When preparing for a crisis, putting together a small core team of people who can act with complete confidentiality and make quick decisions is critical. When the ship Biscaglia was hijacked off the Somali coast, 45 people were on the first crisis conference call, says Tom Rozycki, SVP at Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications. After that call, the team was whittled down to eight. Sharon Treco-Jones of Treco-Jones PR says a team of three to four works best. Here are her core team tips:
• A core team should include the head of an organization, legal counsel for the organization, the head of operations and the public relations professional. Sometimes, risk management is involved and/or a board chair.
• The core team members may be liaisons with others as needed, i.e., if they are crucial to understanding important information and/or needed to help make certain types of decisions.
• Help your CEO evaluate any other team members based on their personal agendas and relationships, and ability to keep confidences.
• Everyone will have a different point of view that will enrich the process and final product.