January 30, 2018
First things first... what is a crisis in its truest sense?
A crisis is an event or series of events that threatens your long-term reputation or ability to operate. It can come out of the blue or it may be a serious issue that spirals into a much graver situation. Crises and issues can often be conflated, which may lead to a sense of misplaced comfort amongst communications teams. They may feel comfortable dealing with issues and so think they are fully prepared to deal with a full-on crisis.
This could be an event that unfolds so quickly it may be difficult to keep control and regain the initiative. An event which sees internal and external stakeholders requesting and sharing information in a way that may lead to confusion. A highly stressful event where what happens next is difficult to predict and could have a costly impact in terms of resources, market share and reputation.
To determine how prepared you are, imagine your worst-case scenario. What keeps you up at night? Then ask yourself, would you, your communications team and your senior management be able to stick to the best practice principles of crisis management?
This means being able to balance operational decision-making with reputational considerations.
Very broadly, you should:
The LEWIS guide to reputation management in a crisis provides more detail on best practice preparedness.
But how far advanced are you in your preparations? How confident you could come out of a crisis with reputation intact or strengthened?
To compare against the best practice set out in the guide, then check out our benchmarking tool to give yourself a true sense of where you are now and what may be required to ensure you are as prepared as possible.