Overview – Stop Press
Stop Press is an information sheet to update employees with urgent, out-of-the-ordinary, breaking news. It is a communication tactic to deploy during extraordinary, crisis or emergency situations. It is usually a single sheet, printed on both sides if required, and produced in either hard-copy or digital formats.
Used only in extreme situations, its purpose is to achieve rapid cut-through in employees’ attention by signaling that something significant has happened that warrants their immediate attention and action. Stop Presses can be sent to employees electronically via email, screensaver, or in print format.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Informing employees of urgent, out-of-the-ordinary news.
✓ Alerting employees to emergency or crisis situations.
✓ Providing instructions on immediate actions required.
Things to consider:
⇒ Determine the special circumstances that warrant deployment of a Stop Press alert.
⇒ Design a masthead and header that emphasise the importance and criticality of the information sheet.
⇒ Assign responsibility and accountability for the Stop Press to a single person, with a back-up when required.
⇒ Establish the process for developing and distributing a Stop Press.
⇒ Communicate that process to all employees.
⇒ Use a number of communication tactics to ensure the information reaches all employees quickly, including a variety of electronic tactics. Keep a stock of sheets pre-printed with the masthead so the print format can be produced quickly. In locations where computer access is limited, email the content to a designated person so they can print the information onto the pre-printed stock for distribution by hand.
Develop a comprehensive and carefully planned ‘Crisis Communication Strategy’ in readiness for keeping employees fully informed during unanticipated disasters or accidents. Use Stop Press as one component in a suite of tactics to allay employee uncertainty and provide clear calls to action during any abnormal conditions.