Crisis Communications Planning for Transportation

Establishing a Crisis Communications Plan for each transportation project will mitigate negative repercussions and shorten crisis response time. Identify the possible risks associated with your project through discussions with your public relations team, legal staff, executives and project managers. Create a series of talking points addressing each potential crisis. These preparations facilitate immediate media response, but allow for the luxury of forethought and focus. Anticipate the needs of victims and possible legal consequences, and identify pertinent background information. Secure agreements with executives and legal staff concerning social media usage in the event of a crisis.

Crisis Communications for transportation public relations must happen quickly, almost instantly in a digital society. There is no time to create thorough plans after the crisis occurs, and the risks, talking points, facts and spokespersons must be identified in advance. Public opinion, inaccurate information and project members speaking to the media without authorization can muddle the message.

Each member of a project should be aware of existing crisis communications plans and the roles they are expected to fill in case of emergency. Identified spokespersons should be armed with relevant information and provided with on-camera media training. Any members participating in a project who are not qualified to speak with the media should be properly trained in media relations. Journalists on the hunt for a story can be ruthless, and their exploitation of untrained personnel is a risk factor to be identified.

In the event of a crisis, communicate facts honestly and quickly; do not attempt to hide. The public talks 24/7 on social media, and immediate engagement will mitigate negative reactions and minimize rumors. Express compassion for those involved and avoid shifting blame. A lack of sincerity, is obvious and detrimental. Providing regular status reports demonstrates compliance. Seventh Points Transportation Public Relations excels in crisis communications planning and possesses a unique transportation expertise.