Sometimes a Bryghtpath client will call my phone late at night or early in the morning.
They aren’t check-in calls or social calls. Something has happened at their company, and they’re calling to ask for help.
In my nearly 30 years working in business continuity & crisis management, I’ve received calls for:
- Workplace fatalities
- Active shooter incidents
- Data breaches
- Employees stranded in a foreign country during civil unrest
- Natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, etc.)
- Executive malfeasance.
And many, many more.
And then there are national and global disruptions — like COVID-19. The ones that prompt phone calls and emails from every company we work with — all looking for help with their response.
Every Company Deals With Business Disruptions and Crisis Situations
No one wants to think about having to manage a crisis situation at your business.
But this I can tell you: Your company will face crisis events and major business disruptions.
The question is: Are you prepared to respond? To take immediate action to keep your people safe? To react, adjust, and change to keep your business running — despite a disruption?
If you’re not sure, let me share some of the benefits of working with a trusted business continuity and crisis management expert before the next crisis happens.
1. An Outside Perspective So You Know Where You Stand
It’s not easy to know how your business continuity program compares to leading programs in other companies.
That’s why an outside perspective can be invaluable.
The first thing we do with companies here at Bryghtpath is help you understand the strength of your current business continuity program.
Using the ISO 22301 Standard for Business Continuity as our guide, we review all your current program capabilities and talk with all your key employees and stakeholders.
From that research, we grade your company across a variety of metrics using our Bryghtpath Business Continuity Maturity Model. This process lets you know where you stand, and it identifies strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Then we compile all our observations into a comprehensive report we review with you and any executive stakeholders who’d like to attend.
2. Guaranteed Availability During a Disruption or Crisis Event
When a disruption happens, it will help tremendously if you have an established relationship with a business continuity and crisis management expert.
For example, at some point in March of 2020, your company had a senior leadership meeting to discuss the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
Maybe you were in the room for that meeting. Maybe you were part of really difficult decisions — everything from the health of your employees to laying people off to cut costs.
If so, what was it like? Did you have a plan in place? Or were you forced to improvise?
We were very busy in March and April of 2020, as you might expect, but we had been even busier in late January and early February of 2020, helping companies prepare for the unexpected.
When COVID-19 hit, the companies we helped respond the fastest were the ones we were working with before the pandemic hit. We knew their businesses inside and out, and we understood their needs and their capabilities. As a result, we could move quickly to help them adjust operations to keep business running.
3. Help with Media Queries
Your phone rings. It’s a reporter from your local newspaper or TV station.
“We have a report that your CEO was arrested last night for driving while intoxicated. Do you want to comment?”
Would you know what to say?
Here’s another area where working with a business continuity and crisis management expert ahead of time can pay dividends.
We’ve worked with plenty of companies who have faced events like these. As part of our planning program, we help our clients prepare for disasters of all kinds — including PR and reputation management disasters like this one.
You’ll be glad to have us on call to help with the media when they start calling.
4. Reputation Management and Proactive Messaging for Known Risks
Some businesses know in advance that a specific type of disruption is likely. For example, a business that operates cloud-based software will have downtime. It’s just a matter of when.
We call these “known risks.” For our clients with these known risks, we help them get ahead of these issues by working proactively before a disruption happens.
We do this in two ways.
First, we help them mitigate the frequency of disruptions by strengthening their systems and their processes however we can.
Second, we use proactive reputation management and PR strategies to mitigate the negative impact on their brand when disruptions happen.
When the inevitable occurs, these proactive efforts will minimize the negative impact to operations and your brand.
5. Executive Management and Board Management
Having an existing relationship with a business continuity and crisis management expert can be a major benefit when dealing with senior executives and boards of directors.
For example, a former colleague once called me from overseas. She was working for a major Fortune 500 company and was dealing with a brewing PR disaster involving charges of corruption and embezzlement at an overseas facility. There were even allegations that could have triggered a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation, even though they were a complete falsehood.
The situation was changing rapidly, and her executive team and board members back in the United States were getting anxious about how to respond.
A few were advocating for a very aggressive response, one that would surely have backfired and caused far more trouble for the brand.
She wanted us to visit with her executive team to help them navigate the situation. She wanted us to calm their nerves and convince them to take a measured approach.
We went to her executive team and provided our recommendations based on experience, and it worked! The story never gained traction in the media, and the brand survived the event just fine.
We were able to do this for them because we had an existing relationship, a strong reputation, and we were trusted by the executive team and the board of directors.
6. Access to a Network of Information
If a major natural disaster happens in your location, where will you go for up-to-date information?
If a major political demonstration happens in your town — and it threatens to get out of control — how will you stay up to date with what’s happening?
When you work with a business continuity and crisis management expert like Bryghtpath, you gain access to a wide network of information that simply may not be available through local news sources.
We have contacts with national, state, and local agencies that can give you information during major crisis events and help you protect your business operations and recover more quickly.
The Value of a Trusted Advisor
Maybe you’re in the midst of a crisis right now.
Or maybe you’re new to your role, and you’re the beneficiary of fairly mature business continuity, crisis management, and resilience program.
Whatever your situation, the greatest value from working with business continuity and crisis management expert is access to our decades of experience and subject matter expertise.
We can help you prepare for the unexpected. We can help you prepare your plans, train your team, and communicate your efforts to your executive team and your board of directors.
And when the unexpected does happen, we can help you respond — quickly and effectively.
Bryghtpath works with the world’s leading brands to strategically manage uncertainty and disruption. Learn more about our approach to Business Continuity in our Ultimate Guide to Business Continuity and our approach to Crisis Management in our Ultimate Guide to Crisis Management.
Set up a call today to learn more about how we can help you improve resilience in your company.