Imagine Your Business Thriving in a Crisis
Every organization is vulnerable to crisis. What determines their success is whether or not they are proactive, prepared, and able to adapt when catastrophe strikes. A crisis management plan allows a business to fully prepare, determining how they will respond and communicate in the event of a crisis. On The Creative Monday Discussion Show, host Mervin Burdram speaks with communications specialist Tessa Drayton to establish exactly what a crisis management plan is, what its essential components are, and why YOU need a crisis management plan today.
Combatting Chaos: What is a Crisis Management Plan?
A crisis is any disruption or unexpected event that happens. Tessa explains: “At some point in our lives, every one of us has experienced a crisis. Whether it is a separation, the loss of a loved one, or losing possessions in natural disasters, we can relate to how it has impacted our lives, either positively or negatively.” To put it simply, a crisis plan is a guideline on how your business will respond, and the actions to be taken before, during, and after the crisis. In addition to having a plan in place, Tessa offers sound advice for weathering the storm when a crisis arises:
As we learned from Tessa in this episode, a business must always be in a state of readiness. Don’t wait for the crisis to decide how you will respond!
One of the most important things to remember in the midst of a crisis is don’t panic. Tessa advises that you remain calm and collected, and begin to respond to the crisis with the plan you have carefully put in place.
Be Ready to Adapt
In Tessa’s professional opinion, businesses should be willing to take time to test the plan and see how it is working. Be ready to make adjustments and changes, adapting the plan as necessary!
When Threat Arrives, RISE:
Rising above the threat, and coming out on the other side safe and successful are the ultimate goals of any business! So what steps can you put into place to develop a plan for success? Tessa shares her three necessary components to creating a solid, well-rounded crisis management plan:
- Pre-Crisis Plan: This stage involves actively creating a plan, and identifying potential risks that may arise in your environment. This is the stage where it is necessary to identify team members, delegate tasks, and train your team for their roles and responsibilities regarding the anticipated crisis. This phase also includes training employees on how to respond when a crisis occurs, and how to relate to the media in the midst of a crisis.
- Communications Plan: As a business, your crisis management plan is not complete without a plan for communication. A detailed communication plan is the solid foundation of your business’ crisis management. A communication plan will offer confidence in a time of chaos, not only for your team — but also for the media, stakeholders, and business partners.
- Post-Crisis Plan: After the crisis, it is crucial for your business to evaluate weaknesses. This is the time to ask the important questions: What could we have done better? Do I need to create new policies? Do I need to retrain staff? In this stage, the business must look back on the crisis to assess their success, failures, and pinpoint their opportunities for improvement!
Developing a crisis management plan not only helps your business mitigate threats and damages brought by a crisis, it also offers your team members the opportunity to gain the tools they need to respond to the event. A prepared team tackles a crisis with confidence, bringing your business through the storm beaming with success. Your crisis management plan is essential to protect your team members, as well as your business’s reputation and revenue.
“The survival and long-term success of your business depends on how well you respond in difficult times.” – Tessa Drayton
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