Planning for the Unexpected

It’s that time of year – whether it’s because we’re watching the weather forecasts and bracing for the worst or digging into budgets and annual planning – many of our clients are dusting off their crisis management plans and are looking to upgrade or start fresh. 

There’s been no shortage of high-profile corporate incidents and executive mishaps this year (I won’t name names). Crises happen to even the most prepared and well-meaning organizations. However, it’s still surprising to see the number of Fortune 500 companies that experience a crisis and respond in a less than favorable way. When a highly public crisis hits, it becomes easy to spot which companies were caught completely unprepared. Whether it’s an inability to identify what happened, talk about the crisis or take quick actions to make things right, or simply a misguided or flubbed media response (cringe!).

Preparing for crisis takes time and work. The clients we work with in this area know the value of preparation because they understand the damage that can be done – financially, operationally and reputationally. In fact, a 2018 Deloitte study on crisis management found that being prepared significantly reduces the negative impact of a crisis – especially if senior leadership and board members are a part of planning and preparation.

Luckily, we spend most of our time working with clients on preparation and managing an issue before it becomes a crisis. We dig deep into issue identification – understanding the various issues that clients are most likely to experience and the potential impact on their business – and then working with them to set up the appropriate protocols, channels, and messages to respond effectively. And of course, practicing the plan.

Just like an insurance plan, a crisis communications plan ensures you’re ready.

Contact us for help creating or refreshing your crisis plans.

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Angie Butterbrodt

Pivot Organizational Change Management and Communications