One of the many things that the current Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything is that whether your a hardworking individual or a huge conglomerate is that part of surviving hard and rough circumstances is having a contingency plan for a rainy day, aka some form of a crisis management plan or some form of crisis planning.
Planning for a crisis and going through the risk assessment & generally the whole risk management process is not the same thing, however, especially when you start considering how what qualifies as a crisis for a multinational company with markets everywhere could differ form what qualifies as a crisis in your household
Realizing the negative effects of a crisis and the necessity of having a crisis response team close at hand we decided to write this piece about Crisis management, what it is & the different strategies and best practices of crisis response or management plan. So get ready for a quick and crash course in crisis management.
1) What is crisis management?
Crisis management is defined by Wikipedia as the process by which an organization decides to face or deal with a disruptive & unpredictable event that could inflict harm on the company & its stakeholders.
The concept of Crisis management and its study originated after a series of big or large scale environmental or industrial disaster back in the 1980s, with it being considered as one of the cores and most important part of managing public relations.
2) Types of crisis
This includes the type of crises that are primarily related to nature or its powerful forces including floods, earthquakes, Firestorms and other expressions of natures wrath
- Technological & confrontational crises:
These are the different types of crises that are related to the human application of science & technology. These crises could be anything from a server where the company’s work is stored in or any other technological mishap that could delay or completely halt the functioning of the business.
As for Confrontational crises occurs when disconnecting and discontented individuals and different groups trying to win acceptance or safeguard their interests.
- Management Values & Organization crises:
This type of crises includes the different problems that can occur in the company on an internal level. Examples of these types of crises would be a PR scandal relating to mismanagement of employees or internal decisions that could result in a massive financial lose
This also includes any other industrial accidents, communication crisis, or organizational crisis that could have a negative impact that might lead a crisis to occur.
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3) How to survive a crisis
Now that we are done with the definition and types of crises you could end up facing out of the way its time to move on to what we assume is one of the main reasons you chose to read the article, aka to learn what should be your course of action in the event of a crisis.
Tell the Truth and speak from the heart
The worst thing you can do in an event of a crisis is trying to solve an existing problem by creating a new one, and that can easily occur choosing to lie or dishonestly resolve the problem is like adding gasoline to an already existing fire and create an even bigger crisis.
This is why we believe that the best option for you, your company, its stakeholders & your team members is, to be honest whenever you can about the organization crisis or any other one you’re going through, explain what’s happening and assume responsibility for it and share your recovery plan.
Respond respectfully & have a plan
There’s a saying that goes the best offence is a good defence, and one of the best things you can do to soften the blow of a crisis is to be the man with the plan or the company with the plan in this case.
This will require you to draw different crisis scenarios and prepare a plan in advance before its occurrence, You will also need to run that plan by our crisis management teams and other stakeholders so that they can run their risk assessments and advise you on the plan & of course respectfully do all of this as part of your response plan.
Learn from it & unify your story
Any business could take a decision that might cause a negative impact and any CEO could misjudge a situation so it’s normal to make mistakes, you never improve however if you fail to learn from your past experiences.
The feedback you need could come from a wide array of resources such as your complaints team, sales team, FAQs, discussion forums and last but not least from different social media channels so keep a lookout for your comments, your customer’s complaint and all that.
Last but not least you need to present a united front and make your story as an entity or a company coherent.
To top it all off here are some great real-life example of different company crises that were resolved in a great manner and some others that weren’t.
Mattel’s & Pepsis crisis management practices are some of the best out there. Back in 2007, Mattel’s lineup was plagued with recalls as part of there Chinese exports.
Although it was problematic Mattel went to work straight away and published its side of the story and went full disclosure, calling several news outlets and sending emails underlying the and why the issue was occurring and was upfront with its customers and the public.
Phobals behaviour during its crisis in 20o6 is a class example of how not to manage a crisis and of failing communications internally and externally that could very well have captures the lives of others.
Examples of such miscommunication were printing out their guides only in their products operating manual among other culturally insensitive actions.
So there you have it most if not all you need to know about crisis management, we hope this piece has been beneficial and assisted you in figuring out how to manage a crisis.