How To Clearly Communicate In A Crisis

Want to write messages so clear you get zero follow-up questions?

In 2019 I learned a framework to help you respond to an issue of sensitivity, adversity, or crisis. I’ve used this framework working as a product marketing manager. When things break for my customers, I have to let them know.

Every time I sent out a mail or posted a message the same thing happened.

I would get dozens and dozens of questions. Damage control became a full-time job. If you ever have to communicate things like:

Unexpected outages

Access issues


Then you understand the challenge.

Once I started using this framework I immediately got positive results like:

  • Minimal back and forth
  • Few follow-up questions
  • Clarity on expectations

The framework is simple.

Answer the following questions:

  • What happened?
  • What caused it?
  • What are the short- and long-term effects?
  • What’s being done about it?
  • What needs to be done in the future?

According to Dr. George Everly of Johns Hopkins University, if you answer these five questions when discussing an issue of sensitivity, adversity, or crisis, more than 95 percent of the questions that people have will have been answered.

You can use this framework in your personal and professional life. Any situation that benefits from clarity.

Give it a shot.