PlanB Consulting

19/09/2014 Amplifying a Crisis

Charlie discusses managing a reputation crisis. Last week I was very busy training. First of all I did the two day ‘BIA’ course followed by the one day ‘Writing the Plan’ course, and then finally the two day ‘Crisis and Incident Management course”. We had some excellent people on the course and we all learned from each other.  During the Crisis and Incident Management course we had a discussion looking at what events could cause a crisis in their organisation. The discussion then moved on to developing a list of factors which, if they were present as part of the crisis, they would “amplify’ it and make it worse. An incident ‘amplified’ would mean that it would come to the notice of more people, may make the organisation be seen in a worse light or produce a stronger reaction amongst stakeholders or the public at large. The following is the list of possible events which might lead to a ‘reputation’ crisis. 1. Insider trading 2. Dawn raid3. Association with the wrong people e.g. criminals, those with extreme views4. Privacy issues5. Rumour6. Political affiliations7. Leaks and losing data8. Organisation breaking the law9. Compliance issues10. Having a detrimental impact on the environment11. IT system outage12. Death or injury on site The list of actions which would amplify the incident are as follows; – 1. The organisation being found to have covered up or attempted to cover up the incident2. The organisation shown a lack of contrition in the response3. Slow response or failure to recognise the incident4. Organisation seen to be complacent5. The incident has happened before6. Failure to communicate with stakeholders7. If the fault of the incident is clearly the organisations8. If you already have a reputation for poor customer service, poor practices or for cutting corners and the incident fits into this agreed view9. The incident continues rolling and developing so there are new facts, events and twists10. A visual event which makes good TV11. There is a human aspect story within the incident12. It involves a celebrity or celebrities13. It is an issue likely to lead to social media outrage bandwagoning14. An organisation which is seen to be arrogant

About Charlie Maclean-Bristol

Charlie Maclean-Bristol is one of the Founders and Directors of PlanB Consulting. He is also the Training Director of Business Continuity Training Ltd., a UK-based training provider accredited by the Business Continuity Institute. Charlie is a former Business Continuity Institute board member and one of the very few Fellows of both the Emergency Planning Society and the Business Continuity Institute.

A former Infantry Captain in the British Army, Charlie held several emergency planning, business continuity and crisis management positions within the energy and utility industry before founding PlanB Consulting in 2007. Over the past twelve years, Charlie has delivered business continuity consultancy in 6 of the worlds 7 continents, frequently providing full business continuity roll-outs to organisations of all sizes and in all sectors.

Scroll to Top