A crisis can strike any company anytime, anywhere. While you can’t always anticipate a crisis, preparation is crucial for helping your business understand how to best respond in the event of an unexpected disaster.
In order to do so, it’s important to understand how a disaster would impact employees, customers, suppliers, the general public and their company’s value. From there, it’s time to create your crisis management plan.
Creating the Plan
Create the crisis management plan when everything is running smoothly and everyone involved can think clearly. By planning in advance, all parties will have time to critically think about the ideal ways to manage different types of crises.
Begin with clear objectives which are designed to protect any individual who may be endangered by the crisis, and ensure the key audiences are kept informed, and the organization will likely come out of the disaster with minimal damage. This written plan should include specific actions that will be taken in the event of a crisis, as well as what each team member will be responsible for.
Be sure to establish a succession plan. Clearly outline the necessary steps to follow if you suddenly become unable to perform your duties. This could include selling the company, or transferring ownership to family members or top employees.
Throughout the development process, seek advice from experts that include your leadership team, employees, customers, communications experts, investment bankers, exit planners, lawyers and financial managers. These individuals may provide valuable insight that could significantly impact your company if a crisis strikes.
Designating a Spokesperson
If the crisis could potentially impact the health or well-being of customers, the general public or employees, it may attract media attention. To ensure your company speaks with one voice and delivers a clear consistent message, you must identify a spokesperson, prepare to answer media questions and participate in interviews.
Before your spokesperson delivers any message to the public, we strongly encourage running everything through your legal team, in order to ensure that your response does not further endanger your business.
The Importance of Honesty and Communication
A lack of honesty and transparency will only dig yourself in a bigger whole a create a media disaster. Being as open and honest as possible helps to stop rumors and reduce media frenzy. Transparency should be projected through every communication channel, such as any interviews, social media, and internal announcements.
Ensure that business continues to flow as smoothly as possible by maintaining an informed workforce. This will minimize rumors that could result in employees posting false claims on social media, and your employees will feel more comfortable with the situation (and be less likely to accidentally further develop the crisis) if they understand what’s going on.
You don’t want customers and suppliers hearing about your crisis through the media. Information on any crisis connected to your business should always come from you first, so prepare how customers and suppliers will be regularly updated during a crisis.
It is safer to over-communicate than to allow rumors to fill the silence. Issue summary statements, updated action plans and new developments as early and as often as possible. With today’s social media and news outlets, we live in a 24/7 news cycle news era; therefore a crisis plan must keep up.
Social media is one of the most important channels of communications. Be sure to establish a team to monitor, post and react to social media activity throughout the crisis.
A poorly managed crisis may put decades of hard work and company value to shame in a matter of hours. A well-managed crisis confirms that your company has the procedures in place to address almost any issue that could arise.
About The Rubin Group
Based in New York, The Rubin Group provides insurance in most of the 50 states. Our full-service insurance brokerage provides insurance and risk management services to individuals in all income brackets and businesses of all sizes and types. We understand that every client has unique coverage requirements, and we are passionate about providing the ideal individualized coverage for each customer. Each member of our team takes the time to truly understand your situation, the particular risks you anticipate – and the very real risks you’ve not yet contemplated. For all of your insurance needs, contact us at The Rubin Group!