Ten Reasons Why a New Crisis Plan Must Be in Your 2018 Budget

Ten Reasons Why a New Crisis Plan Must Be in Your 2018 Budget.jpg

It’s the challenge that all those involved in crisis planning faces regularly.

Everyone agrees that the organization needs a new crisis plan. New issues and threats are emerging. Times have changed – social media and technology drive crises at digital speed.

Then it gets to tough decisions on what goes into next year’s budget. The crisis planning initiative is dropped with a promise that it will be a priority ‘next year’.This is ‘next year’.

If you have not updated your crisis plan in the past two years, you are at risk.

Here’s ten reasons why that crisis preparedness project must be in your 2018 budget:

  1. Any of these on the roll call of reputation disasters in 2017 could be you next – Equifax, United Airlines, HBO, Uber, British Airways, Pepsi, Delta, Chipotle, Wells Fargo, PWC, Adidas, Ryanair.
  2. Social media has transformed how crises emerge and gather momentum – your plan almost certainly does not equip you to respond effectively.
  3. Technology, not the media, drives threats – everyone has a video camera on their cellphones. Every incident is captured and broadcast in real time. If your plan envisages a news story being the emerging threat, you are facing the wrong way.
  4. Millennials have different expectations and demands of brands – they are loyal but research shows that if the brand lets them down they are bad enemies.
  5. Data and analytics offer the ability to identify and track emerging issues – they are not yet in widespread application, but there are tools and techniques that allow you to gain early warning, to understand who is on the conversation and how it is developing.
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  6. In the event of a crisis, your plan is in a binder on an office shelf or on a hard-to-access intranet – neither is a good option when proven platforms like In Case of Crisis offer sophisticated crisis management solutions via the one thing people always carry, their smartphone.
  7. Half your crisis team have left the company or have changed phone numbers – it’s a couple of years since anyone updated the crisis team and their contact details, so valuable time is lost trying to work out who the heck should be gathering to respond to the crisis.
  8. The first time the team work together on a crisis it will be the real thing – when a crisis does break, you need a team that is prepared and prepped. That means running a workshop to put them through their paces on a simulated situation, so that kinks and gaps in the system can be identified and rectified.
  9. There are new and emerging threats, particularly in the swirling overlap of political, social and cultural issues – these are strange times in which US society is polarized and even advertising campaigns are viewed through a partisan political lens. Your old crisis plan did not anticipate this.
  10. Data leaks and IT security failures are still very badly handled and are disastrous to brand reputations – it is probably covered up to a point in your current plan, but how confident are you in the details of your preparedness given the bungling response and terrible communication that appears to follow each new incident (see Equifax, British Airways, Chipotle, HBO et al)?