Crisis Management- Considerations

June 29, 2014

20140531_174859 (2)During the lazy days of Summer, companies or organizations tend to slow down.    People go on vacation, customers or vendors go into Summer mode, business slows and organizations think less about crisis risk management and more about company picnics or other fun events. People start thinking business is uneventful- maybe everything is calm and serene like the Buddhist Temple in the picture.But that is not reality.  When companies least expect things to go wrong they sometimes do. Not only do minor things go wrong but major crises tends to pop up, threatening the existence of the corporation itself!  Companies are not only caught off guard, but sometimes they are completely unprepared.

A crisis is defined as a major unpredictable event that has potentially negative or catastrophic results.  In today's business climate, where the culture of attack looms over any corporation that is unfortunate enough to receive bad publicity, companies cannot afford to conduct business without a proper crisis management plan in effect. Remember, unlike twenty years ago, a company can no longer handle a crisis by issuing a simple PR statement or marketing statement.  A full fledged crisis management operation is usually required.

International crisis are of course harder to manage than a pure domestic one.  As international commerce and business adds an additional layer of complexity to any crisis situation, cultural and communication issues become front and center to any crisis management plan.  Cross border crisis necessitate a number of steps that a company must take to ensure it is properly handling the situation:

- Planning for an international crisis

- Appointing a crisis manager

- Establishing a crisis management team

- Communication protocols

- Cross border management of the crisis

Because of the cultural and international aspect of a cross border crisis, communications becomes key in the implementation of a cross border crisis management plan.  Tough questions must be asked by the company when developing the crisis management plan.  Among them:

How many participants are involved?

What is the best way to communicate effectively to the media

Who should be the spokesperson?

How many cultures are involved and what are the key considerations in operating in those cultures?

Sometimes , an professional consultant must be brought in from the outside.  Is your company prepared?

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