The “crisis”, that concept which makes the world markets shake (and so the companies and entrepreneurs), is one of the most repeated words today, both in the streets and the media. But, in spite of its negative connotations, this concept in China has two different meanings: danger and opportunity. This definition suits better with crisis management theories.
First of all, it is important to know that there are many kinds of crisis and not all of them mean “disastrous scenarios”. They are just unexpected situations, which, triggered by external factors (such as publication in a medium) or internal (such as a strike), can directly or indirectly affect the corporate image of your company, brand or product.
Far from been pessimistic, it is necessary to maintain a practical vision of crisis management, because crisis can appear unexpectedly at many different moments, involving your company’s credibility and reputation. That is the reason why it is necessary to count with a Crisis-management Plan: a kind of roadmap which allows us, to be prepared to face the adverse situations that may come proceeding as quickly as possible.
All crisis-plan should begin by identifying the causes of the problem, responsibilities, and the scope of these causes, and continue by offering different alternatives for the agents involved.
After a first analysis, we are already able to identify the components of the crisis cabinet – formed by a spokesperson and various experts in charge of different functions – and concrete coordinate actions. This roadmap will provide with several scenarios, and it will take into account the particularities of each case, once the crisis management protocol has started.
Once the Crisis Cabinet has been called, and following with the Crisis Plan, the company must deliver an institutional response, and determine responsibilities. It is important to convey reliable verifiable information and preserve a consistent public image. It is also necessary to establish a hierarchy in order to appear in the media, beginning with medium-profile executives. Finally, messages to client’s suppliers and all kinds of strategic public should be designed, so that the crisis does not call into question the reliability of the company.
It’s in crisis that inventive is born, as well as discoveries, and big strategies.