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Crisis Communication Plan Fundamentals

Why have a crisis communication plan?

Every business should have a crisis communications plan. A plethora of stakeholders need to stay up to date during even the worst disaster. Key stakeholders to consider when creating a communications plan include customers, suppliers, investors, employees, management, and your Cloud service provider. The left foot needs to know what the right foot is doing.

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Consider the threat of a hurricane, fire, flood, or other natural disaster. Employees are sent home and may not know when to come back to work. Suppliers might still try to send you goods and services, but won’t be able to reach your facility- and they’ll still charge you. Your business’ manufacturing department may still be expecting orders, leading to inefficiencies. Customers may stop buying your products and services if you are unresponsive to their needs and fail to establish a recovery time frame for them.

Your plan must detail the various channels, times, and to whom your business needs to communicate. Employees need to be told where to go, when they are allowed to come back to work, where to come back to work, and if any work should be done from home. Employees also need the right technology and to know where to go to access this information. Without Cloud Communications, this process can be very challenging.

Cloud Communications platforms can build out infrastructure that supports remote work, mobile phones, and other communication for your company even during a disaster. Remote employees can still use communication services like sending/receiving faxes, creating conference calls, and voicemail.

Backup your Contacts

Any communication plan relies on access to your business’ data, especially contacts. Without contact information, addresses, payroll, contracts, and any other legal documents, your crisis communication plan will be sure to fail. Additionally, just as critical as your crisis communication plan, is your data backup plan. To gain peace of mind, businesses should backup their data to the Cloud. This includes important contacts and information that you may need access to in the event of an emergency. Contacts for insurance agencies, asset management ledgers, supply chain managers, among others, are crucial for restoration and business continuity. The difference between a crisis communication plan and an effective crisis communication plan starts with the Cloud.

Contact your Cloud service provider

You need to know when to contact your Cloud provider in the case of an emergency. Inform your Cloud provider if you are forced to evacuate your building, anticipate employees working remotely, or feel that your data center is at risk. Ideally, you’ll contact your Cloud service provider 24 - 48 hours before a disaster could strike, like a hurricane. At the very least, it's imperative that you communicate at the time of disaster when you need failover to the Cloud. The quicker you can inform your Cloud provider of a potential failover situation, the better and more seamless the transition. After the disaster has passed and your primary machines are up and running, talk to your Cloud provider to failback onto your own systems.

The Bottom Line

Your business stresses communication. Make sure you have the right equipment and services that can facilitate this communication even during a disaster! Here at NewCloud, we have Hosted PBX and other unified business communication services to make your crisis communication plan an effective, safe and trusted plan, all thanks to the Cloud. 

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Matthew Fall

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