Ocean Conservancy

Developing a Crisis Communications Plan

Award Winner


Ocean Conservancy helps formulate ocean policy at the federal and state government levels based on peer-reviewed science.

Every organization is at risk for a crisis, whether from a data breach, environmental incident, natural disaster, or health scare. Realizing it was no exception, Ocean Conservancy, an international environmental advocacy nonprofit, asked The Hatcher Group to develop a crisis communications plan and train staff on the plan.


Crisis Communications


Hatcher kicked-off the project with a crisis communications audit: we interviewed the nonprofit’s key leadership and communications staff to better understand its current crisis practices and procedures, and determine what staff viewed as key threats to the organization. Using our crisis communications expertise, we drafted a plan that outlined potential Ocean Conservancy crisis events; identified staff roles and responsibilities during a crisis; developed a step-by-step crisis communication guide for numerous platforms; and wrote sample internal and external statements to send to staff, stakeholders, and the media during various stages of a crisis.

Finally, we trained staff on the plan and how to role-play to better understand their responsibilities. Ocean Conservancy used the plan at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and was able to respond quickly and effectively to staff and stakeholders about organizational changes in response to the virus.


We trained staff on the crisis communications plan and role-played possible situations and responses so they could better understand their responsibilities and jump in should a crisis arise.

Our Impact

Ocean Conservancy staff are prepared to respond quickly and effectively in a crisis and uphold the organization’s stellar reputation.