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ISPI—That’s the acronym I remember from my time in the service for when a unit is in trouble and must communicate for help. The “I” reminds us that we need to communicate our identity. The “S” stands for situation and prompts us to communicate the emergency to others who can help. The “P” is for position and the last “I” is for intention. A standard call for help would go something like: “Mayday, mayday, mayday, this is Tango Charlie Two Four. We are taking on water in position 24 miles east south east of Miami. We are heading due West at 3 knots with one pump on line and 3 souls onboard.” When a mariner broadcasts that message over the marine band hail and distress frequency (Channel 16) anyone within earshot will respond. Whether it is the Coast Guard or another mariner, help will soon be on its way.

In a crisis, it is good for organizations to understand their ISPI. Who are you and what is your situation, position, and intention? How does an organization in distress describe these things? Depending on the nature of the distress, it is not unusual for organizations to get distracted and focused on the emergency, the “incoming water.” Communicating during this period is crucial. Leaders need to understand and communicate their ISPI so all stakeholders can contribute to the solution (come to their help). This is where Crisis1 can help. The middle of a crisis is not the time to belabor the figuring out of your situation, position and intentions. Ideally this has been figured out ahead of time and leaders can run the required plan for the scenario impacting them. At Crisis1 we bring a systems approach to your communication efforts. We will lead you through a series of scenarios that are likely to impact your business and help you develop well thought out responses and communications plans. We’ll examine the four key components of the strategic communication process: People, Policies, Plans, and Platforms© and help your organization develop the processes and establish a culture with the bias to communicate.

“In short, if you own it or have responsibility for it—you have an obligation to communicate when the circumstances warrant.”

Crisis1 founder and CEO, Pat Philbin, PhD.

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