"It Won't Happen To Us." Oh, Really? The Case For A Crisis Plan

By Geo A. Ropert, APR

You see it in the news almost every day. . .

A business creates an inferior product that harms dozens of people. A nonprofit organization’s bookkeeper is accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars meant to help children.

“But our company doesn’t make products, we provide services,” you say. Or, “We have processes in place at our organization to ensure our accounting has oversight.” Great. So, what happens when you incorrectly provide that service and a client sues you, or a staff member on whom you ran a background check ends up accused of abusing one of the children in your care?

If you don’t think a crisis could happen, think again! It only takes one incident, one person to destroy the stellar reputation you’ve built; one that sometimes took years or generations to achieve.

You have a business plan, a marketing plan, a fundraising plan; why don’t you have a crisis plan, one that takes into account the myriad things that could wrong and the steps you’ll take to remedy the situations? Those other plans are useless if you don’t have a business or organization in which to apply them.

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I don’t know of one going concern that isn’t at risk. And when that crisis happens, be it small or large, then is not the time to try and decide how you’ll respond. You could say the wrong things to the media, exasperating the situation or not have the right team in place, trained to respond accordingly.

In today’s 24/7 connected world, with most people having access to smartphones, social media and live broadcast capabilities, you can’t afford to say, “what do we do now?” A lag in response time can create doubt and distrust among your audiences, and what could have been a manageable incident can turn into a headline that occupies multiple news cycles. Recovery may take days. It may take months or years.

Ropert and Partners has broad experience in creating and helping implement crisis communication plans. We will give you the security in knowing that when – not if – something goes wrong, you’ll have the knowledge and tools necessary to manage and minimize the damage, and begin the process of regaining the public's and your customers’ trust.

We’ll analyze your operations to identify potential crisis issues and develop a multi-layered plan that addresses how to respond and how you’ll recover. We’ll conduct “live fire” crisis training, presenting scenarios that may occur and taking you step-by-step through the process, from first notice and team assembly, to media interviews, press releases and remediation efforts.

Consider it a wise investment, consider it additional insurance; just consider it and then call us!

Geo A. Ropert, APR is president of Ropert and Partners, a public relations firm that specializes in brand building and reputation management. His team has worked with businesses, charitable organizations and government agencies, creating crisis plans and training management teams in response and recovery. Call (321) 205-3155 or geo@ropertandpartners.com