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“Where’s Your Crisis Plan? No, really.”

Raise your hand if you STILL don’t have a crisis plan.

Exactly three years after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, there are major companies out there that have yet to formalize a crisis management plan.

Don’t blame an unexpected virus for being lazy. Since then, we’ve had supply chain disruptions, hurricanes, labor strikes and tech layoffs. We’ve seen the war in Ukraine and Chinese balloons over America. There have been mass shootings and Listeria-contaminated food outbreaks. The list of potential threats is never-ending. Unfortunately, so is the constant reminder to have a crisis plan.

Most CEOs say they’re not ready for a major crisis.

With all of those red flags, you would think we’ve seen enough to be better prepared. But you would be wrong. According to The Conference Board C-Suite Outlook 2023, most CEOs don’t think their organizations are ready to address a major crisis. That’s based on a survey of 1,131 C-Suite executives that included 670 CEOs from around the world.

Somebody missed the memo to quit figuring things out as they happen. However, it’s the trusted PR agency that moves to the head of the line when it does. So, on behalf of agencies that do this for a living, we beg you. As Jerry Maguire would say: “Help me help you.”

For the decision-makers in the boardroom, that means preparedness costs less than mitigation. Invest wisely, and sooner rather than later.

You don’t need perfect answers. But you do need a plan.

We get it. How could you possibly foresee every potential disaster and know exactly how to address it ahead of time? It’s a tall order. Impossible, in fact.

When a crisis strikes, leaders are forced to think fast and navigate what to do, how to do it, when to do it and why. The longer it takes to figure all that out, the worse a crisis can become. A brand’s reputation could suffer, not to mention the bottom line. So why make it a guessing game?

A great crisis plan may not have all of the perfect answers. But it will provide a roadmap for how to get there. For example: it identifies a crisis management team and outlines responsibilities for leadership, operations, and communications. It includes a variety of holding statements for various situations that can be provided to the media or the public at-large while you are internally handling a crisis. It mitigates risk and cares for the brand and its stakeholders.

More importantly, it needs constant updating and practice drills. In other words, don’t just have one. Put it to the test. Update it to be current for the times. Add to it when best practices can be included. And then, just maybe, you’ll feel more secure when somebody asks: Where’s your crisis plan?

The BizCom team has been around this block more than a few times with clients. We’ve formalized these programs for restaurant chains, daycares, global gifting and delivery networks and more. While we don’t love a crisis, we definitely prefer being prepared for one.

You should too.

For more information on crisis plans, text Monica Feid at 972-743-7230.

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