Using asana for crisis communication?

template
content-marketing
projects
team-work

#1

Hi everyone,

I’m wondering if anyone has ever used asana to coordinate communication, social media and PR teams during a company crisis (say a crash at an amusement park, or a medium chemical spill) and can share some insights. Or if anyone can think of any benefits/potential problems with using asana for such an event.

I can see a lot of potential there, from having everyone in the same place, reducing the risk of communicative failure via email chains, having standardised crisis templates & checklists guiding staff through the process and helping with decision making, as well as internal transparency.

I’m thinking of setting up a templates for

  • the immediate response checklist
  • the repository of shared and official wordings and media files
  • Coordination of press releases, social media postings,…
  • Coordination of press events
  • Status Updates from team leaders & technical crisis management crew, as well as Social Media Monitoring Reports

However, my client is not very adept in using digital tools like asana and I don’t want to overwhelm them – especially since I’ve been charged only with creating a process for social media communication during a crisis. Given the speed and complexity of social media crisis communication, I don’t want to rely on email and telephone.

Happy to hear your thoughts!

Best,
Martin


#2

We have no process in place for something like that, I can say that usually our social media manager & team deal with crises using their slack group, not in a structured way.

However, those situations were very different than something like you’re describing, where things have to be triple checked, etc.

I will say it sounds a bit difficult to create a social media process for crisis communication if you don’t have the other procedures written out as well. If I were you, I would build out the whole thing as it should be in Asana, so that you can easily pull out the social media process and point to it during presentation. So they can see ‘here’s the whole procedure, and here are where we’re involved with XYZ doing XYZ’.

But I think in general this kind of scenario, people are going to be flying every which way on communication, so I would stress the idea of Source of Truth - that is, where is everyone’s ‘home base’ in such scenarios? Asana would be my vote for them all, and have the points of contact for each area really familiar with it.

Anyway, hopefully others can give some more concrete examples/anecdotes =)


#3

Hi @Martin_Prechelmacher. I think you’re totally on the right track! Here at Asana, we use Asana for most everything, other than Slack for immediate chat and Google apps for various things like creating big documents. So, we certainly have experience using Asana for crisis communications. Fortunately we don’t tend to have crises :stuck_out_tongue: But when life happens we’re prepared.

All the templates you propose sound perfect. This may be redundant to what you already mention, but just in case I also suggest that you create:

  • Press release and/or social media post reference project (where you link to all press releases that have gone out)
  • Project that includes a list of roles and responsibilities for key individuals at the company in the event of a crisis. Getting this out of the way ahead of time means everyone can be clear on their role and hit the ground running.
  • Editorial calendar project for press releases, social media posts. I recommend that you include a template task that always lives at the top of the project, which everyone copies to create a new task. Template tasks are a great way to ensure everyone uses the same processes and custom fields.
  • Press events project. This could be its own project or part of the Editorial calendar. If you make events part of the editorial calendar, you could use a custom field to indicate if the task represents a press release, social media post, or event. You could also create a template task for managing events.
  • Company-wide Asana conversation where updates are provided to the whole company. At Asana we have a “Staff” team and a corresponding conversation area for updates and discussion.

I hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have follow up questions.


#4

thanks that’s actually a very good input! :slight_smile:


#5

Hi Alexis,

thanks for the inputs, that’s very helpful! Especially the “Roles & Responsibilities” Project. Could you perhaps show/tell me how exactly you set this up?

Cheers,
Martin


#6

Martin,
Have a look at this page and video…
[Springest & OKR’s](https://asana.com/guide/videos/customer-webinars/tracking-organization/springest Roles)

Hope this helps.

Jason.


#7

Hi @Martin_Prechelmacher. Happy to help! Here is an example of how you might set up a roles and responsibilities project for crisis communications. As you can see, I’ve created sections for the different types of crises. Below each section I list tasks for the different responsibilities and within each task I tag the person responsible. This project could also be a good place to store shared crisis copy, so everyone is on the same page about how to communicate.

There are a few different ways you could set this up, but I believe that this example feels most intuitive. Happy to see suggestions from others, as well!

Please let us know if you have other questions!


#8

When there’s inclement weather, especially overnight, our team is responsible of notifying the organization and the public of facility closings and schedule changes.

We’ve set up our inclement weather closing/delay subtasks as a template task in our content calendar project. When we anticipate inclement weather, we make a copy of the template for the appropriate date, and we assign the subtasks to the people who will be working during the applicable period. The description fields in the subtasks contain essential information or draft content.

We’re working on an overhaul of our department’s continuity of operations (COOP) plan, and I imagine we’ll also set up some of that output as templates in Asana.

This is also an argument for Asana to put some additional effort into the mobile app. Its current limitations – especially with regard to offline sync – make it difficult to rely on for unexpected needs like emergencies.


#9

@Craig_Fifer that is great feedback about our mobile app. The team will be happy to hear that this is an impactful use case for you.