No company is immune to a crisis. But, with the right planning in place, it does not have to damage the business irreparably, and can even sometimes, with the right guidance, see negatives transformed into positives.
According to one survey, the number of business crises that make the ‘front pages’ has climbed by 80% since 2007. When a corporate crisis strikes, CEOs can no longer afford to “wait and see.” Business leaders must strategically plan ahead to be able to respond in minutes in today’s environment of frenzied social media attacks and 24-hour global news cycles. Pearl Lemon Consultants can help.
Any difficulty, problem, or disturbance that causes unfavorable stakeholder emotions and has the potential to harm the company’s reputation, business, or financial strength can be termed a business crisis.
Situations threatening or causing harm to persons or property, severe operational interruptions, product recalls, labor concerns, social media attacks, litigation, excessively negative media coverage, or allegations of misconduct against employees or leaders are all examples of business crises.
Poor management of a business crisis can drive up expenditures and exacerbate the organization’s troubles. It is far easier to prepare for and, where possible, avert a problem than it is to mend fences and apologize.
This is where we can help.
If executives communicate quickly, honestly, and transparently, effective crisis management can reduce damage and even boost a company’s brand. We show firms how to deal with crises as skilled crisis management consultants, not on a generalized basis, but taking into account everything that makes a business unique, tailoring our crisis management consulting to each client.
Businesses have always faced crises in many forms, but as we mentioned earlier, the number is increasing. There are lots of reasons for this. The volatile global economic situation, especially in the wake of a pandemic. Increasing complex (but prone to sabotage and failure) tech that even small businesses rely on to operate. The inability to control media coverage in the way companies once could. The huge impact of social media. We could go on and on (and do, when discussing their unique challenges with our crisis management consulting clients.)
Not every crisis can be avoided. But the simple fact is that many can. And even those that could not have been planned for, or sidestepped can be minimized with proper handling. At Pearl Lemon Consulting our crisis management consulting teams dedicate every work day not just to serving clients but also to keeping up with developments that are potential harbingers of disaster so that they can incorporate responses to these into their work (the recent Russian sanctions are a good example of this.)
No, as crisis management consultants, we don’t work with crystal balls. We can’t tell you (in most cases) when a business crisis might strike. But we can help businesses be far better prepared when they do.
While our plans of action and crisis management training is bespoke to each client, some elements remain the same for each, including all the following:
Pearl Lemon Consulting recommends starting with a risk assessment to determine the areas where your firm is most vulnerable to trouble before creating your bespoke crisis management plan. We want to know what challenges and crises are most likely to occur, as well as those that, while unlikely, could have a significant impact on the company’s capacity to survive.
Such assessments take time, and call for significant effort on the part of our crisis management consulting teams. Many of our competitors don’t bother with them, working instead to focus on ‘typical’ crises in the general industry or niche that a business operates in. We don’t do that, simply because they do not result in plans, strategies and advice that are truly effective. And isn’t that just what you’ll be paying for in the first place?
No business owner and its principals really want to think too much about what might go wrong to derail their business’ continued growth. They would prefer to focus on the positives. Which is only human.
However, it’s also very shortsighted. No matter how small your business, or how new, a crisis could be waiting around the corner. Take the technologies your business relies on. How are you going to keep your restaurant chain operational if your electronic ordering systems fail? Are your staff trained to keep going without them?
What if your ecommerce site’s checkout system fails? Do you know just who to call, and what to do to help ensure that such an outage does not result in thousands of dollars in lost sales?
Then there is the human element. Cancel culture is an overused term at this point, but the idea behind it is very real. One ill-informed statement from a business, even a single poorly thought out Tweet can be amplified into a full scale business crisis in a matter of hours.
These are just two examples of the types of crisis scenarios our crisis management pros help businesses prepare for, there are many more. Pearl lemon Consulting will help you discover which crises your business is most vulnerable to and then devise a strategy to help you avoid them, or at least weather the storm well if things do go wrong.
Even with great crisis planning in place, things can and do go wrong. The way a company responds in a crisis is key to its chances of riding it out with the business’ fortunes and reputation intact.
To today’s savvy audiences, no comment is an admission of guilt or culpability, or, at the very least, a sign that a company simply does not care. So, whatever the crisis, your stakeholders will need to say something, but what they say will need to be carefully measured. Which is where crisis response training comes in.
As your crisis management consultants, the Pearl Lemon Consulting team will help you formulate response plans and can even offer media training and other initiatives to help ensure that everyone who needs to will be able to follow through on those plans.
Ready to learn more about what crisis management consulting could do for your business?
Contact us today and let’s talk.