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Avoid the Risks and Costs of an Outdated Crisis Communications Plan

By Mike Hatcliffe, President, The Hatcliffe Group LLC

When was the last time you updated your crisis plan?

Next week you can get a glimpse into a Fortune 100 company that got its crisis preparedness right – the insurer Allstate in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

On Wednesday, May 16, PRSA Tampa Bay is hosting a luncheon program on Disaster Communications, a timely and mission-critical topic for area PR and communications professionals as hurricane season approaches. Sponsored by In Case of Crisis, an award-winning crisis management platform, the program will share firsthand experience on what it takes to access and activate a plan amid a rapidly unfolding crisis.

So how good is your crisis preparedness plan?

Go and take a look at it right now.

If the last revisions were dated more than two years ago, you are in trouble.

There is a high probability that your plan will not serve you well should you face a real crisis, in a world where digital media drives threats at lightning speed – and in which online and social media is the source of so many reputation and business crises.

And where was the plan when you went looking for it?

Buried deep in the files on your computer? In a dusty 3-ring binder on a shelf? On a flash-drive in a forgotten pocket of your bag?

Or maybe you didn’t know whether you had the latest version.

Now take a look at the content of the plan.

Do the plan’s procedures, processes and resources reflect the digital world?

Does the plan recognize old and new sources of risk, including online and social media?

Does it place digital tools and resources in the hands of your crisis team so it can respond with the effectiveness and speed to match the threat’s scope and velocity?

And what about the specific crisis scenarios covered by the plan – as well as traditional threats such as extreme weather, cyber security, and product and service problems? Does it identify and deal with newer sources of risk from cultural, social and political issues?

There are huge costs and risks with an old, outdated crisis plan.

You really don’t want to find out that your plan is useless at that moment when a very real crisis is upon your organization, threatening your customers, employees and reputation.

While we all hope for the best, you want to make sure that you’ve planned for the worst. Please join us next week for some real-world lessons on what that looks like from our colleagues at Allstate. 

“Disaster Communications: A Look Inside A Fortune 100 Company’s Playbook,” hosted by PRSA Tampa Bay and sponsored by In Case of Crisis, takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Brio Tuscan Grille, Bay Street at International Plaza. Check-in and networking begin at 11:30 a.m. Click here to register now.

 

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