Crisis, what crisis? Expecting the unexpected.

(Posted on 20/08/18)

Crisis, what crisis? Expecting the unexpected.

Our long hot summer put a number of businesses nationwide on high alert with record temperatures, or the risk of drought and its associated water supply problems never far from the headlines. Senior managers of water companies up and down the country will doubtless have been checking up on their crisis management plans, while hoping all the time not to have to use them. Once media outlets exhausted their supply of photos of zoo animals enjoying ice lollies and sunburn Brits sprawled on crowded beaches, they have been desperate for weather-related crisis stories to report.

Even without this year’s heatwave, from a pet dog dying in an aeroplane locker and an ill-thought out slogan on a hoody to the huge scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, PR crises, both great and small, have been as common as ever. This is despite an increased level of awareness of the need for crisis planning and an upsurge in the number of companies purporting to offer PR crisis management. Any major incident that threatens a business, its stakeholders or the public is classed as a crisis. Crisis management is the process by which a company deals with it. Too many businesses still find themselves in the position of reacting to crises rather than taking the time to plan for them. The attitude of ‘that could never happen here’ is still too prevalent.

It’s fair to say that there are more potential crisis pitfalls than ever when it comes to conducting a modern business. This is partly due to the speed with which a crisis can now be reported around the world, as well as changing customer expectations. For example, thanks in part to the high profile of GDPR, there is far more awareness now among the general public of the importance of safeguarding data and the significance of a security breach. Consumers are also far more conscious of the importance of maintaining ethical supply chains not to mention environmental protection, customer safety and cross-cultural sensitivity.

Any business, from the largest multi-national to the smallest SME needs to protect itself by having a smart crisis management plan in place. Get in touch with us to find out how the Zebra team can help you with yours.