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Having good communications in a crisis is absolutely vital for any organisation, not only in terms of the contact of the messages, but their speed, relevance, format, and effect in stifling criticism and calming everyone down. To achieve this you need skilled people. You need people who are able to decide what messages need to go out to which audiences, people who are skilled in crafting the messages, and people who can deliver the messages through the most appropriate medium. But how many do you need?

This question came up yesterday during a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) that I was undertaking for a client. I was interviewing their Communications Manager, who told me that in the event of an incident that caused serious disruption they would need 6 trained communications people to handle all the communications that they would need to prepare and send out. By now you must be thinking that I’m working for a very large client, but I’m not. This client operates from one site in the centre of London and employs less than 200 staff.

You can only go so far in advising a client of what they need in the event of an incident that disrupts their operations, after which you start to appear rude and arrogant. I managed to barter the number required down to 5, but I just don’t believe it.



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