Why This Should Be The Year Of Crisis Preparedness For Your Brand

Would you be ready if you needed crisis management today?

When a full 63% of your brand’s market value can be tied directly to how strong its reputation is, a single negative news article or popular social media post bashing its behavior can hit you right where it really hurts — in the bank account!

While we’re seeing more interest in crisis planning and preparedness work than ever, it’s a simple fact that most organizations out there are not prepared to face a fully fledged, all-hands-on-deck, act-now-or-incur-serious-damage, crisis management situation. Some have no formal plan at all and (thankfully) just haven’t run into an overwhelming situation yet, while many more can identify some type of planning or preparedness efforts from the past which are now gathering dust on a shelf somewhere because there’s been no modern revision or related crisis training. Once in a blue moon you may get the luckiest break and have bigger news eclipse your story, or even knock it out of the news rotation entirely, but that’s tremendously rare event. In most cases you’ll have to face the music, and I think you’d agree it’s better to do that prepared.

So, will this be the year of crisis preparedness for your brand?

[If you’ve come this far only to realize you’re not entirely sure what crisis management is, or what would be involved in a crisis management plan, take a trip over to our article, “What Is Crisis Management and Why Do We Need A Plan?”, then come on back for the rest.]

Though you can’t avoid every piece of negative coverage or all of the critical comments made in the press, on your social media platform of choice, or similar, you can minimize the potential to take damage from any given situation through proper crisis management preparedness and planning efforts, along with practice including things like tabletop crisis simulations or regular media training sessions. When you do run into an unavoidable crisis situation – and believe me you eventually will – then you utilize your crisis management plan and the experience gained through relevant trainings to mitigate as much damage as possible, keeping costs low and maintaining your ability to do business not only now, but also well into the future.

If your business is featured in a negative article – or even an article that appears negative with a click-baity headline – there could be tangible consequences. Businesses with just one negative article online risk losing up to 22% of prospective customers. And this number increases quickly – businesses with four or more negative articles can experience a loss of up to 70% of prospective customers. [StatusLabs research]

Cost is always a consideration in business, and that’s fair. Given the stats we’ve shared thus far though, it seems fair to say that the expenses connected to suffering a crisis unprepared quickly outweigh the price of proper planning and training!

It’s not fun to think about, but here’s the real deal – when you do have a major negative event, a record of what was said and done will be kept on the internet forever. Not only that, but if you run into a similar situation again you better believe the past will be trotted out by eagle-eyed social media users or well-researched reporters to be re-litigated in the court of public opinion. Just a little stressful, right?

The solution to that stress? Be prepared, to utilize that preparedness to mitigate as much damage as possible, and get back to “business as usual” as quickly as you can. That’s it.

Erik Bernstein