Definition of crisis, be ready with top 10  threats

– Consider these three different scenarios. 

  1.  One of your company’s vehicles is involved in an accident with serious injuries on board. 
  2.  A frontline employee makes offensive statements about your company’s customer base and it was caught on camera. 
  3.  Your customers and suppliers are nervous because a computer programming glitch may grind your entire operation to a halt. 

These three examples each outline a different crisis that can negatively impact your organization. 

Defined broadly, a crisis is anything that can bring serious harm to people or to your organization. 

It’s a time of instability in your usual operating procedures that calls for strong leadership. 

Let’s consider three levels of crisis. One, any reasonable threat to human life, health, and public safety is a top-level crisis. It may be an accident, it may not even be your fault, but if your organization is tied to deaths or injuries, you’re in crisis. Second, anything that threatens your organization’s reputation can be considered a crisis. And finally, if you encounter a threat to your financial viability, you can treat this as a crisis situation. 

Your damaged reputation is not as serious as an immediate threat to public safety, however, a damaged reputation can lead to a loss of sales and public trust. And if your employees are distracted by disturbing rumors, that can damage your day-to-day operations. 

This can negatively impact profitability. 

Brainstorm at least 10 threats below that may impact your organization. 

Put them into categories. Is it a threat to your public health, your reputation, or your financial viability? As you go through this exercise, you’re likely to see that these threat levels frequently overlap. A threat to public safety can almost always threaten your reputation and financial viability. And a threat to your reputation can have financial consequences. Organizations have a responsibility to communicate before, during and after every level of crisis. How well you communicate with customers, suppliers, employees, the media, and other important stakeholders can go a long way to control or contain damage. And in some cases, responding quickly and confidently during and after a crisis can even enhance the reputation of your organization.

Take a look at the 10 threats that may impact your business. For each threat you’ve identified,

Who are your key audiences? Who will need or demand information both during and after the crisis? Here is a checklist of audiences you may need to consider:

  1. People directly impacted by the crisis 2. Emergency responders
  2. Mainstream media
  3. Local community
  4. Family and friends of people impacted 6. The public
  5. Suppliers
  6. Customers
  7. Employees
  8. Investigators
  9. Shareholders or investors
  10. Other

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