Events impact every business, and the response time dictates how the public receives that message. The event could be something immediate such as loss of data or an IT breach. It could be something more sustained like fraud or personnel matters. Either way, here are examples of why contingency plans are needed. If you don’t have one in place, there’s a storm awaiting.
Be proactive to the changes taking place within your industry and business. If a crisis has happened to you already, restore your image and improve stakeholder confidence with BSRM to ensure the continuity of your operations.
Contingency planning is the most important part of your public relations. Having a plan ensures that you respond with the required speed of an emergency. Mining crisis communication with prepared responses take time and effort – time that you don’t have if you’re in the middle of a public disaster.
Contingency plans are a part of your crisis management plan and is a vital part of emergency preparedness.
Often, a crisis is an issue overlooked. When businesses fail to take the time to evaluate public interest and the feedback they receive from a segmented audience, that can trigger an adverse reaction. When that audience is neglected continuously, a crisis ensues.
So, having a written contingency plan is not enough, particularly since the number of risks to threaten your business can run the gamut. Identifying media relations representatives for your business while conducting annual media training is a good first step. Preparing the development of statements should be a part of your contingency plan.
Identify the vulnerabilities to respond to a crisis and make contingency planning a routine part of the way you do business. Contingency planning is essential to your business continuity.
Now is the best time of year to conduct a vulnerability audit: environmentally scanning your industry and business to determine where weaknesses lie. This task requires diligent PR as it can be an ongoing process across several categories within your industry.
In addition, implement preparedness activities, practicing corrective action in the event a live issue surfaces. Practice handling those predetermined set of actions in response to those unauthorized acts.
Let’s talk about social media
What about negative feedback about your company on social media? In the event that a social media follower posts an inflammatory comment, take a moment to consider the relevance, emotion, volume and call to action of the messenger’s postings and whether to respond.
It must be distinguished whether the messenger is a normal user or an influencer. If it is an influencer, categorize this influencer by either top-tier, medium or ordinary, determining the messenger’s ability to influence people’s opinion on the social media channel. Do this by identifying the number of retweets or reposts rather than the number of followers.
What do we mean by evaluate the message?
Consider the post’s negative potential by:
Relevance – How directly does the issue relate to your business?
Volume – How many people are talking about this topic?
Emotion – What emotion is the post capable of releasing?
Speed – What is the speed at which the post is spreading?
And of course, assess the call to action.
Assessing the post in this manner first will help manage priorities of a potentially critical situation.
(Social media information above is attributable elsewhere, although the source at this time is unknown)
Let’s talk about natural disasters
If you are hosting outdoor events, it is critical that you have an inclement weather plan. The inclement weather plan maps out the contingency plan in the event of bad weather. This section maps out where your audience should go for the latest information and should provide specific messaging for the media who will work with you to spread the message en masse.
A natural disaster plan, particularly if your business is located in an active geographic location for such disasters, should be a part of your contingency plan and business continuity plan.
Again, crisis communication plans are necessary for every company.
Once you establish a plan, provide it to those vital to your organization and keep it updated regularly to reduce the event of unfavorable public events that can happen to your company.
In closing, contingency planning is performed to mitigate risks. It is a set of guidelines used to prepare a business for an unexpected event, and it becomes vital in the event of a partial or total loss of day-to-day operations.
The contingency plan describes the strategy to respond and rebound from a crisis or any other emergency-related disaster.
Don’t know how to deal with an unforeseen circumstance? Then, choose us. BSRM knows how to set strategy, addressing internal and external audiences, including how media relations should be coordinated if your business is faced with being in the media unintended.
We mitigate business interruption, planning and business resumption from a communication standpoint, particularly during a period of crisis. Allow us to look at your business environment, particularly practices that are confidential in nature, to plan for more effective decision making.
If needed, we can serve as your official spokesperson with our training in crisis communication and reputation management.
Our goal for you is to minimize adverse impacts to respond and be resilient.
We are a partner that can help you achieve your overall goals. We are where you need us.
Blue Scorpion Reputation Management (BSRM) is a relationship-based specialist communications firm conveniently located in downtown Atlanta with national reach, holding accounts specific to the video gaming industry, animal and pet care industry and the agriculture and farming industry, including investor relations to agricultural commodity and product brands. We also provide government and corporate consultancy.
We are accepting international clients and businesses that seek or are doing business internationally.
We have the credentials and qualifications that benefit your business to help you focus on success.
If BSRM seems like a good fit for your enterprise, contact us to get started … today!