What Keeps You Awake at Night?
June 2, 2015
“Everything changed in the blink of an eye.” “All was lost from one minute to the next.” We’ve all heard these expressions. Now try this one…We lost what it took years to build in as long as it took people to read a damning headline in The New York Times or the Globe and Mail.
Are you worried about a potential crisis?
Recognize that a crisis can be many things. It can be big or small, expected or unexpected. It can be a scandal, fraud, a natural disaster, an accidental death or an extreme act of violence. Perhaps there are financial problems, a downsize, a merger, a takeover, a boycott or a strike. Maybe one of your executives has been kidnapped in a foreign country. Maybe there’s been a devastating explosion and fire. Maybe your brand is under serious assault on social media. Maybe you’re the victim of a cyber attack that jeopardizes the personal information of your clients. Or maybe your CEO has been caught doing something they shouldn’t. (I’ll let you fill in the blanks there.) The list of possibilities is long.
Not all crises are created equal.
Some crises are more serious and far-reaching than others so there will be different levels of media interest. Still, it’s always critical to have a crisis communications plan with a focused media relations strategy because whether you like it or not, the media…both traditional and social…have the power to sway public opinion. Never underestimate their ability to shape perceptions about your organization.
When is it a crisis for you?
- Does it harm or threaten to harm people or property?
- Does it impede your ability to do business?
- Does it affect your bottom line?
- Does it diminish your market share?
- Does it tarnish your image or damage your brand?
- Does it put your values on trial in the court of public opinion?
Don’t be complacent.
No organization is completely immune to a crisis. Never say… that could never happen to us! It’s easy to become complacent in a non-crisis environment. But you don’t want to get caught off guard. There are many things that can and should be done in advance to improve your crisis response.
The time to prepare for a crisis is before it hits.
Your first step is a crisis audit to determine your vulnerabilities. From there, you can construct a crisis communications plan. What are you worried about? What keeps you tossing and turning? Having a plan is like having an insurance policy. It’ll help you sleep at night.