Successful crisis management starts long before any incident occurs. Imagine this – you are the CEO of a multi-national company and you receive a phone call informing you of a large warehouse fire at one of your premises. The circumstances of the fire are not yet known and details of what is happening and who may be affected is unclear and confusing. However, news of the fire is already spreading on social media, the local community is concerned about loved ones who work there and even clients are already questioning whether their orders are likely to be met. As CEO you are already being asked to field questions from the media, stakeholders and employees, but you are busy trying to find out what is happening on site. Would you know what to do next and what to say? Lets face it, a crisis never comes at the right time…….. because there never is a right time.
Having a Crisis Management Plan is critical to your business continuity, to how you handle the response and to the Company's reputation. Having a Plan that your senior leadership team are familiar with will help you to navigate through the many complex areas of handling a crisis – from the immediate response phase through to the longer term recovery phase and even through the post-incident review and lesson learning exercise.
Many businesses, big and small, don’t have a Crisis Management Plan and leave themselves exposed and caught off guard when things go wrong. It is not just large scale events like a warehouse fire that require a crisis management plan – just think about whether you would know what to do if the police (or any other regulator) turned up announced; or an employee has a serious accident at work; or you find yourself subject to a cyber attack or a data breach. In all of these examples, time is of the essence and with the advent of social media, bad news travels fast! How you respond, who responds and the speed at which you respond will all determine how well you come out at the other side.
A good Crisis Management Plan will stop the panic, protect the organisation and allow you to respond efficiently and confidently. Having a Plan can help to ensure the safety of employees and will guide you through detailed action plans and provide you with a clear strategy that allows for effective problem solving and decision making.
So don’t wait until it's too late. Make sure you have a plan in place; ensure it is exercised regularly and that it is frequently reviewed and kept up to date.
Should you require any information about crisis management planning, DWF has experienced crisis management Solicitors on hand to respond 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Contact Mark Thompson on Mark.Thompson@dwf.law for further information.