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The 3 conversations to have for smart crisis planning

Red phone

Are you prepared for a crisis? What risks do you face? What level of impact would it have on your business?

On June 12, NATIONAL Halifax hosted 25 industry leaders to explore the topic of crisis management. Guests joined the session from a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, post-secondary, healthcare, oil and gas, media, utilities, transportation, and food and beverage. Across this wide range of sectors, a prevailing theme emerged with this simple question: “How can I be smart about crisis planning?”

The team of panelists represented some of NATIONAL’s top crisis management consultants including Senior Director, Sarah McLean; Vice-President of Public Affairs, Kristan Hines; Partner, Kevin McCann; and myself, Karen White, Associate Vice-President and AVENIR GLOBAL Crisis Management Sector Lead. Our experts shared case studies, discussed the essentials of smart crisis planning, and how the growth and influence of the digital world is redefining the rules of issues and crisis management.

Here are a few takeaways that emerged from the conversation:

1. Everyone is media.

If you don’t tell your story, someone else will. In this digital age, everyone is a publisher or content creator, which means organizations need to be aware of this reality, especially in a crisis.

2. Without preparation, a crisis can cost your organization.

The best crisis response occurs when the work was completed in advance. This includes having strong existing relationships with your stakeholders. There is also high value in preparedness and many benefits to planning, testing, and evaluating. Often, the most impactful crises occur when the issues weren’t anticipated or identified.

3. Leverage digital insights to ground your strategy.

The fact that anyone can develop content can be challenging—but it’s also an opportunity. By using tools to listen to what’s being said, organizations can use that information to build better and stronger crisis responses.

NATIONAL’s rapid-response team understands how fast things move online, so our social and traditional media monitoring reports enable our clients to respond in real-time. But we do more than just listen. We undertake comprehensive research such as digital ethnographic research, so we can understand what segments of the population are participating online, and more importantly, how they feel about the issue or crisis at hand. These insights enable us to deliver the right message to the right audience, at the right time.

Unsure where to start when it comes to crisis communication planning? NATIONAL has a team of expert crisis communicators across Canada and around the world that would welcome an opportunity to discuss your plan. Are you ready?

On June 12, NATIONAL Halifax hosted 25 industry leaders to explore the topic of crisis management.