A business crisis is an event that has the potential of threatening the success and health of a business, either through tarnishing its reputation, damaging operations of a business, hurting its finances or even harming the employees. A business crisis can be caused by something internal or external. Due to the severity of a business crisis, businesses need to be well prepared to manage any eventualities that result in crisis.
Crisis management is the process of preparing for and managing any disruptive or emergency that can affect a business, employees, stakeholders, customers as well as revenue. Crisis management is very important component of any public relations. It involves more than managing the crisis itself. When a crisis occurs, some primary steps should be followed to get the best our of the situation.
The first part of any crisis management is preventing any crisis. Doing so involves creating a crisis management plan, hiring and training your crisis management team and conducting practice exercises for implementing your plan. Another important step is drafting any crisis communication messages you may have to relay in times of crisis. Having these messages pre-written saves a lot of time when emergencies happen.
Crisis Management and Response
The second step in crisis management process is now what we consider as crisis management. It is the process of dealing with and responding to different stages of crisis. It is a stage when your crisis management plan is out into action. The initial crisis management messages are released, and employees and stakeholders are contacted. At this stage, public and company safety is held at very high priority.
When a crisis passes or subsides, your crisis management work will be hardly finished. You must remain in contact with your employees, customers and stakeholders and remain readily available to answer all key questions. It is also very important you send proactive updates to all parties involved. You also need to work with your crisis management team to review and analyze your crisis management plan, to see how it played out during real emergencies. Evaluate the performance of crisis management. Did the audience had any questions or concerns that were neglected? You need to integrate any lessons you learnt into your crisis management process for better results in the future.
A crisis management plan is an established process that a business follows when dealing with disruptive or unexpected emergency. The crisis management plan should be completed before crises so that a business is well prepared to use it in efforts of combating and rectifying any unexpected events. If your business is facing crisis of any kind, and is not well equipped with a crisis management plan, that details how to handle a situation, you will be in trouble. The consequences might be related to various legal, operational as well as public relations issues. With a crisis management plan, it will help you build a great reputation with your customers and other stakeholders to handle crises as they happen.