The Importance of a Crisis Management Plan

tech company having a crisis management meeting

If you’re in a management position at any organization, you know today’s landscape is a tough obstacle course to navigate. Companies not only have to offer and market great products and services, they have to protect their customers, employees, and brand from potential threats. These threats can be anything from physical break-ins and cyber attacks to PR nightmares. No matter the threat, every business needs to be prepared to deal with whatever crises come their way. Enter the Crisis Management Plan (CMP). It’s essentially an approach that provides a plan for responding to unforeseen events that threaten operations, reputation, stakeholders, staff, or clients. So let’s go over why having an effective plan could be your saving grace in such a situation.

What is Crisis Management?

Crisis management is straightforward in concept. It’s the process of identifying, preparing for, responding to, and learning from potential crises. They can present themselves in a number of ways. They can be a tech company suffering a cyberattack, a bank being robbed, or a fast food chain’s food getting people sick. Regardless of the kind of crisis, the survival of a business could depend on how you respond to it.

We know it’s intimidating, but we’re here to guide you through it. There’s nothing wrong with needing a little help coming up with your plan.

Benefits of Having a Crisis Management Plan

As we said above, a catastrophic event could spell doom for an organization. Based on a survey conducted by PWC, 69% of businesses reported having a crisis over a five-year period, with the average number of crises at a staggering three. Knowing these stats alone is enough to kick anyone into gear.

Minimizing Damage and Loss

A solid CMP helps businesses minimize the effect of a crisis by acting quickly and decisively. With a good plan in place, that tech company could backup their systems and take pre-planned steps to stop whatever virus (or person) is causing the cyberattack before too much data is stolen or lost. Similarly, any number of companies that have a physical escape plan in place for employees could minimize damage to property and lives if they know what to do.

Maintaining Reputation and Trust

Ever since the internet was thrown into the mix, brand reputation has become harder and harder to maintain. One misstep could have a cascading effect on public image if it isn’t handled with care. By taking responsibility and outlining a resolution, companies can minimize the negative impacts of whatever mistake has been made.

Ensuring Organizational Resilience

If a crisis is severe enough, it could shake up the entire organization. It takes a truly tough group of people to bounce back from certain events, and they usually have a meticulous crisis management plan. By embedding preparedness and adaptability into your company culture, your business can come out on the other side relatively unscathed.

Key Components of a Crisis Management Plan

Anyone developing a crisis plan should keep a few specific things on their checklist. If one of these items has a weak or nonexistent plan, the entire CMP could fail to protect you.

Risk Assessment and Scenario Planning

Understanding what the potential threats are and where they could come from is a great first step in planning. Conduct in-depth risk assessments to allow your organization to identify weak points and anticipate threats. By simulating numerous scenarios, you can begin to form effective response plans to them.

Clear Communication Strategies

A proper CMP should designate communication channels, procedures, and people to make sure information is given to everyone affected. Transparency is a huge aspect of weathering the storm of a crisis.

Designation of Roles and Responsibilities

If a crisis strikes and there isn’t a clear designation of roles, chances are chaos will ensue. Assigning the right people to the right roles helps with decision-making, accountability, and most of all, safety.

Crisis Management Training and Drills

Practice isn’t just for sports. It’s a highly effective part of managing a crisis, as well. Regular crisis management training sessions will get every employee used to their roles, test the efficacy of the whole plan, and highlight areas that could use some work. A simulated environment helps everyone tackle real-world situations with more confidence.

Implementing Your Plan

With this knowledge, it’s time to implement your plan. The approach should look something like this:

  1. Assessment and Planning: Identify all potential threats and risks to develop an effective CMP that’s tailored to your organization.
  2. Training and Awareness: Involve every employee in the training process so you’re all on the same page and awareness is shared across the company.
  3. Testing and Refinement: Routine drills will keep emergency plans fresh on everyone’s mind and allow you to identify weak points that you can improve before it’s too late.
  4. Continuous Review and Updates: The world is constantly changing, so revisiting your CMP routinely will help you adapt to the shifting landscape.


The importance of a Crisis Management Plan cannot be overstated. By being proactive in your response planning, you can increase your chances of surviving a crisis exponentially. Take the steps that will ensure your business’s survival before it’s too late. If you need a bit of help formulating a plan, we’ll be happy to help.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” –Benjamin Franklin