Having a Crisis Management Plan is a bit like packing an umbrella to take on holiday. You hope you don’t need you use it you and most probably won’t. But take it just in case.
The essential elements to dealing with any crisis are preparation and experience. Although every crisis is unique, it is possible to plan in some detail for a wide variety of scenarios, from initial analysis to considered external communications. Experience, gained from handling other issues as well as thorough training, then helps in responding and handling the incident, adapting to circumstances and putting plans into action calmly and efficiently.
Regular realistic training exercises are vital. They not only test the plans and spot any gaps, they also help to remind and refresh the team about their roles and build confidence and expertise that are invaluable under the pressure of a real incident.
It is easy to underestimate how extensive and how time consuming crisis preparation can be. From defining decision-making roles in handling an issue and preparing the communications plan and templates to writing the crisis manual, it is a major task that is often best outsourced to professionals working closely in partnership with the in-house team who will be handling the issue.
We’ve handled crisis and issues management for several organisations over the years – from national events stadiums and travel operators to confectionery brands, sandwich sellers and baby products – and have created crisis plans for many others.
A crisis management plan is a living thing – it needs to be tested regularly, updated annually and constantly reviewed to ensure that it’s always relevant, effective and seamless to implement because time is never on your side when things go wrong.
Before a crisis, we can help with thorough objective preparation and training. In a crisis, we are a safe pair of hands.