Digital Age Crisis Lessons #3: Is Your Crisis Plan Manageable?

Business Meeting

KFC’s inspired response to a crisis which threatened to sink its UK restaurants early in 2018 won it a coveted Golden Lion at Cannes.

I am pretty sure that while the response was true to best practice principles of crisis management, the fast-food chain’s crisis team did not have to consult a huge paper-based plan to get to the right answer.

Likewise, the short, brilliant response of Sanofi when Roseanne Barr blamed its sleep drug Ambien for a series of racially insensitive tweets.

In my more than 25 years serving the issues and crisis management needs of blue-chip clients, I nearly weep to think of the hours I spent working on response plans that were never completed – or were ignored in the moment of threat.

The pages and pages of content, destined to languish in a dusty 3-ring binder, were needed to check a box against a list of legal requirements. 

Yes, we have a plan – check!

The content of many paper-based plans is laborious.

Written in a narrative format, trying to cover every eventuality (which is impossible) and in painstaking detail.

In the digital age, where often the threat is driven at lightning speed by social media, there is just not the time to read through such long, complex materials to find the resources that matter in that moment.

And that’s assuming you can locate the plan in the binder, or your share-drive, and have faith that the content has been updated since it was first written many moons ago.

So, what is needed to replicate the brilliant crisis management strategy of KFC and Sanofi?

What you need is a team that can be activated quickly and access instantly smart response protocols that allow the team to:

  • Assess the level of the threat 
  • Consider the stakeholders most impacted 
  • Figure how to best deploy the brand’s authentic voice
  • Deploy core crisis best practices

And, therefore, to arrive at a speedy, effective and creative response to the crisis.

How is all this enabled? 

Well, we are biased, but that is what the In Case of Crisis app does best.

There is no need to wait for that giant, sprawling plan to be complete (if, indeed, it ever will be!).

In Case of Crisis is deployed right now and gives you an instant upgrade to the speed and effectiveness of your threat responses.

This is #3 in an occasional series of blogs under the overall theme of ‘The Ten Digital Age Crisis Management Lessons for Everyone’. 

The #1 lesson is here

The #2 lesson is here.