Is Your Crisis Management Program In Place?

As we near the last quarter of 2010, it's wise to think about how we can make our businesses stronger in 2011.  One way will be to ensure our crisis management plans are in place.  Toyota's and BP's woes this year have certainly put crisis management plans on the radar screen.

Unfortunately, most businesses don't have a plan. Or, don't have a plan that is up-to-date, comprehensive and/or flexible.

With a crisis management program, you:
•Forecast potential and most likely/probable crises
•Plan in advance for how to deal with them
•Document your sequential, step-by-step action plan, including having a timeline
•Share your written plan with all the appropriate players on your team

A crisis can be any event or series of events that threatens your financial results, brand and reputation, and your relations with employees, customers and vendors. Most important, be sure you have a plan in place for a crisis that negatively impacts the general public.

The first step in developing your plan is to gather your team and identify your likely crisis situations. As you establish your action plan, be sure to think about:

•Who will be on your crisis management team?
•Who will do what?
•When will they do it?
•Do you have a calling tree with current cell phone numbers?
•How will you integrate into your plan your web site, Social Media, Twitter and customer care phone lines?
•How (and who) will communicate with the media, and your customers, employees, volunteers, donors and sponsors? And, how often?

Set a goal to get your crisis management program in place by the end of this year so you'll start 2011 well prepared!

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