The Crisis Plan
Planning in advance of a crisis may be the prime determiner as to the depth
and cost to a company's reputation and bottom line. Once an event occurs, there is no time for a considered thoughtful approach.
- Start with an Approach
The crisis plan begins with a corporate statement outlining the company's
crisis management approach, providing a decision base and behavior path for all action. The statement will summarize the company's philosophies and ethics, and delineate what the company plans to "protect"
- Build a Strong Reputation
An organization with a solid reputation will survive a crisis better than one without. A company's initial approach to the crisis will be strongly influenced by its perception of your historical behavior.
- Create a Crisis Team
Place someone in charge of the crisis team - usually a member of top management who can step
away from their daily duties and assume control of the crisis team. Candidates for the
- Corporate communications
- Human Resources
- Establish a Crisis Center
This can be an established conference room, preferably one that is already wired and equipped for
these communications technologies:
- Preinstalled jacks for phone lines
- Computers with modems to access databases
- Faxes, video conferencing, and VCRs
- Satellite television and radio
- Prepare Materials in Advance
The crisis team should ask themselves, "If something bad happened today, what would I need to respond immediately". Have in advance:
- A press response ready stating your knowledge of the crisis if you have
adequate amount of information.
- Your best answer and information about the crisis.
- Some generic but positive information about the company that has
some bearing on the crisis.
* The four most important questions in formulating a crisis plan are:
- What are the potential threats to your company?
- Can you plan for every eventuality?
- What is your plan trying to protect?
- Do you need a plan, or just a good preparation?
* The crisis plan above has been created from information from both the Hendrix and Caywood books.