The realities in crisis prevention

The realities in crisis prevention

Prevention is the most challenging aspect due to how difficult it is to draw attention to situations that seem unlikely to occur. Good prevention enables actions to be triggered to respond to and eliminate, or at least control, each new threat before it becomes a crisis.

But prevention and preparation for communication crises require keeping in mind the recognition of some realities:

reality 1

The useful life of a crisis manual is approximately four years. Staff turnover, business structuring, the launch of new products or services, and the emergence of new potential competitors can overwhelm even the best upgrade process.

reality 2

Company leaders can change and their replacements then have to be involved and updated in the crisis processes and require help to get up to speed, so it is important that they participate in intensive drills, preferably annually.

reality 3

The biggest weakness of most crisis plans is the lack of commitment and involvement from top management. Top management usually refuses to participate in the drills, takes them lightly, or prevents the participation of their subordinates because it privileges some “urgent” issue.

reality 4

The theme of the single spokesperson. What happens if that spokesperson dies, or knows practically nothing about the problem or is among those allegedly responsible for the crisis? Current theories say that even when there should be an institutional spokesperson in charge of communication with all audiences, it is necessary to have back-up spokespersons who are experts in the field and, even more importantly, specialists in managing incidents and specific organizational threats such as such as: kidnapping, extortion, natural disasters, sabotage or workplace violence.

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reality 5

Crisis prevention is challenging. It’s hard to generate interest in planning things that are “unlikely” to happen. The hard part is getting top management interested in planning for things they wouldn’t want to happen.

Good prevention involves detecting potential problems early on and responding with actions to eliminate or manage new threats before they occur. Don’t forget that untested plans will necessarily fail in most respects.

Given these realities, there are some recommendations to take into account.

The first is to review and update crisis management manuals every two to three years. This allows adjustments to be made based on the new circumstances that an organization is facing while keeping those responsible for the crisis management teams “oiled”.

A second The recommendation is to include the knowledge and operation of the crisis prevention and management manual within the job induction process. It is not only about getting to know the company but about assimilating its values, one of which should be prevention.

The other Our recommendation is to try by all means to ensure that the top managers assume a real commitment and participate in the prevention and preparation of a possible communication crisis and that they take seriously the drills that are carried out.