The Covid-19 crisis is unprecedented in its impact on society across the world and has forced organizations to take immediate steps to protect the health of their employees as well as the health of their organizations. It’s incredibly challenging to take immediate mitigating action while also planning for future challenges but it’s an unfortunate reality that all public media organizations need to face.
This post details some of the critical steps that public media leaders can take now to successfully manage through this highly challenging period. At the bottom of the page you can also find information about available support from Public Media Company, including:
- Free webinars on Managing Nonprofit Finances and Contingency Planning
- Contingency plan consulting assistance
- Available “office hours” to talk with our consultants
- Relevant PMC services to help improve your financial health and organizational clarity
MANAGING THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS: KEY STEPS
Covid-19 hit hard and hit quickly, taking almost everyone off guard and forcing us on the defensive. Stations across the country have done an amazing job of reacting to the crisis to provide services of the highest relevance and quality but the challenge is ongoing and we all need a clear path forward. These steps can help you get there:
- Address Immediate Challenges. Public media’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been heroic but there is an ongoing need to remain vigilant and adjust to the changing circumstances. Areas of critical importance include ensuring employee safety, implementing new working practices, setting up a war room to address the evolving challenges, and taking emergency financial management steps to ensure you remain a going concern. See below for details on PMC’s upcoming webinar.
- Identify & Protect the Core. It’s tempting to focus on areas of greatest concern during a crisis but reinforcing your core assets is essential when managing an organization through turmoil. This means identifying your most critical talent/staff, your most critical assets and business operations, your most important stakeholders, and understanding which services are most crucial to your impact and relevance as a local public media organization.
- Identify Risks & Scenarios. It’s also important to identify the threats and other scenarios (one of which may be the difficulty of returning to normality) that your organization may be facing over a specific time period (e.g. the next 12 months). This may be the loss of key staff, a significant drop in revenue, a technical failure, etc. As part of this exercise it’s also important to identify the likelihood of that scenario occurring and the level of impact it will have on the organization.
- Develop Contingency Plans. With key assets and risks identified, action plans are needed so that you know how to react if and when a particular scenario transpires. This includes identifying the trigger that will launch the action plan into motion (e.g. a cut in university funding), the response that’s needed, and documenting who is responsible for what. The scenarios and action plans should also continue to be monitored and adjusted over time as you get more information and insight. See below for details on PMC’s upcoming webinar.
- Communicate. Continuous communication is essential. You need to keep your most critical stakeholders close, well informed, and supportive of your actions. You also want to ensure that your stakeholders are informing you of what they know. Vital stakeholder groups include key funders, your board/governing entity, and your staff.
PUBLIC MEDIA COMPANY SUPPORT
Public Media Company can help during this difficult period. We have a variety of services from free insights to in-depth support and guidance that can help increase your organization’s clarity and financial health.
- Managing Nonprofit Finances in a Crisis. The challenges of Covid-19 are made even harder when combined with an uncertain financial outlook. This webinar focuses on the key financial management areas that station leaders need to address now to help secure their fiscal futures. Learn more and register.
- Contingency Planning for Public Media. Evolving crises require public media leaders to prepare for the inevitable shocks ahead. This webinar will review the steps that station managers can take now to ensure that they understand what challenges may be on the horizon and be ready if and when they occur. Learn more and register.
Contingency Plan Consulting Assistance
PMC now offers consulting assistance service for help with developing contingency plans:
- Templates and examples to help you identify your core assets, identify risks, and develop contingency plans
- Email-based review of your draft materials and suggestions for improvement
- 90-minute phone consultation to discuss your plans and next steps
The contingency plan services is $395 (with lower rates available for small stations). Contact Steve Holmes to learn more.
PMC Consultant Office Hours
You can also schedule a quick chat with one of our consultants about any topics of interest or concern. Perhaps you need a second opinion on your station’s finances, or your university is projecting cuts. Maybe you are thinking about collaboration and partnerships to increase service. If you have a question, please set up an appointment with one of our consultants. Find a time on our calendar.
More PMC Services
You may also be interested in some of our other relevant services that can help reduce costs and improve organizational clarity, including virtual accounting and strategic planning. Learn more on our How We Help page.