Employees must be told of a crisis first and fast. Effective crisis management means communicating immediately with employees. They are an organisation's best ally. Rumour and innuendo can be controlled if messages about what has happened reach internal audiences rapidly. Not communicating with your people greatly devalues your message strategy to all stakeholders.
These days, social media can broadcast employees' opinions to a wider audience at high-speed. Controlling the agenda means telling employees early.