Only two thirds of companies have formal crisis planning in place. And only half of those with a plan conduct crisis simulation exercises according to a study done in June by IR Insight.
Fact is, when you’re thrust into the midst of a crisis, it’s often extremely chaotic. It’s difficult enough to deal with an internal incident, but when it involves the public, look out! You’re bound to have a bombardment of data and questions from social media, not to mention your phones ringing off the hook with calls from concerned shareholders and members of the media sniffing out a juicy story. Your employees are concerned, and possibly even panicking.
Nobody is truly ready for this. What you can do is prepare as best as possible with plans and crisis training. Then, in the midst of this storm, you’ve got to do your best to take in the big picture and make the decision that has the best outcome.
There is no argument that the best crisis management is to take steps to reduce the likelihood of a crisis occurring in the first place. So, effective pre-crisis management should include both getting ready to deal with a crisis when it strikes and crisis prevention measures before it strikes.
Training simulations don’t have to be costly; a well-managed table exercise can be powerful and cost-effective. But training should take place at least once a year
Crisis prevention is essential and must be fully integrated into overall management activity. The key to success is recognizing that crisis management is a process, and it’s a process that should directly involve everyone throughout the organization.