Crisis: Let’s Measure What You Can Lose
May 5, 2015
What keeps you up at night? Is there a recurring business nightmare that makes you wake up with the sweats? If so, you’re probably dreaming about a worst case scenario otherwise known as a crisis.
When a crisis hits, you can measure certain losses.
You can count the deaths or injuries. You can calculate the property damage. You can estimate the loss of product or the loss of sales when a regular customer chooses to buy from your competitor. You can add up the costs of the temporary closure of a plant or a mine. What about the expenditures you’ll need to make on crisis management or increased security? And, what about the marketing money you’ll need to spend to recover consumer confidence. I haven’t even mentioned the cost of possible lawsuits. And, if you’re the CEO, you could lose your job. You can measure all of these things. But how do you measure lingering negative perceptions or residual damage to your reputation due to a crisis?
Your reputation is a priceless asset.
If you aren’t prepared when a crisis hits, your reputation can collapse faster than you can imagine. It’s taken years to build your brand, your image and your standing in the industry and the community. You don’t want to lose any of that. The challenge of crisis communications is to get your stakeholders, your customers, your clients, your employees and the public on side so that you can maintain your reputation.
People will be quick to judge.
It’s been said that in times of crisis, people can be divided into three groups. One third think organizations are truthful. Another third think they only tell part of the story and withhold the bad stuff. And, the final third think they outright lie.
You need a plan.
You don’t buy insurance when your house is on fire or your basement is flooding. You want to prepare in advance. That’s when you’ll be able to think clearly and calmly. You need a crisis communications plan with a focused media relations strategy. If you want to preserve your reputation, you want to be up to the task of managing the media because it’s the media’s coverage of the crisis that usually leaves the lasting impression.