Crisis Communications - Public Relations - Strategic Marketing
Three Reasons Why Your Company’s Crisis Plan Won’t Work
Over the years we have reviewed dozens of corporate crisis management plans. Unfortunately in many instances the plans as written would prove to be of little or no value in an actual crisis. Here are three reasons why:
Lack of awareness – For example, let’s use the analogy of a fire. A small fire can be extinguished quickly if the alarm sounds or it can grow and become out of control if there is no early warning. A lack of awareness within an organization can mean that issues that can be dealt with at a pre-crisis level are not properly identified for the attention of senior management. Crisis management and prevention in an organization involves everyone, not just senior management.
The plan slows initial response – With the advent of social media, a crisis plan must develop a process to respond quickly in the event the crisis goes viral. A properly organized plan creates a process for addressing this issue with the speed required in the social media age while taking into account potential legal issues, and releasing only accurate verified information.
Lack of buy-in – In the social media age it is imperative that key decision makers have agreed in advance on as many issues as possible, and that there is consensus on the initial response to a crisis situation. Lack of an agreed upon strategy can slow the response and allow the situation to get completely out of hand. The old saying, “that a lie will be halfway around the world before the truth puts its pants on” has never been truer since the advent of social media.