If your organisation has had the misfortune to endure a crisis, the natural reaction is to mop the brow, say words to the effect ‘phew, we survived’ and move on.
Not so fast. Now is the time to take stock of your crisis response while it’s still fresh in the memory.
Gather the crisis team together and discuss the following questions:
- What were the strongest aspects of our crisis plan?
- Did we have the right skill sets in the crisis team?
- Was our response time acceptable?
- Did we handle media / social media coverage effectively?
- Were staff satisfied with the information they received?
- Are there any processes or templates that need to be revised?
- Are there evident gaps in our crisis plan?
Discuss experiences with management, shop-floor, and customer facing staff. If available and up for it, de-brief the CEO. Turn these conversations into an action plan and update your crisis plan accordingly.
You might also want to send out a questionnaire to external stakeholders to gather opinions from further afield.
Questions to ask:
- In your view did the company deal with the incident effectively?
- What went well? What could have been improved?
- Do you view the company differently following the incident?
- Did the company communicate in a timely manner?
- Were the company’s messages helpful and consistent?
Prepare for the long-term
Unfortunately, crises linger. Just think of VW: Despite improving sales, all news items concerning the company still reference their emissions scandal.
- How will you manage or participate in the long-term handling of the crisis?
- Which stakeholders do you need to continue to talk too?
- Don’t forget to mark all anniversaries of the incident in an appropriate manner.
- Keep track of any on-going law suits.
- Keep a fact sheet about the crisis which includes:
- A brief outline/particular issues
- Messages you used to overcome the incident
- Names of key spokespersons
- Name of individual who knows most about the incident