Your company could be worth billions, but your reputation is priceless. Yet a 2013 Accenture survey revealed that only 28 percent of corporate risk managers are prepared to deal with crisis. How would you rate your company’s preparedness, especially in the digital realm? The time to determine that isn’t in the moment. By preparing today, you dramatically increase your organization’s chance of weathering a crisis.

Identify vulnerabilties

Digital preparedness begins with assessing your brand’s risks from every angle. Could any of your policies be interpreted as discriminatory? Is there any potential for food-borne illness? Identifying and cataloging potential vulnerabilities for your company will empower you to act quickly and effectively when a crisis begins. Take a critical look at the level of risk associated with each, and consider factors like company impact and length of time it could take the issue will play out.

Use the data gathered in your risk assessment to determine your response team. Remember that crises affect the entire organization, not just your social media manager. Determine a crisis response flowchart, and don’t be afraid to bring in your heavy hitters. The more acute the issue, the more a senior-level responder is needed. Depending on the complexity of your organization, you may want to work with your legal team to get a process pre-approved. Social media often moves faster than decision makers who are determining next steps, so significant response time can be wasted on bureaucracy in a crisis. We ask our clients “can you get a video online from your CEO within four hours, any time of the day, from anywhere in the world?” If the answer is no, then you’re not fully prepared.

When a crisis emerges, act fast

Every crisis is different,

Do you want to keep reading? Log in/Sign up with your IABC Membership ID