Every organization faces the specter of a crisis that could damage its credibility or viability, result in loss of customers or support, or even result in injury or loss of life.
These are daunting—almost unthinkable—prospects, yet we see news story after news story about organizations trying to cope in crisis.
What’s particularly interesting is that, in today’s world, the crisis itself is just the start! Media analysis and public scrutiny of how a crisis is handled can be just as devastating—if not more—than the crisis itself.
Not to pick on Sony, but in the latest news in the wake of its epic security breach, employees have filed suit because the company allegedly ignored repeated warnings about weaknesses in its computer system but refused to act. And now, of course, the question being asked by many news commentators is, “How do you think Sony is handling itself and communicating with its stakeholders in the aftermath of the hacking?”
The damning post-crisis analysis, not to mention the litigation, will contribute to a lasting legacy of problems associated with this already devastating crisis.
What can you do to prepare for the unthinkable? Lovell has opined regularly and often on the critical importance of a crisis communications plan to ensure organizations’ are prepared to handle the unthinkable as well as possible.
While even good communications planning cannot erase failures of operations or leadership, we do know that failing to plan is planning to fail.
Today, how an organization handles itself in a time of crisis is as critically important, and as big a news story, as the crisis. Is your organization adequately prepared for the unthinkable? What are you doing to give your company the best possible chance for survival?
Photo credit: Skillful Means
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