Editor’s note: Crisis management

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IN an ideal world, business leaders would run their organizations without unwanted interruptions or distractions from productivity and success. In reality, no organization, irrespective of size, is immune to a crisis. If we were ever in doubt, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us otherwise.

A crisis is often unexpected, always disruptive. It has the potential to damage an organization’s brand and reputation. With advanced planning, however, the fallout can be managed.

Mitigating risk in the event of a crisis is central to the lives of public relations professionals. We prepare strategies and risk registers, preempt situations or events that could negatively impact organizations, train spokespersons, and generally protect companies and their reputations. Every day that a crisis strategy remains theoretical instead of activated is a bonus. 

Crisis management is not a new phenomenon in business. It existed long before Covid-19, but the scale of the pandemic has brought it to the front of every leader’s mind. Pre-2020, I don’t know many companies that had global pandemics on their risk registers. While most organizations were not prepared for a crisis of this magnitude, many did have plans in place that prepared them to react to other crises. Companies that proactively protected their reputations pre-Covid were able to rely on these strategies. Since March 2020, stakeholders have higher expectations of brands and organizations. How business leaders react and communicate is now under closer scrutiny. 

During a crisis, businesses are often in survival mode; organizational damage needs to be minimized with reputations remaining intact. By planning ahead, business leaders can decide on a measured response, making key decisions before a crisis occurs. This facilitates the quick reactions that are expected from stakeholders, particularly media, in the event of a crisis.

As always, Strategic features interviews with industry experts, opinion pieces from contributors, recent news, an extract, and insight and outlook pieces, all against a new backdrop – the Strategic webzine.

I hope you enjoy the crisis management issue of Strategic and that it resonates with you. 

Best regards,