Crisis & Reputation Management

As a leader, you recognize the responsibility of protecting the reputation of your organization and the implications when a crisis is not managed properly.  This challenge is compounded when the crisis becomes public.

On average, over 70,000 disasters occur around the globe each year.  Add to that number thousands of other actions that result in serious crises and you begin to get a sense of how vulnerable an organization’s reputation can be.  Whatever the cause, it’s highly likely that some type of crisis is going to impact your organization sometime in the near future.

While some crises are completely unpredictable, most can be anticipated.  In addition, all crisis conditions share a common set of elements that require a defined and swift response.  If these elements are ignored, the company and its leadership team will be significantly impacted and the company could ultimately collapse or be reorganized.  When companies as large and financially fit as Enron and WorldCom can be destroyed in just a few weeks, it can happen to any organization? 

Here are just some of the more common events that can cause a reputation nightmare and fuel a media frenzy:

  • Any natural disaster
  • The death of a senior executive
  • A plane crash or serious car accident
  • A government compliance issue or change in regulations
  • A significant drop in your company’s stock price
  • Serious service disruptions
  • Accidentally exposing confidential information
  • An employee accused of a serious crime
  • A fire, flood, dangerous chemical spill or explosion
  • An assault on your premises
  • A dramatic layoff or closing affecting a geographic region
  • A union grievance, labor dispute or a hostile takeover 

For the past 20 years, I have been actively engaged in the business of protecting the reputation of leaders and their organizations.  As the Chief Reputation Officer of a Fortune 500 company and a management consultant, I have managed many of the most difficult crises an organization can experience.  In every situation I observed, the opportunity to anticipate and prepare in advance did exist. During this same period, I have interfaced directly with news organizations such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg News, Fox News, CNN and ABC’s Nightline. 

So why don't more organizations prepare? Many simply view the investment in preparation as a luxury instead of a necessary cost of doing business. Don’t let that happen to you. Today, Ignition Consulting is prepared to help ensure that you and your organization can successfully traverse any serious crisis, minimize the financial impact and actually improve your organization’s position in the marketplace.  Please call 585-738-8333 to discuss some simple steps you can take to begin to protect your organization if and when a serious crisis comes your way.  Our conversation will focus on the following tactics:

 

  • Crisis Management Planning
  • Crisis Communications Planning
  • Advanced Media Training
  • On-Camera Interview Simulations
  • Ongoing Reputation Management Support

Case Study: Large Non-Profit Agency

Challenge:

A multi-million dollar non-profit experienced the sudden death of a resident living in one of their group homes. The organization was well managed and had a long history of helping people with disabilities. However, they needed to prepare for a potentially negative media blitz and inquiry from State officials.

Solution:

On the recommendation of outside council, Ignition Consulting worked directly with the CEO, senior staff and legal team to prepare a crisis communication strategy and tactical plan to address potential questions and concerns. Ignition created and implemented a comprehensive crisis management plan, developed a formal media strategy, coached the CEO and created a series of on-camera simulations to prepare him for direct contact with the media.

Result:

Today, the agency continues its important work and has grown by 20%.