Anticipating a Business Crisis
04.14.21 Jane HillstromJeff Hoffelt
It’s nearly impossible to navigate a news cycle these days without hearing or reading about a business crisis. In some cases, it’s Mother Nature, public opinion or bad decisions. With others, it’s poor planning or not paying attention. Sadly, those experiencing organizational crises have become prime-time entertainment for the public and end up in either the Crisis Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame.
Business crises typically start small but, without company action, they can quickly escalate. If an issue gets big enough, it turns into a crisis. Our goal is to catch the issue and stop it from growing before it turns into a crisis.
Proactive vs. reactive crisis management
Business crisis management used to be very reactive — a crisis happens, you assemble your team, create a crisis communication plan, activate the plan and hope for the best.
Today, crisis management is much more proactive. Rather than responding to a crisis, you can now use social and online listening to proactively watch for an issue before it starts to form. Identifying trending stories on your brand and industry allows opportunity to intervene and prevent any issues from growing.
Anticipate early to protect business reputation
All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to brands they trust. But it takes just one crisis to damage customer trust. Your stakeholders will wait and watch to see how you react. If your business doesn’t seem to behave responsibly, they’ll leave.
The best way to build trust is to maintain your business reputation. That’s why it is always important to anticipate a business crisis. If you are prepared and respond effectively, there’s minimal to no trust loss.