Disaster recovery plans are essential. But what good is a plan if you can’t communicate with your recovery team members, co-workers and customers? Having participated in and presented a few mock disasters, I can say that communication is one of the key components of a successful exercise. Maintaining good communication between crisis management teams and company departments as the business interruption unfolds is crucial in any recovery plan.
A crisis communication plan requires strategies for notifying all levels of “customers,” whether internal or external, and the method of communicating to each may be as varied as the customers themselves. Phone, email, text, social media and printed/mailed documents all can and should be part of the plan. When one method is unavailable, having a backup is key to the successful continuation of your daily operations.
Looking at the communications plan from your end customers’ point of view, a good ol’ piece of paper in an envelope is still the most trusted method to receive communications. Depending on the nature of your business disruption, informing your customers of the status of your business can instill a sense of calm and confidence when you let them know that, despite the disruption, it is “business as usual.”
These days, it’s often a data security breach that will trigger your need for a crisis communication plan. Informing your customers of what steps you are taking to ensure the security of their personal information is not only an essential business practice, but also will be required by your state’s data security breach laws. The method and timing of how you communicate this information varies by state, but almost all require hard copy notification to be sent to the effected customers. It makes even more business sense to notify not just those effected, but to let all your customers know what you are doing to mitigate future risks to their personal information.
And what better use of your print and mail recovery plan than to utilize the production capacity at your recovery vendor for any hard-copy crisis communications needs? You not only refrain from disrupting your internal production, but it’s a great way to test your recovery plan. To make this transition even smoother, discuss this possible scenario with your vendor, confirm what materials may be needed, have pre-planned templates ready and verify the method of transmitting the data is in place. Then if the need arises, your crisis communications plan will be ready for action.
If you need assistance in developing a print and mail communications strategy for your company, give Mail-Gard a call. We’d be happy to help you with your own disaster recovery and crisis communications plan.
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