The most frequently overlooked part of any Disaster Recovery strategy is the management of public and employee communication.

If there’s no plan in place, not only could your business lose customers and tarnish its reputation, but it could also unknowingly cause widespread panic.

Tech Republic has recently published a fantastic example of this, where a local bank lost Disaster Recoverypower due to a storm that damaged internal computer systems. One bank teller managed to cause mass chaos for the bank after telling a customer that they didn’t know when the systems would be back up and running and that they seriously doubted that customers would be able to access their money any time soon.

Consequently, this information was published as a statement in the local newspaper the next day and caused hundreds of frantic customers to call the bank in a panic, tarnishing their solid reputation.

A DR plan is vital to any company, but as your IT department restores its systems and data back to full health, how can the business prevent any communication disasters?

Internal spokesperson

Needless to say, if your staff can’t access important information then they’re going to be concerned. It’s imperative that all staff members are kept in the loop with what’s happening, so they don’t start panicking or jumping to conclusions. Likewise, they should also be asked not to discuss the situation with anyone external to the company until it is over.

One of the best ways to achieve and manage this is through appointing an internal spokesperson, usually a manager, to act as a point of contact with the main team resolving the issue. Group emails or old fashioned call trees are great examples of how to keep everyone on the same page and prevent needless stress or concern.

Appoint an external communications team

One effective way to avoid Chinese whispers getting in the media and company shareholders is to appoint a dedicated external communications manager. Typically someone with experience in marketing or the Managing Director of the company. The business needs first to establish all the facts, enabling the communications team to work out the best approach to take to alleviate concerns. Often simply knowing that a DR effort is underway can help calm concerns. This could have certainly prevented hundreds of customers calling the bank.

Incorporate communications into your Disaster Recovery plan

This communications plan should be established throughout the business. Yes, it’s vital to restore data and the business back to normality as quickly as possible, but in order to protect its reputation, communications must also be managed.

If you’d like more information on how to create an effective Disaster Recovery plan contact a member of the team on 03453 888 327 or email enquiries@virtualdcs.co.uk

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