Digital Age Crisis Lessons #2: Your Likelihood of Facing a Crisis


Nothing really bad will happen to your organization, right?

You’ve gone all these years in business without a major crisis, so why would that change now?

You’ve had the odd unhappy customer, a disgruntled employee or two and there was that time the new product launch went awry.

But it was all swept under the carpet and life continued.

It’s certainly not worth spending time, money and effort on building an issues and crisis management infrastructure.

You’ve got better things on which to spend your corporate dollars.

I am pretty sure that Wells Fargo, United Airlines, Chipotle, Boeing and Equifax would have said something similar in the not too recent past.

Each of those companies enjoyed a stellar reputation. 

Each of them subsequently faced a significant threat to their reputation and business that has caused massive and continuing damage to their brands.

The #2 lesson in our occasional series of crisis tutorials for the digital age is that your chance of facing a crisis is much greater than you think.

(The #1 lesson was that you are not ready to respond as quickly as you think – you can read it here.)

More than 60% of organizations believe they face more crises than they did a year ago.

80% of organizations worldwide report that they have had to mobilize their crisis management teams at least once in the past two years.

These findings are taken from the 2018 Deloitte Crisis Management Survey which concluded that crises are on the rise and most organizations must overcome several challenges in order to successfully navigate a crisis.

So, if you are feeling bullet proof – it’s probably because you have been lucky rather than good.

The biggest factor behind the rising number of crises is the mass adoption of digital and social media.

Organizations no longer control access or the flow of information about themselves. The internet has created transparency – it’s all out there, good and bad.

Digital media also enables groups of like-minded people to gather together, share views and organize opposition – whether it be for a major cause or because they did not like something in that last television commercial you aired.

And everyone is a reporter. The actions of your company and its employees are open to being recorded and videoed and then broadcast online, often to an audience of tens of thousands – and, in some cases, millions (remember Dr Dao being dragged off that United Airlines flight in April 2017).

If all of this is making you feel a little less secure – then good!

Make sure to subscribe to our blog to follow the lessons in this series for the how to prepare to be ready to protect your organization when the worst does happen.