Crisis management is a crucial aspect of any organization. It helps to minimize the negative impact of unexpected events and to restore operations to normal as quickly as possible. By having a plan in place, a crisis management team in place, and a system for monitoring and communicating during a crisis, organizations can be better prepared to respond to unexpected events. Additionally, optimizing your website and social media profiles for search engines can also play a key role in crisis management.
What is crisis management?
Crisis management is the process of identifying, assessing, and responding to unexpected events that can potentially harm an organization or its stakeholders. The goal of crisis management is to minimize the negative impact of a crisis and to restore operations to normal as quickly as possible.
Key elements to effective crisis management
- Organizations must have a crisis management plan in place that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a crisis. This plan should include information on how to communicate with stakeholders, how to respond to the crisis, and how to recover from the crisis.
- Organizations should have a crisis management team in place that is responsible for implementing the crisis management plan. This team should include representatives from all relevant departments and should be trained on how to respond to a crisis.
- Organizations should have a system in place for monitoring for potential crises. This can include monitoring social media, monitoring the news, and conducting regular risk assessments.
- Organizations should have a system in place for communicating with stakeholders during a crisis. This can include issuing press releases, holding press conferences, and using social media to keep stakeholders informed.
Who is your crisis management team?
Once the potential for a business crisis is established, a team should be chosen to respond to the crisis. One of the key issues with managing a business crisis is losing control of crisis communications. In the age of social media, every one of your employees has access to millions of people. One rogue tweet can make a bad crisis even worse. By establishing a crisis management team, you establish who should be communicating about a crisis and who should not be.
When a crisis strikes, the crisis management team will be the people who drop what they are doing to gather and confer. In general, this team should include some upper-level people. In big companies, it may include the CEO. In smaller companies, the owner will usually be a part of the team. The person or team responsible for overseeing communications should definitely be a part of the team.
What is Your Crisis Management Plan?
As soon as a crisis is detected, the crisis management team must begin to develop a response. For the most part, this will involve putting into effect the crisis management plan that has already been established. However, there may be a need to tweak certain components of the plan to address the particular crisis.
If your company does not have experience with crisis management, this may be the point where you call for help. Public relations firms can provide crisis management experts who can assist with developing and deloying crisis management plans. A key service they provide is developing a crisis communications plan.
PR firms also can give you access to media professionals that can empower your crisis communications. It is important to counteract bad press by providing your response through press releases and organic media. PR firms have relationships with press representatives that can help to get your response out quickly to a host of outlets. PR firms can also help to assess outward-facing communications such as your website and social media channels to ensure a consistent response.
Here’s a bonus tip: When a crisis strikes, make sure that your social media channels are helping, rather than hurting. Social media crisis management will definitely involve posting about the crisis at some point. However, it might also involve shutting down any automated posts that you have scheduled on your channels. If your company has experienced a data breach, for example, you will not want automated posts that promote your security measures.
Crisis Management Policy
A crisis policy can inform employees who to contact when they need to report a crisis situation. It can explain the company’s plan for addressing a crisis, including to whom inquiries about the crisis can be directed. Most importantly, a crisis policy will make it clear to employees what they should not do when the company is involved in a crisis.
Again, we live and work in the social media age. You may have employees who have more online followers than your company does. If they do not know what role they are expected to play, their actions could turn a crisis into a disaster.
Overall, effective crisis management is essential for protecting an organization’s reputation and minimizing the negative impact of a crisis. By having a plan in place, a crisis management team in place, and a system for monitoring and communicating during a crisis, organizations can be better prepared to respond to unexpected events.
Business crises come in all shapes and sizes. A data breach is a business crisis. An employee turned whistleblower is also a business crisis. And a failed product definitely is a business crisis. While crises can take a variety of forms, they all have a few things in common. For one, they have the potential to sink a business. Also, they are not picky about the type of business that they affect.
Statistics from 2014 through 2019 show that 69 percent of business leaders experienced at least one company crisis during that period. Many have experienced more than one. The average number of crises experienced by business leaders during those years is three.
If you are a business leader, statistics say you should be expecting a business crisis. Ignoring the potential puts your business at great risk. Developing a crisis management plan allows you to minimize the damage when a crisis occurs.
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