The phone rings. It’s a local reporter calling to get your comment regarding an incident at your company. Oh shoot – you just learned about the crisis moments ago, how did the media hear about it already? Or worse yet – this is the first time you’ve heard about it.
Yep. This happens everyday to another company. You think, “Quick – grab the crisis plan so we have a starting place.” Wait, no one ever completed the plan? Awesome. What should we do?
Let’s talk about why you need a crisis plan.
Planning means anticipating your greatest risks – its ok to have risks, everyone has them. By planning, you simply think through them and document what you would want to do. Is everything going to go exactly as planned during an incident? Of course not. But, at least you will have a place to start, an idea of how you would like things to go, known pitfalls to avoid to protect your company’s reputation, and your team will not be making things up on the fly. Because crisis response is not a pick-up game.
Having a crisis plan helps your team to get more comfortable with the response plan, their role and sets expectations for how things will go if an incident happens. Think of it like a reputational version of a fire, tornado or hurricane drill. The investment is minimal, but the return is significant – making this something on your “must do” list.