Crisis Mitigation Checklist: What Your Company Should Be Doing Now

CSI - Courtroom Sciences Inc.

Time and again, it is shown that successful crisis mitigation shares the same key elements, specifically, sufficient planning and preparation. Social media crises are a considerable risk facing businesses both large and small on a daily basis. No brand or industry is immune to this risk. With nearly unrestricted worldwide platforms from which to make accusations, leak information, or manufacture false accounts, a social media crisis could strike at any time. 

Though not every situation can be anticipated, many can, and precautions can be taken to mitigate those risks. With the devastating potential to hurt your organization’s ability to do business, organizations cannot wait until a crisis hits to commence crisis preparations. One solitary negative post or comment, whether or not they have merit, can promptly take hold and can severely impact an organization, culminating in potential reputational or financial loss. 

Without a crisis mitigation checklist, your business is left unprepared and is more likely to experience serious and long-lasting consequences. Courtroom Sciences knows that the most successful crisis preparation begins long before any issue occurs. Our crisis and litigation communications experts can help you be prepared to respond to any situation with policies and practices that protect and defend your business, brand, and reputation.

What should a company do to mitigate a crisis?

When it comes to mitigating a social media crisis, preparation is key. Planning allows organizations to identify specific areas of vulnerability through careful scenario planning and then respond quickly and appropriately to a crisis. From there, organizations must focus on effective communication strategies and tactics, adapting as the crisis unfolds and focusing on creating the right narrative. Finally, companies should consider reputation repair strategies where they may clarify the organization’s core values. Companies can learn how to mitigate the risks of a social media crisis by implementing psychology-based crisis communications strategies that are intended to prevent, mitigate, manage, and recover from a crisis. 

Establish a Formal Crisis Plan 

Social media moves at such a frantic pace that when an adverse narrative captures the attention of the social media mob, it can rapidly become amplified, potentially resulting in greater mainstream media coverage. In order to respond in a way that not only breaks through but also has the capability to influence attitudes and opinions, organizations must be prepared with a comprehensive and actionable crisis plan. 

Preparation may feel nearly unachievable when an organization can’t predict from whom or where a social media crisis may come, yet, in actuality, most crises themselves are inherently predictable, due mainly to the fact that the origin of most crises is the conduct of the organization and its members. Every organization has vulnerabilities, and identifying them is at the core of a solid crisis management plan. An organization should begin by:

        ●  assessing where an organization’s vulnerabilities lie 

        ●  implementing preventative measures

        ●  planning contingencies for a variety of scenarios

Once a business has identified the array of vulnerabilities they are facing, the next step is putting in place unassailable guidelines, standards, and principles for consistently operating in a way that minimizes the likelihood of those vulnerabilities being realized.

Work to Identify New Threats on a Regular Basis

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, is credited with the expression, “Change is the only constant in life.” The world and the organizations in them are constantly evolving and adapting. Due to recent global events, businesses are likely more acquainted than they were previously with how quickly and significantly an emerging crisis can impact an organization. 

While not every emerging risk can be easily identified, to develop a successful crisis mitigation checklist, organizations should work to identify new threats on a regular basis. These new threats could be either external, such as increased numbers of cyber-attacks, or internal, coming from within the organization itself. Actively engaging in efforts to pinpoint new threats ensures that an organization is working proactively, rather than reactively, to develop a solid crisis mitigation plan. 

Practice Your Crisis Communication Plan

In addition to having potential legal impacts, an organization’s initial response to a crisis situation sets the tone for everything that comes after, including potential litigation as a result of the crisis. One of the biggest mistakes that companies tend to make is becoming defensive, rushing to defend themselves instead of focusing their messaging on the viewpoint of their audience. 

Rather, a proper crisis response is one that displays genuine concern for stakeholders, acts aggressively to protect those interests, and displays through action that its values are aligned with its key stakeholders. A crisis mitigation checklist makes sure you are prepared with scientific, psychology-based messaging from communications experts. 

At Courtroom Sciences, we have elevated how crisis and litigation communications are practiced with our scientific, psychology-based approach to messaging. Mitigate the risks of a social media crisis by ensuring your company’s crisis team includes social psychology practitioners who have decades of experience to help you prepare and respond effectively to any situation. Speak with one of our critical communications experts to get started. 

Key Takeaways

●  Effective crisis mitigation requires sufficient planning and preparation and begins long before any issue occurs.

●  A successful crisis mitigation checklist includes establishing a formal crisis plan, working to identify new threats regularly, and practicing your crisis communication plan.

●  A crisis mitigation checklist makes sure you are prepared with scientific, psychology-based messaging from communications experts. 

●  Courtroom Sciences works as part of the litigation team, so communications are aligned with litigation strategy.

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