Crises happen to companies every day – and the vast majority are ill prepared. Everyone practices safety drills for fire, hurricane, tornado or earthquake, even though the likelihood of an incident is slim. Yet, there are scenarios that are more likely and arguably more impactful to a team, shareholders and your bottom line.
Here are five scenarios your company should be ready for right now:
- Data Security Breach: A security incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so. From Home Depot to Target, data breaches have been on the rise since 2010. Having security measures in place to prevent and detect an incident are essential to any company – but even more so for businesses that handle highly sensitive information, such as personal financial information, social security or health records.
- Active Shooter: The worst nightmare scenario – an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. According to recent FBI reports, active shooter incidents in the United States continue to rise in frequency, with the highest average of incidents ever in the past two years. Regardless of your business – from corporate campuses to nightclubs and medical facilities, active shooter plans are a modern-day essential be prepared for a random act of violence or a disgruntled employee.
- Reputation Threat: Whether it is your breastfeeding policy, minimum wage stance, or an errant employee that starts a Twitter war with your corporate account, there are zillions of reputation threats that companies face. Identifying and preventing them may seem overwhelming, but the reality is that there are fewer than a dozen that are most likely and may require a simple fix. Brands with mature security and communications plans have these reputation threats in check because they know that the brand is everything when it comes to preserving public trust and loyalty.
- Product or Food Recall: Listeria and Salmonella aren’t just potential threats lurking in consumer food products, they are game-changing, stock-altering bombs that are preventable, detectable and that must be handled with speedy communication and response to protect consumers. Just look at Chipotle – still reeling from the impact from a listeria issue last year. As with most incidents, the negative impact is because of how their response was handled, not because of the incident itself. And product recalls are right up there with food when it comes to consumer safety. The automobile industry’s countless recalls are a prime example, but this concern spans many industries. Getting in front of – and preventing a recall has major payoffs. Recovering from a recall is much more difficult.
- Executive misconduct: Wells Fargo. Just the latest in a steady steam of executives that made poor decisions. The executive usually fares well – they retire or are forced to leave with many millions in earnings and a little mud on their faces, but they leave a hole in the leadership structure and a tidal wave of negative press in their wake. The reality is that executives are the face of a company, and that means their actions directly reflect on the business. Yet there is so little counsel to executives or preparation for an incident because many cannot imagine one of their own leaders falling into peril.
Preparing for these scenarios can significantly improve a company’s response time and effectiveness – helping to minimize the short-term impact to your reputation.
Can we help you?
Building plans for possible crisis scenarios can be expensive and difficult to navigate. Let us help you!
Bryghtpath has built the crisis management plans and frameworks for many Fortune 500 organizations, non-profits, and public sector agencies. Our firm has more than a century of experience in developing actionable plans to help prepare organizations for the unexpected. Learn more about our approach to Crisis Management in our Ultimate Guide to Crisis Management.