“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
This quote from Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary businessman Warren Buffett delivers sage advice to organizations, most of whom, at some point will find themselves embroiled in a crisis.
Whether it’s a small nuisance event or a catastrophic occurrence, an organization’s initial response to a crisis will be critically scrutinized and sets the tone for how it will be judged in the court of public opinion, even after the crisis has subsided. Absent, slow, or uncoordinated responses can lead to a lack of trust and damage to its reputation, as Buffett warns. Even more harmful is the negative impact on financials and constraints on future opportunities.
Most organizations fall short on the preparedness to effectively and efficiently respond to a crisis when it occurs. And they fumble their initial communications to key stakeholders and their ensuing responses.
Our five-step Crisis Communications or Contingency Planning process dovetails with the business continuity plan to establish and confirm what gets said, when it gets said, who it gets said to, and where it gets said. Steps in the process include:
From a practical application standpoint, this advance work to prepare a crisis communications plan is an investment that will help to maintain an organization’s reputation and protect its bottom line.
To learn more about our Contingency Planning process and how we can help you to Be Prepared in the event of a crisis, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, watch for additional updates on our work with Messaging & Post Crisis Analysis and Brand Vulnerability Audits.