Crisis Management for Dummies

By: Adrianna Grigorian 

Don’t know how to handle a crisis? A crisis is when there is a significant business disruption which stimulates extensive news media coverage. It might require shifting recourses and money in order to control the situation.

Here are some tips on how to deal with crises.

Start off with the Pre-Crisis Stage

This means gathering all the information about the crisis. Figure out all the parties involved,   the location and if anything has been recorded or published on any media platform. There are a couple benefits to acknowledging the pre-crisis stage. For starters, you may realize that some of the situations are preventable and this way you can develop management methods.

 

Proceed with Crisis Forecasting

This is when you think about the what if’s and the worst outcomes. Always be that person in the room who asks what is the worst that can happen? Begin to think about possible responses and about the best-case/worst-case scenarios. By doing this you and your crisis management team are getting ahead of the story.

 

Draft a Vulnerability Audit

Now that you have thought about the potential threats, it’s time to get everyone in the organization on the same page. This is called a vulnerability audit. This is where you “‘look for the alligators” and have confidential interviews with people at all levels of the organization. Things you are looking for differences between answers, and nonverbal cues.

 

 

The Post-Crisis Stage

Even though you might believe you are done handling the crisis, there is still one more useful step – the post-crisis stage. This stage is an analysis of what was done right, what was done wrong, and what could have been done better in the future. This stage is especially important because no one wants their past mistakes to repeat themselves.

 

Prepare for the Next Crisis

Never be that organization that says “oh it won’t happen to us.” Be on top of your game and be prepared. Remember that the best way to handle a crisis is to tell it first, tell it fast, and tell them what you are going to do about it. But most importantly, remember to be human. Being compassionate and caring can go a long way.

 

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This Article Has 5 Comments
  1. Ani Clifford says:

    This article gives some great tips to deal with crises. Crisis management is a crucial part of a company and the amount of preparation determines if the company will survive or go under. These tips will definitely benefit a company! It is crucial to ask “what is the worst that can happen” and “look for the alligators” to ensure you don’t miss anything.

  2. Erich Aguillon says:

    It is still astounding to see big companies make rookie mistakes in terms of crisis management. My guess is many still are not used to the immediacy of social media. Respond right away and you risk the possibility of missing some key points that may change the perspective of the crisis; respond too slow and you could be seen as out of touch. Gone are the days when you have several days, even hours to respond. You have to master not only the messaging but the timing.

  3. Emily Soury says:

    This article is really helpful in understanding why companies should not just “jump right in and respond” to a crisis. It’s important to get of all of the necessary information so that a company can make sure they are sending the right message when they do decide to respond! It’s crazy how much social media has impacted this process because of the speed that news travels nowadays.

  4. Parker Doyle says:

    Having the right crisis management skills is crucial in today’s society; it seems that now more than ever there are fewer people asking the question, “what could possibly go wrong?” There is not one stage throughout the crisis-management process that is valued greater than the other, as an organizations’ reputation can be completely tarnished within moments of a mistake. Great post, Adrianna!

  5. Gabriel Ovetz says:

    I wish more businesses would follow a guideline similar to the one you have posted. There have been too many instances in which businesses have taken inappropriate actions to faced crises. I think it also becomes a matter of ethics as well, the businesses sometimes seem to get too caught up in portraying an image that they forget to consider their ethical implications of their actions.

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