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This issue of Communication Command contains an interview about the evolution of business continuity, as well as an article about key questions management must ask before communicating in times of crisis. We hope you will enjoy our e-Newsletter.
Summer 2017
Cybersecurity Panel Discussion
On October 10, 2017, C4CS® Managing Partner Oliver S. Schmidt will participate in a panel discussion about "Preparing Your Business Clients for the Inevitable." The panel discussion is part of a Continuing Legal Education seminar on "Current Developments in Privacy and Cybersecurity" hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI).
For more information concerning the CLE seminar please click here.
Conference Champion
C4CS® will be a Conference Champion and conduct a workshop at the 2017 Emergency Preparedness and Hazmat Response Conference. The annual conference is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Region 13 Task Force in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and will be held October 17 - 19, 2017.
Please click here if you would like to register for the conference.
Crisis Communication Workshop
C4CS® has accepted the invitation to conduct a scenario-based crisis communication workshop at the 2017 IABC Heritage Region Conference. Please click on this link if you are interested in additional information concerning the conference and our workshop.
If you would like to have C4CS® conduct a seminar or workshop for your organization, please contact us at training@c4cs.com.
Collaboration with
CRP Continues
C4CS® has renewed its partnership with Charlotte Regional Partnership (CRP) and our team is looking forward to continuing the mutually beneficial collaboration through 2018.
A nonprofit, public/private economic development organization, the Charlotte Regional Partnership leverages regional resources to market the 16-county Charlotte, North Carolina region. The Partnership’s business development activities position Charlotte USA for sustained, long-term growth, job creation and investment opportunities.
2017 IABC
World Conference
Dianne Chase, C4CS® Senior Partner and immediate past International Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), addressed IABC members from around the world at the 2017 IABC World Conference in Washington, DC, in June.
IABC has more than 10,000 members and is currently represented in about 70 countries. The photograph above shows Dianne as she welcomes conference attendees.
Issues Management Seminar
C4CS® Managing Partner Oliver S. Schmidt recently conducted an Issues Management Seminar at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin) in Germany. The session focused on key issues management and crisis communication concepts and included case study material and group discussion.
Please contact us at training@c4cs.com if you would like to have C4CS® conduct a seminar or workshop for your organization.
Reputation Strategy Presentation
In May, C4CS® Senior Partner and immediate past IABC International Chair Dianne Chase made a presentation on Reputation Strategy for IABC Jacksonville. The photograph above shows Dianne as she addresses the audience.
If you would like to have a senior member of C4CS® make a presentation for your organization, please contact us at info@c4cs.com.
Our next e-Learning course on 'Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Crisis Management' will be conducted August 7 through August 18, 2017. Congratulations to those who completed the course work and obtained a Certificate in Social Media Crisis Management Planning accredited by ICOR. The course brochure can be downloaded here.
If you have any questions concerning our e-Learning course, please contact us at training@c4cs.com.
Communication Command e-Newsletter
Please click here if you would like to access past issues of our e-Newsletter.

 
Five Questions about the Evolution of Business Continuity

Frank Shultz is Managing Director at BC in the Cloud, a fully integrated Risk, BIA, Planning, and Recovery platform. The company is headquartered in the greater Philadelphia area.

 
Frank Shultz

What does BC in the Cloud do and how did you start the company?

BC in the Cloud provides leading software and services for business continuity and disaster recovery planning with integration into other areas such as governance, risk, and compliance.
 
We were founded in 2013 by industry experts who realized there had to be a better way for organizations to plan, exercise, and respond to incidents of any kind. Previously, software was either too complicated or too basic, and most providers were using software developed at least 5-10 years in the past. By bringing to market a solution that is customizable yet easy-to-use, our customers have found value in using BC in the Cloud.


What types of companies are most likely to work with BC in the Cloud and why?

We have a wide range of customers in terms of number of employees, number of locations, industry, and global presence in both the public and private sectors. We view our relationships with our customers as partnerships and are committed to their success. If an organization has an interest in planning for the worst but ensuring they make the best possible recovery, we will very likely have a good partnership in working together.


How do you customize the solutions you are providing?

We work with our customers to achieve their goals and therefore help them to make our products adapt to the way they operate. Other solutions often require organizations to adapt to the way the product works, but that is not the case with BC in the Cloud. Almost everything that can be configured can be done by the customer, and we are available to assist if and when they want our help along the way.


What distinguishes your company from others in the marketplace?

Our products and services grow along with our customers because they can enable or turn on capabilities when they are ready to use them. In the last year alone, almost two-thirds of our customers added additional users or services. This tells us that their use of our platform is expanding as they on-board more locations, departments, and lines of businesses for areas both within Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery in the GRC space.
 
Another key area that differentiates our company from our competitors is the core value of partnerships with our customers that I briefly touched on earlier. We are not trying to do a volume business where we want to for instance add another 100 customers this year, as I heard a representative of another provider in our space say to employees in sales. We are not focused on the number of customers we add. Our goal is to make sure that all of our customers are successful in achieving their goals with our products and services. And because we know that customization is key in the area of business continuity, we go the extra mile to ensure that our solutions fit.


Can you describe how a company that suffered a data breach would benefit from using BC in the Cloud?

We can assist organizations that suffer any sort of outage or business interruption whether it be data breach, loss of location, loss of third party supplier, etc. Most of the ability to recover quickly and with minimal downtime and financial impact results from planning and gathering information ahead of time. If a company thoroughly assesses impacts and risks and successfully implements effective plans regarding how to respond to potential adversarial impacts, the organization has gone through the most important process steps required to be resilient.
 
Our solutions guide customers through identifying key dependencies as well as critical paths and in turn force discussions around single points of failure as well as escalation paths so employees know how to react when something happens. As we and our partner company C4CS frequently tell our client partners: In the event of a crisis few rise to the occasion. Everyone, however, sinks to the level of their crisis readiness.
 

Key Questions Management Must Ask before Communicating in Times of Crisis
 
As part of our crisis response practice, C4CS® consultants work closely with senior managers once a critical situation has occurred. Companies that have not worked with us during the pre-crisis phase often lack sufficient crisis communication planning and are hence unprepared to respond to stakeholder information needs.  

In order to communicate effectively and accomplish business objectives in times of crisis, our consultants guide management through a number of important questions that help determine the strategic and tactical communication approach, as well as what crisis related information will be communicated.

The following questions should be asked when developing the strategic and tactical communication response to a crisis.
  1. What is the desired outcome of the communication? (Objective)
  2. What will be communicated? (Content)
  3. Who will initiate the communication? (Sender)
  4. Which stakeholders will be communicated with? (Recipient)
  5. How and / or where is the communication going to happen? (Channel / Tool)
  6. How and / or where will stakeholders be able to provide input? (Feedback)
  7. When will the communication take place? (Timing)

After communicating during a crisis, these three questions should be asked so subsequent communication can be fine tuned.
  1. Were the communication objectives met?
  2. Is there a need to adjust the communication strategy and tactics?
  3. Is there a need to adjust internal, external and social media messages?
Information provided to stakeholders following the chosen strategic and tactical communication approach should address the following questions.
  1. What happened / is currently happening?
  2. When did it (first) happen? 
  3. Where did it / is it happen(ing)?
  4. Who was / is / will be affected and how do we feel about it?
  5. Why did it / is it happen(ing)?
  6. Is the situation under control?
  7. What was / is / will be done about it?
  8. What danger did / does / will it pose?
  9. When and how will more information be made available?
  10. Who may be contacted for additional information?
As our Message Triangle conveys, stakeholder specific crisis communication must include relevant facts and the expression of empathy. In addition, messages must impart what has already been done, what is currently being done, and what will be done in order to mitigate the situation and prevent recurrences.
                                              

If you have any questions concerning this article, please contact us at info@c4cs.com. We look forward to hearing from you.


Food For Thought
 

"No matter what job you have in life, your success
will be determined 5 percent by your academic
credentials, 15 percent by your professional
experiences, and 80 percent by your
communication skills."


Stephen Wang

 

Copyright © 2017 C4CS, LLC. All rights reserved.

Leaders in Strategic Communication
and Crisis Management


info@c4cs.com
www.c4cs.com