10 Holding Statement Templates for Crisis Communications

Updated: February 07, 2024

Prompt and effective responses in times of crisis are essential for corporate communication strategies. The holding statement stands as a key instrument within the toolkit for crisis communications, serving as a bridge between the initial outbreak of a crisis and the formulation of a detailed response. This article explores the fundamental aspects of holding statements, underscores their role in managing crises, and provides actionable templates and examples to guide the creation of impactful holding statements.

What is a Holding Statement

A holding statement is a preliminary response issued by an organization immediately following a crisis or negative event, before all the details are known. It is a concise, carefully crafted message intended to acknowledge the situation, express concern or empathy, and assure the public and stakeholders that the matter is being addressed.

Importance of holding statements for crisis communications

Holding statements are crucial for maintaining trust and credibility during a crisis. They help manage the narrative by preventing speculation and misinformation from filling the information vacuum. Internally, they reassure employees and stakeholders about the organization’s awareness and responsiveness. Externally, they demonstrate the organization’s commitment to transparency and accountability to the public and media.

When would you need a holding statement?

Holding statements are necessary in the immediate aftermath of any event that could potentially harm an organization’s reputation, such as accidents, security breaches, legal issues, or service failures. They are the first step in the crisis communication strategy, preceding a more detailed follow-up communication.

How soon should you send a holding statement?

Time is of the essence in crisis management. A holding statement should ideally be issued within the first hour after a crisis has been identified. This rapid response helps to control the narrative and prevent the spread of rumors and speculation.

Best Practices for a Holding Statement

  • Be Prompt: Speed is critical. Aim to issue the statement as quickly as possible to assert control over the narrative.
  • Be Empathetic: Show concern for those affected by the crisis. Empathy goes a long way in maintaining trust and rapport.
  • Be Transparent: Acknowledge what is known without speculating or providing unverified information. Commit to providing updates as more information becomes available.
  • Be Succinct: Keep the statement brief and to the point. The goal is to acknowledge the issue and reassure stakeholders, not to provide detailed explanations.
  • Be Prepared: Have templates and protocols in place for various crisis scenarios to expedite the release of holding statements.

Benefits of a Holding Statement

Holding statements help stabilize the organization’s standing in the initial stages of a crisis. They prevent the spread of misinformation, manage public perception, and buy time for gathering facts and formulating a comprehensive response.

How TextExpander helps in times of crisis

TextExpander, or similar tools, can significantly streamline the process of creating and distributing holding statements. By storing templates and snippets, organizations can quickly customize and deploy holding statements, ensuring consistency and saving valuable time during a crisis.

Below are example templates that you can use in TextExpander to ensure statements are succinct, clear, and effective.

Holding Statement Template and Examples

Internal Communication Templates and Examples

Internal Template for General Crisis Copy Snippet Copied!

We want to make you aware of a [type of incident] that occurred at [location/time]. We are in the process of gathering more details and will keep you updated as new information comes to light. Your safety and security are our top priorities. Please direct any immediate concerns to [contact information].

Example:

We want to make you aware of a security incident that occurred at our headquarters this morning. We are in the process of gathering more details and will keep you updated as new information comes to light. Your safety and security are our top priorities. Please direct any immediate concerns to your line manager.

Internal Template for Service Disruption Copy Snippet Copied!

We are currently facing a [type of disruption] that is affecting our [specific service/department]. The relevant teams are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. We understand the impact this may have on your work and appreciate your patience and cooperation.

Example:

We are currently facing a network outage that is affecting our IT services department. The IT team is working to resolve this as quickly as possible. We understand the impact this may have on your work and appreciate your patience and cooperation.

Internal Template for Data Breach Copy Snippet Copied!

We have been alerted to a potential security breach that may involve [type of information]. We are assessing the situation and will provide updates as we learn more. Please be vigilant and report any unusual activity to [contact information].

Example:

We have been alerted to a potential security breach that may involve employee email accounts. We are assessing the situation and will provide updates as we learn more. Please be vigilant and report any unusual activity to the IT security team.

Internal Template for Environmental Incident Copy Snippet Copied!

An environmental incident has been reported at [location] potentially affecting [aspect]. We are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with the necessary departments to address any impacts. Further information will be shared as it becomes available.

Example:

An environmental incident has been reported at the south plant potentially affecting local waterways. We are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with the Environmental Health and Safety team to address any impacts. Further information will be shared as it becomes available.

Internal Template for Legal Issues Copy Snippet Copied!

We want to inform you that the company is currently facing [legal issue]. We are working with our legal team to address this matter. It is important to refrain from discussing this issue outside the company. We will provide further updates as appropriate.

Example:

We want to inform you that the company is currently facing a patent lawsuit. We are working with our legal team to address this matter. It is important to refrain from discussing this issue outside the company. We will provide further updates as appropriate.

External Communication Templates and Examples

External Template for General Crisis Copy Snippet Copied!

We are aware of the [type of incident] that occurred at [location/time]. Our team is currently assessing the situation and will provide updates as more information becomes available. The well-being of our customers and staff is our foremost concern. For inquiries, please contact [contact information].

Example:

We are aware of the fire incident that occurred at our downtown branch this afternoon. Our team is currently assessing the situation and will provide updates as more information becomes available. The well-being of our customers and staff is our foremost concern. For inquiries, please contact our customer service hotline.

External Template for Service Disruption Copy Snippet Copied!

We are experiencing [type of disruption] affecting our [service/product]. We are actively working to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience caused. Updates will be provided as they become available. Thank you for your patience.

Example:

We are experiencing a disruption affecting our online payment service. We are actively working to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience caused. Updates will be provided as they become available. Thank you for your patience.

External Template for Data Breach Copy Snippet Copied!

We have identified a data security incident that may impact [type of information]. We are taking immediate steps to secure our systems and investigate the matter. We are committed to maintaining the privacy and security of all our customers’ information.

Example:

We have identified a data security incident that may impact customer account information. We are taking immediate steps to secure our systems and investigate the matter. We are committed to maintaining the privacy and security of all our customers’ information.

External Template for Environmental Incident Copy Snippet Copied!

We are addressing an environmental incident that occurred at [location], which may affect [aspect]. We are working closely with local authorities and environmental experts to mitigate any impacts. We are committed to transparency and will provide updates as we learn more.

Example:

We are addressing an environmental incident that occurred at our northern facility, which may affect the surrounding ecosystem. We are working closely with local authorities and environmental experts to mitigate any impacts. We are committed to transparency and will provide updates as we learn more.

External Template for Legal Issues Copy Snippet Copied!

We are currently engaged in a legal matter concerning [issue]. As it is an ongoing process, we are limited in the details we can provide. We are working to resolve this matter swiftly and in accordance with the law. We appreciate your understanding.

Example:

We are currently engaged in a legal matter concerning copyright infringement claims. As it is an ongoing process, we are limited in the details we can provide. We are working to resolve this matter swiftly and in accordance with the law. We appreciate your understanding.

Try it for yourself

With TextExpander, you can store and quickly expand full email templates, email addresses, and more anywhere you type. That means you’ll never have to misspell, memorize, or type the same things over and over again.

We want to make you aware of a [type of incident] that occurred at [location/time]. We are in the process of gathering more details and will keep you updated as new information comes to light. Your safety and security are our top priorities. Please direct any immediate concerns to [contact information].
We are currently facing a [type of disruption] that is affecting our [specific service/department]. The relevant teams are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. We understand the impact this may have on your work and appreciate your patience and cooperation.
We have been alerted to a potential security breach that may involve [type of information]. We are assessing the situation and will provide updates as we learn more. Please be vigilant and report any unusual activity to [contact information].
We are addressing an environmental incident that occurred at [location], which may affect [aspect]. We are working closely with local authorities and environmental experts to mitigate any impacts. We are committed to transparency and will provide updates as we learn more.
We are currently engaged in a legal matter concerning [issue]. As it is an ongoing process, we are limited in the details we can provide. We are working to resolve this matter swiftly and in accordance with the law. We appreciate your understanding.

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