for inclusion in your Crisis Management Plan. You may find examples of media kits through your own research and in the module readings.
A media kit is a package of information, usually assembled and shared by a company to provide information about itself to reporters and stakeholders.
As you create your media kit, think about the following:

  1. How can the media kit be used to build relationships with press outlets that may report on the core crisis scenario?
  2. How can the media kit provide awareness to stakeholders during the incident? Sometimes if handled swiftly and efficiently, a crisis can serve as an opportunity to create “brand awareness” and help to positively guide the narrative.

Submission Guidelines:
• This should be your own original work
 You should not submit an existing media kit.
 You can use (and cite) supporting evidence-based research with the caveat that the submission should illustrate originality, innovation, and creativity.
 Any work that you did not originally create including images, must be directly cited, explained in your own words, and included in your work cited page.
• This information should be labeled in your Crisis Management Plan using the following subheading: EC-Media Kit.
 If the incorrect subheading is used, any other subheading is used, or no subheading is used-extra credit will not be considered.
• The media kit should be large enough to be read clearly.
• Detail at least one specific type of metric that can be applied to gauge the effectiveness of the organization’s handling of the core crisis scenario.
• The evaluation and measurement section should detail the following information:
o Name and description of the metric,
o How the measurement will be used and administered; and
o The significance of the collected information.
This information should be included in your Crisis Management Plan. Required information should be labeled with the following subheading: Evaluation and Measurement.

As you work on this section, think about the following questions:

  1. How will the Crisis Management Plan be tested to gauge effectiveness based on the core crisis scenario (i.e., what type of tests will be done, how often, who will be involved with the test, etc.).
  2. How will you test and measure the success of the plan and crisis response efforts to identify best practices and any areas of improvement?

• Develop at least one detailed and original holding statement template that could be populated and used to communicate with stakeholders during the crisis phase.
• If you include any [blanks] or areas in the template that need to be populated as the crisis evolves, you should explicitly note what type of information should be included in those applicable areas for context.
• Required information should be labeled with the following subheading: Holding Statement Template

• The holding statement template should illustrate an understanding of the incident, potential next steps, and any applicable actions/information that can help impacted stakeholders (and the media).
• Be specific and detailed to ensure that (in a real-world context), designated communication and other subject matter experts can use the provided template as a starting point to provide timely (and accurate) information to the media and stakeholders.
• Be mindful of using absolute language such as “this crisis will never happen again” and focus more on the current incident, communicating any actions/next steps, and providing reassurance to impacted parties.

*Due Date: the required Module 6 information should be included in the Crisis Management section of the Final Project submission and is due by the Final Project

Format Requirements:
• The Final Project should be submitted in Microsoft Word
 Other format submissions such as PDF, Google Docs, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. will result in at least a two full letter grade deduction to include the potential of having to re-submit the assignment in the correct format. Any included extra credit will not be considered.
• Double spaced (checklists and text included in any graphic, visual, or chart does not have to be double spaced).
• Any included graphic, visual, chart, or picture should be large enough to be read clearly.
• Times News Roman size 12 font (Font color for text should be Black unless it is a graphic or a subheading.)
• Subheadings are required to be used throughout the plan.
 Subheadings should be at least size 12 font and be in Times New Roman font. You can use the color of your choice for subheadings as long as it is readable.
 Subheadings are helpful during a crisis situation to easily find information and organize concepts.
 In some areas of the plan, you can bullet/list information, use footnotes, and/or use charts but ensure the meaning is clear.
 for ease of reference separate the organizational background information from the core crisis scenario (in at least two or more paragraphs).

• All acronyms should be spelled out the first time they are used even if they seem common.
• Page numbers are required.
• Cover page is required and should include the following information: First/last name, submission date, title of the assignment (a creative project name that is applicable is acceptable), and course name.
• APA format: Any work that you did not create (including images) must be directly cited, explained in your own words, and included in your work cited page.
 The bibliography/work cited section should be on a separate page (at the end of the document).
• The Crisis Management section should be no more than 15 pages double spaced. There is no minimum page requirement.
 Cover page, extra credit (optional), Risk Assessment Annex, and bibliography/work cited pages do not count toward the page length of the Crisis Management section of the Final Project.
• Submission should be a well-written and comprehensive document, present a clear understanding of course concepts, void of spelling/grammatical errors, incomplete sentences, and track changes.

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