Ignoring crisis prevention costs
Last week, retailer WH Smiths learned about the wrath of social media. A Twitter user in Leamington Spa tweeted a photograph appearing to show that the retailer had moved its copies of Gay Times and Attitude, apparently in an attempt to keep them out of sight.
The Twittersphere was outraged, with hundreds of users retweeting the picture and accusing the retailer of homophobia.
The storm occurred over the weekend, while WH Smiths’ Twitter account was unmanned. On the Monday, the retailer issued a statement explaining that the action had, in fact, been taken for perfectly reasonable reasons – but by that time the damage had been done.
This quote, from a Simply Business article, is yet another example of how failing to perform basic crisis prevention planning can, and eventually will, cost you. Obviously it’s common for offices to close over the weekend, but a basic vulnerability audit would have exposed the fact that (gasp!) the world doesn’t stop just because you lock the doors and turn out the lights.
Information absolutely flies now, and a gap of hours is already bad for a crisis response. An entire weekend is inexcusable, damaging, and costly in terms of both reputation repair and lost dollars.
All it takes is a quick peek at the top stories in business news to see more examples of easily preventable crises. Don’t make this mistake – get prepared!
The BCM Blogging Team