Why do we feel the need to introduce you to basic crisis management facts? Because, sooner or later, virtually every business will be forced to weather a crisis. The phrase “weathering the crisis”, however, can mean a couple of things. Your company may weather the crisis by doing all the right things and enjoying a satisfactory recovery. On the other hand, weathering the crisis – or the storm – could end up devastating your business into nonexistence and oblivion. There are few states of existence in between when it comes to what happens to a business after a crisis is handled.
Rather than simply listing all the steps that need to be taken when a crisis occurs, we are going to introduce you to some common crisis management mistakes so that you can steer clear of them. Lastly, we will introduce you to the quickest, most assured way to successfully deal with a business crisis.
Here are crisis missteps to avoid:
Failure to Establish a Format That Is Workable
You’ll need a crisis response plan. It should be easy to use and intuitive. In fact, to every team member, a quick reference guide should be easily accessible.
Failing to Exercise Your Plan
You took the time to put together a crisis management plan, but when the time came to exercise it, somebody dropped the ball. Practice potential scenarios with your team. Plan updates and review lessons learned during practice.
Forgetting to Establish A Command Structure or Hierarchy
A CMT (crisis management team) should recognize their responsibilities and roles. To properly act on them, they should be properly trained. Before the incident occurs, they must all be comfortable with their role. The following three things must be understood by every member of the crisis management team in order for the plan to be initiated as it should be. They must understand:
- Their individual responsibilities
- The context of crisis communications
- Established response policies
A Serious Lack of Effective Planning For Crisis Management
This may be the longest section, but the information is invaluable. While not limited to the following, a crisis management plan that is fully useful will include:
- Intuitive maintenance tools
- An integrated help system
- To multiple users involved in numerous incidents simultaneously, complete accessibility
- With the ability to retrieve all documented tasks and conversations, a database containing all exercises and incidents
- Maintenance, exercise, and incident modes
- A performance assessment tool for crisis management
- Reporting, documentation, and task scheduling tools
- Documentation, assessment, and stakeholder identification reports and tools
- For available response individuals and organizations, a contacts database
Overlooked Mitigation and Prevention Measures
There are a number of crisis response and communication variables and details that must be planned for and considered. Unfortunately, even the best planning can’t always mitigate unplanned-for crises. For example, you may not think to plan for a hurricane – but if you’re in an area where they occur even sporadically, you need to have a strategy.
Regulatory Compliance That Is Insufficient
It is imperative that your company be completely aware of any laws and/or regulations by federal and/or state mandates that could have a direct impact on company operations. It’s cheaper (in most cases) to pay compliance costs than to have to assault the budget to cover reputational risk, litigation, noncompliance fines, or a shutdown of operations that is mandated by the government.
Regarding Company Positions, An Unclear Communications Plan
To state your company’s position on any possible issues, a method of preplanned communications must be in place. Before negative public images and falsehoods spiral into public nightmares and rumors, your company must be ready to voice timely and factual information. In part, this will help deal with any news coverage that results from your crisis.
Additionally, companies should have established fire department, police, hospital, and local emergency services communication pathways established.
Failing In the Prediction of Possible Crisis Situations
No, you simply cannot foresee every possible crisis situation – short of having a fortuneteller with a crystal ball on staff. However, any potential crisis that could negatively impact the financial performance, daily operations, and reputation of the company must be considered. You have to do your best to determine these potential problems, and design responses through analyzation.
We referred, earlier, to planning for natural disasters. Make sure that a plan is in place for your company regarding the following as well:
- Security vulnerabilities
- Operational hazards
- Business continuity issues, and more
Failing to Update And Evaluate
Whenever your crisis management plan is activated or exercised, it is imperative that team members give their feedback, review results, and determine how and where to make adjustments. Failure to learn from the execution of your plan will eventually result in a failed crisis management endeavor.
The Best Possible Method Of Crisis Management – JoTo PR
We, at JoTo PR, use the science of crisis management to better manage our clients’ everyday PR. We truly believe that this gives us a considerable edge. It’s like taking old-school, common PR methods and infusing them with superpowers. Here’s the best part: we yield unprecedented results because of our “Anti-PR” approach!
Contact us today to find out more.