CRISIS MANAGEMENT

(The New Age Strategies)

By Shubham Diwate

26 May, 2020

With the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has come increased global business and economic disruption and uncertainty. Analysis indicates that the COVID19 outbreak will push down the full-year gross domestic product (GDP) globally from the 2.5% that was forecast in January 2020 to 0%. In this crisis management situation, companies are grappling with managing the impact of the outbreak on their ability to meet strategic goals and customer demands.

Crisis management is a critical organizational function. Failure can result in serious harm to stakeholders, losses for an organization, or end its very existence. Public relations practitioners are an integral part of crisis management teams. So a set of best practices and lessons gleaned from our knowledge of crisis management would be a very useful resource for those in public relations. Volumes have been written about crisis management by both practitioners and researchers from many different disciplines making it a challenge to synthesize what we know about crisis management and public relations’ place in that knowledge base.

Sudden crises like COVID-19 and circumstances that occur without warning and beyond an institution’s control. Consequently, sudden crises are most often situations for which the institution and its leadership are not blamed. 

The Three waves of COVID-19 crisis response

Organizations that successfully accelerate the speed with which they progress through the waves to tend emerge stronger:

Mobilize

  • Wave 1: Immediate Term
  • Secure the safety of your workforce and establish response structure

Stabilize

  • Wave 2: Medium Term
  • Develop tactical responses to the challenges of navigating the COVID-19 “New normal” 

Strategize

  • Wave 3: Long Term
  • Design strategy for emerging stronger in the post-COVID-19 economy.

Retail Sales Phases: Based on Chinese Market and Recovery

(Impact of COVID-19 on Industry and Marketing)


MONTHS

IMPACT

STAGES of SALES

Jan-Feb

Business as usual

Sales as usual

Mar-Apr

Spread and Not under Control

Sales Plummet

May-Jun

Gaining Control

Sales are down but improving

Jul-Onwards

New Normal

Sales settle at new level

Social Media and Crisis Management

Social media has accelerated the speed that information about a crisis can spread. The viral effect of social networks such as Twitter means that stakeholders can break news faster than traditional media – making managing a crisis harder. This can be mitigated by having the right training and policy in place as well as the right social media monitoring tools to detect signs of a crisis breaking. Social media also gives crisis management teams access to real-time information about how a crisis is impacting stakeholder sentiment and the issues that are of most concern to them.

The advent of social media changed the field of crisis management dramatically, empowering stakeholders and making organisations more accountable for their actions. By creating a platform for two-way symmetrical communication between an organisation and its stakeholders, social media facilitated a rise in organisational crises, allowing for stakeholders anywhere in the world – providing they have an internet connection – to communicate publicly with organisations. The publishing unfavourable behaviour on social media, combined with the immense speed that information can be shared online, created a need for social media strategy to be included within the crisis management planning process. Stakeholders expect organisations to respond quickly and effectively to crises that transpire online.

Post-Crisis Phase Best Practices

Deliver all information promised to stakeholders as soon as that information is known.

Keep stakeholders updated on the progression of recovery efforts including any corrective measures being taken and the process of investigations.

Analyze the crisis management effort for lessons and integrate those lessons in to the organization’s crisis management system.

CONCLUSION:

We have tried to identify the best practices and lessons created by crisis management researchers and analysts. While crises begin as a negative/threat, effective crisis management can minimize the damage and in some case allow an organization to emerge stronger than before the crisis. However, crisis is not the ideal way to improve an organization. But no organization is immune from a crisis so all must do their best to prepare for one.

References:

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_management

Some Insights of path through crisis

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis

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