Business Preparedness: Does your crisis management plan exist? And does it include crisis management training?

What constitutes a crisis for a business can take many forms. Loss of a reliable supplier for a service may cause a number of problems but it won’t necessarily impact on your company’s ability to deliver if you can find a replacement quickly.

Damage to your business premises because of flooding can have a major impact on your survivability both in the short and long term. It can also mean you aren’t able to deal with customers. A data breach, on the other hand, can cause huge reputational damage very quickly and lead to financial loss as well as customers closing their accounts because they no longer trust you.

Crisis Management Plan

Being prepared to handle any crisis or adverse event is becoming increasingly important for businesses across all sectors of industry and commerce, whatever their size. The truth is, having a crisis management plan in place is vital. Unfortunately, not all businesses have one. Many are simply depending on luck that nothing will go wrong or that they can handle any issues which arise.

This might be because of the complex nature of crisis management. If you sit down and list everything that can go wrong in your business, it’s surprising how much you can find. Not only do you have to deal with resolving the crisis event itself but you may have to manage the public’s perception and other external factors.

The Elements of a Crisis Management Plan

Key is understanding potential threats to your company. Essentially, you need to be able to predict the problem if you are going to put in a plan to cope with it.

Once you understand these threats, you can put in measures and policies and procedures to protect yourself against them. For example, If you run a business that involves storing food, you could be at risk if your electricity supply fails. If you handle customer data, how would you deal with a hack or if you run a tourist attraction what if a customer was injured? Your business will have a range of ways in which a crisis could arise and having a comprehensive plan will help you deal well with the unexpected.

Understanding a crisis enables you to put a plan in place to cope with it. That includes what resolutions you are going to call upon to ease your passage through this troubling time as well as the communications you are going to have with those, including your customers, who are impacted by the crisis. Ensuring that your team is well skilled in talking to the media should a crisis occur should also be part of that crisis management plan. Having the skills to deal with the unexpected will make handling the situation as smooth as possible and this can only be accomplished with ongoing training.

Proactive Measures

A comprehensive crisis management plan allows you to persevere and come out on the other side. That means taking a proactive look at measures you can put in place that will protect your business and its reputation. A good plan also gives you room to evaluate performance if there is a crisis. That means you can evolve your responses more effectively for any future events.

The Importance of Crisis Media Training

A crisis, by definition means the unexpected, but that does not mean you cannot prepare for this. Good media training, and crisis media training specifically, is an essential part of any business that speaks to the media regularly or may have to speak to the media if a problem occurs.

Media skills and practice scenarios can be learned and then applied to any crisis situation. Creating these media training sessions is where the team at Hawkeye Media truly excel. Ensuring that your team has the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in a supportive training session is essential to them being able to answer the possible hostile questions asked from the media in crisis situations.

Making media crisis training part of your overall crisis management strategy is a positive step to ensuring should the unexpected happen you will have a practised team who can calmly explain what has happened, answer questions and ensure the correct messages are being delivered.