3 Dead in Murder Suicide… and a Crisis Communication Plan Was on a “Wish List”

Friday 2 people were murdered, then the killer killed himself. One of the murders, as well as the suicide, was done “in the workplace.” I won’t say where, out of respect for the privacy of the person who called me the day before. All of this happened where he works.

Just 24-hours before, on Thursday, he called asking me to help his organization write a Crisis Communications Plan. He said he’s had my card on his desk for the past 6 years. We met at a Crisis Communications Workshop I had taught in his town.

He had high hopes of scheduling me to fly out to help him this summer. He said conditions were not right to do it before then.

This tragic event is one more reminder that we, in the corporate world, try to plan out everything. We move this because of a certain project and we postpone that because of another deadline.

Have you ever notices that violent people don’t care about your deadlines or projects? Have you noticed that explosions still happen even when you are not ready for them?

The best thing you can do is to set priorities, with clarity as to what is “urgent” and “important” for the long-term health of you, your people and your institution. There are many urgent and important little things that are on our short to-do list that can but put off.

There is no perfect time in your schedule to stop to write a Crisis Communications Plan. The time to commit to it is today. The time to place it on the urgent and important list is today. The worst time to prepare for a crisis and to deal with a crisis is on the day of the crisis. The best time is on a clear sunny day long before the crisis rears its ugly head.

I’ve successfully helped organizations on 5 continents write and complete a full crisis communications plan in as few as 2-days. I have a much longer list of companies who have called, but who could not find 2 days on the schedule to get this done.

We extend our sympathies and prayers to those who are affected.