It only takes one look at the headlines from any given day to thoroughly prove that a massive variety of issues can result in potential for crisis.
If you, like many of our clients, are wondering how in the world you can be expected to plan for every single issue that could harm your organization (and maybe feeling a bit of crisis overload as a result) you're not alone.
After all, you can make specific plans for 99 possibilities and then watch the 100th happen the very next day!
Don't panic though, there's a trick to bypassing that problem altogether. It's simple really, and it's something we use in all kinds of crisis management and crisis communications planning.
The key to reducing that crisis overload you're feeling is to prepare to address categories of issues, rather than a specific circumstance. For example, your plans should include blanket considerations for predictable types of issues such as natural disasters impacting physical workspaces, versus individual plans for fire, flood, and tornado.
This can be carried throughout, from the physical like natural disasters to the more reputation-oriented. For example, "unethical spokesperson behavior" would be a category for many organizations today.
Now this is all based on the assumption that you do have plans in place to start with. According to recent industry surveys, businesses that have already experienced a crisis say the top 3 things they would go back and change are doing more to identify crisis scenarios (34%), executing a more timely and robust communications plan (29%), and communicating more effectively with employees (29%).
In other words, they wished they had complete and effective crisis plans in place.
The absolute top ways to prevent as many crises as you can while mitigating damage from those you can't are to catch issues early and be prepared with a plan. Don't let crisis overload cause a delay.
Bernstein Crisis Management is a specialized firm dedicated, since January 1994, to providing rapid, highly effective strategies for preventing and managing crisis situations that harm people, property, business continuity, reputation and the financial bottom line. We guide our clients through every step of the crisis management process, from preparation to response, and are available 24/7 for assistance. Our more than 30 years of experience assisting clients worldwide makes us an absolute authority on preventing and responding to crisis situations.