Thursday, December 5, 2013

Is your business ready if crisis occurs?

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

A new survey confirms what most of us in the communications business have realized in recent years – the speed in which news is disseminated in today’s social media world requires significantly faster reactions in crisis situations.

The survey, which included in-depth interviews of senior crisis communications professionals advising some of the world’s largest organizations, was done by Freshfields Bruckhaus Derigner.

Among the results:

  • 28 percent of crises reported spread internationally within an hour
  • 69 percent spread internationally within 24 hours
  • Crisis news that spreads outside of the country of origin will reach an average of 11 countries
The survey also found that it takes companies an average of 21 hours to deliver meaningful external communications to try to manage the issue and more than 48 hours in 18 percent of the incidents. 

While the survey focuses primarily on large international organizations, a crisis can hit any business no matter the size, industry or location. With the speed in which news can spread via social media, it’s crucial for all organizations to spend some time developing a crisis plan to address operational and communication needs if a crisis occurs.

All-to-often companies put off developing a crisis plan and aren’t prepared when something happens. And once a crisis plan is drafted, it’s important to review it at least once a year to be sure its contents are up to date.

What would your business do in a crisis situation? Would you be prepared to respond in a timely manner?

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