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Implement Crisis Management Best Practices

Don’t be another example of what not to do. Implement an effective crisis response plan to minimize the impact on business continuity, reputation, and profitability.

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Contributors

  • Melissa Agnes, Crisis management speaker and consultant, President and co-founder of Agnes + Day Inc.
  • Timothy Coombs, Professor and author in the field communications and crisis management, University of Central Florida
  • Tim Hickernell, Independent Consultant
  • Deb Hileman, CEO, Institute for Crisis Management
  • Ann Hutchison, Senior HR Advisor and Crisis Communication Instructor, Western University
  • Bernard Jones, Owner/Principal, B Jones BCP Consulting, LLC
  • Larry Liss, CTO, Blank Rome LLP
  • John A. Parnell, Belk Chair of Management and author in the field strategic and crisis management, University of North Carolina-Pembroke
  • Tony Ridley, CEO, Intelligent Travel
  • Kevin Warner, Security and Compliance Officer, BRIDGE Healthcare Partners

Your Challenge

  • There’s a belief that you can’t know what crisis will hit you next, so you can’t prepare for it. As a result, resilience planning stops at more-specific planning such as business continuity planning or IT disaster recovery planning.
  • Business contingency and IT disaster recovery plans focus on how to resume normal operations following an incident. The missing piece is the crisis management plan – the overarching plan that guides the organization’s initial response, assessment, and action.
  • Organizations without a crisis management plan are far less able to minimize the impact of other crises such as a security breach, health & safety incident, or attacks on their reputation.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Effective crisis management has a long-term demonstrable impact on your organization, long after the crisis is resolved. While all organizations can expect a short-term negative impact when a crisis hits, if the crisis is managed well, the research shows that your market capitalization can actually increase long term.
  • Crisis communication is more science than art and should follow a structured approach. Crisis communication is about more than being a good writer or having a social media presence. There are specific messages that must be included, and specific audiences to target, to get the results you need.
  • IT has a critical role in non-IT crises (as well as IT crises). Many crises are IT events (e.g. security breach). For non-IT events, IT is critical in supporting crisis communication and the operational response (e.g. COVID-19 and quickly ramping up working-from-home).

Impact and Result

  • You can anticipate the types of crisis your organization may face in the future and build flexible plans that can be adapted in a crisis to meet the needs of the moment.
  • Identify potential crises that present a high risk to your organization.
  • Document emergency response and crisis response plans that provide a framework for addressing a range of crises.
  • Establish crisis communication guidelines to avoid embarrassing and damaging communications missteps.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should implement crisis management best practices, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Identify potential crises and your crisis management team

Identify, analyze, and prioritized potential crises based on risk to the organization. Set crisis management team roles and responsibilities. Adopt a crisis management framework.

2. Document your emergency and crisis response plans

Document workflows for notification, situational assessment, emergency response, and crisis response.

3. Document crisis communication guidelines

Develop and document guidelines that support the creation and distribution of crisis communications.

4. Complete and maintain your crisis management plan

Summarize your crisis management and response plans, create a roadmap to implement potential improvement projects, develop training and awareness initiatives, and schedule maintenance to keep the plan evergreen.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eleven call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Identify potential crises and your crisis management team

Call #1 - Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.
Call #2 - Identify potential crises, and your crisis management roles and responsibilities.
Call #3 - Establish a crisis management framework.

Guided Implementation #2 - Document your emergency and crisis response plans

Call #1 - Document your emergency response plans.
Call #2 - Document crisis response plans for potential high-risk crises.

Guided Implementation #3 - Document crisis communication guidelines

Call #1 - Review crisis communication best practices.
Call #2 - Identify communication channels.
Call #3 - Pre-define communication messages based on best practices.

Guided Implementation #4 - Complete and maintain your crisis management plan

Call #1 - Complete your Crisis Management Plan Summary document.
Call #2 - Create a Project Roadmap to close gaps.
Call #3 - Schedule plan reviews, exercises, and updates.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Identify Potential Crises and Your Crisis Management Team

The Purpose

  • Identify and prioritize relevant potential crises.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Enable crisis management pre-planning and identify gaps in current crisis management plans.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Identify high-risk crises.

  • List of high-risk crises.
1.2

Assign roles and responsibilities on the crisis management team.

  • CMT membership and responsibilities.
1.3

Review Info-Tech’s crisis management framework.

  • Adopt the crisis management framework and identify current strengths and gaps.

Module 2: Document Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plans

The Purpose

  • Outline emergency response and crisis response plans.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develop and document procedures that enable rapid, effective, and reliable crisis and emergency response.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Develop crisis notification and assessment procedures.

  • Documented notification and assessment workflows.
2.2

Document your emergency response plans.

  • Emergency response plans and checklists.
2.3

Document crisis response plans for potential high-risk crises.

  • Documented crisis response workflows.

Module 3: Document Crisis Communication Guidelines

The Purpose

  • Define crisis communication guidelines aligned with an actionable crisis communications framework.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Document workflows and guidelines support crisis communications.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Establish the elements of baseline crisis communications.

  • Baseline communications guidelines.
3.2

Identify audiences for the crisis message.

3.3

Modify baseline communication guidelines based on audience and organizational responsibility.

  • Situational modifications to crisis communications guidelines.
3.4

Create a vetting process.

  • Documented vetting process.
3.5

Identify communications channels.

  • Documented communications channels

Module 4: Complete and Maintain Your Crisis Management Plan

The Purpose

  • Summarize the crisis management plan, establish an organizational learning process, and identify potential training and awareness activities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Plan ahead to keep your crisis management practice evergreen.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Review the CMP Summary Template.

4.2

Create a project roadmap to close gaps in the crisis management plan.

  • Long-term roadmap to improve crisis management capabilities.
4.3

Outline an organizational learning process.

  • Crisis management plan maintenance process and awareness program.
4.4

Schedule plan reviews, testing, and updates.

Member Testimonials

Unlock Sample Research

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Independent Health

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

5

Griffith University

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

KSL Resorts

Guided Implementation

7/10

$2,514

5

QAD

Guided Implementation

10/10

$1,588

23

Griffith University

Guided Implementation

6/10

$1,787

N/A

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