It is important to develop key messages that are clear, credible, useful, and believable.

Typically these messages will be built around the answers to three questions: What happened? What is being done about it? And what has been learned? The goal is to provide clear, straightforward, and accurate information in a timely fashion.

Once messaging has been decided, the next step is to put together a communication plan to ensure this messaging is delivered to all relevant audiences.

A crisis can unfold very rapidly, so communication plans must be flexible and responsive enough to deal with changing circumstances.

It is also important that plans are robust enough to maintain consistency of message across all audiences at all times; from senior management, to employees, customers, and suppliers.

Crisis Management Strategy

To develop a solid crisis management strategy, begin by identifying the types of situations that may emerge, and which ones pose the most risk to your company.

A good rule of thumb is to list three to five categories of crises, such as product recall, operational failure, or workplace misconduct.

Then, within each category, identify the specific scenarios that could occur and the impact they might have on your business.

In addition to identifying key issues, it’s important to determine who should be involved in managing a crisis and who is responsible for communicating with various stakeholders.

The more clearly you define these roles and responsibilities, the easier it will be when you are under pressure during a crisis.

Once roles are defined, it is essential to create detailed crisis response plans for each category of issue as identified in the previous step.

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Ronn Torossian’s Professional Profile on Muck Rack
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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.