‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’: How resilient is your crisis planning?

‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’

This quote from the boxer Mike Tyson got me thinking about planning for when things don’t go according to plan.

It’s inevitable that things will go wrong every now and then, and the severity of issues can vary from minor inconvenience to full-blown crisis.

When crisis strikes, it’s obvious that we need to move swiftly to get things back under control. 

But what’s often forgotten is the importance of communicating with the right people in the right way to explain what has happened, address concerns and minimise reputational harm.

Having a communication plan in place and ready for use in an emergency can be crucial, especially in larger organisations or those where risks are greater.

Every crisis is different and places different demands on you and your team. And emergencies can also impact organisational capacity, diverting your attention and energy from day-to-day activities.

So it’s worth investing the time in planning to ensure you can respond as quickly, effectively and efficiently as possible when the time comes.

Communicating at times of crisis can form a challenge for organisations of all sizes. Whether you’re a one-person business or a large company with an in-house communications team, the challenges increase exponentially the more serious and sustained the emergency is.

Whenever crisis hits, communication is going to play a role in solving the problem.That may be internal communications, sharing important messages within your organisation. It may be external communication, getting key messages out to key audiences and potentially liaising with the media.

In all likelihood, it will be a combination of the two. Your planning should identify key people who will need to be updated, how that will be done and who will be responsible for doing it.

So you’ve got your plan, but can it withstand a punch? Having a plan in place to deal with an emerging crisis only the first step. 

Will you be ready if something else happens, like a second emergency, negative media coverage or a social media storm? What’s the escalation plan if the initial emergency turns into a long-term problem?

Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but there’s a good chance that taking the time now to get a robust and comprehensive crisis plan in place will save you time in the long run.

  • Has your business got a plan in place for when crisis hits? And is the plan robust enough to withstand a punch? If you need help to get a crisis plan in place, or if you need someone ready to handle your communications during challenging times, Rosebank Media can offer support. Get in touch to find out more.

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