• Thursday, June 20, 2024
businessday logo


Handling crisis in your business

Choosing your brand elements

Defined broadly, a crisis is anything that can bring serious harm to people or to your organization. It’s a time of instability in your usual operating procedures that calls for strong leadership. There are three levels of crisis we can consider; One, any reasonable threat to human life, health, and public safety is a top-level crisis. It may be an accident, and it may not even be your fault, but if your organization is tied to deaths or injuries, you’re in crisis.

Second, anything that threatens your organization’s reputation can be considered a crisis. And finally, if you encounter a threat to your financial viability, you can treat this as a crisis. Your damaged reputation is not as serious as an immediate threat to public safety; however, a damaged reputation can lead to a loss of sales and public trust. And if your employees are distracted by disturbing rumours, that can damage your day-to-day operations. This can negatively impact profitability.

Read also: Rebranding for Success… in 10 Simple Steps

Furthermore, a threat to public safety can almost always threaten your reputation and financial viability. And a threat to your reputation can have financial consequences. Organizations have a responsibility to communicate before, during and after every level of crisis. How well you communicate with customers, suppliers, employees, the media, and other important stakeholders can go a long way to control or contain damage. And in some cases, responding quickly and confidently during and after a crisis can even enhance the reputation of your organization.

As an exercise, brainstorm at least 10 threats that may impact your organization this year. Put them into categories. Is it a threat to your public health, your reputation, or your financial viability? As you go through this exercise, you’re likely to see that these threat levels frequently overlap.