Corporate crises are filling the news these days: banks and mortgage companies going under, high gas prices tanking car sales and escalating plane fares, E.coli outbreaks delivering a devastating blow to grocery stores, restaurants and growers, CEOs caught in full-blown scandals. The list just goes on. For companies dealing with these issues, it’s usually time to dust off the company crisis plan and start figuring out how to communicate your way out of the tailspin. But is your crisis plan up to the challenge?
In my experience counseling companies on crisis preparedness, an audit usually reveals that the crisis plan was developed years ago, by someone who is not there anymore, and all of the contacts and systems are deemed inaccurate or irrelevant today. The time to update it is not in the middle of your crisis, so companies need to carve out the time when they are not in crisis mode to really look at their crisis plan, make sure that it is “bulletproof” and actually practice responding to scenarios in regular drills.