Planning for a Crisis

In many ways, the rise of technology has increased the chances of a crisis for an organization. In addition to its ability to rapidly disseminate information, social media has made it easier to find sources willing to speak publicly and, in many cases, has eliminated the need for a reporter to generate a story. Instead, anyone with an account can have a far-reaching platform and spread a narrative – only without the important fact-checking, that’s common with (and important to) traditional outlets. Add in a constant threat of cyber-attacks or data breaches, and organizations may be more vulnerable than they realize. In fact, between 2014 and 2019, 69% of corporations experienced at least one crisis.

To protect its reputation, brand and mission, organizations can take smart steps to prepare their crisis communications response ahead of time. Below are a few tips for getting ahead of your next crisis:

Form a Committee

When a crisis strikes, reaction time matters. Forming a crisis communications committee ahead of time brings together a team to triage the situation, streamline approval and share information internally. This group should consist of essential internal stakeholders who meet regularly to discuss the potential crisis. Once formed, the committee should pick a spokesperson who can be the organization’s voice when the time comes.

Assess Vulnerabilities

Once the Communications Committee is formed, take a deep look into the operation, structure, and potential vulnerabilities. By mapping out potential crises, the committee can prepare holding statements and response strategies, which will allow for quicker responses when the time comes.

Consider Outside Help

When a crisis strikes, the pressure is on. To alleviate skyrocketing workloads and refine strategy, 74% of companies that faced a major crisis over the past five years have brought in external support. Incorporating a crisis response firm into your planning can help ease stress and ensure your emergency plan is deployed quickly and efficiently.

Ben Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Crises are inevitable, but you can weather your next emergency by investing time to develop strategies and build a team in advance.

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