World’s Top Crisis Manager | What Do They Do?

by | Jul 11, 2024

More than half of US businesses have no formal crisis management plan. In today’s fast-paced digital environment, the importance of maintaining a positive public image has never been more essential. You wouldn’t drive your car without insurance, and you certainly shouldn’t operate a business without a crisis management plan.

 

You might think issues that can harm your reputation are rare, but in this digital age, everything from cyberattacks to negative social media rants or employees behaving badly can significantly influence public perception and impact your company’s bottom line.

 

That’s why having a solid crisis communication plan and a crisis manager in your corner is essential. Both are vital tools for outlining how to respond to an unexpected event, while a crisis manager is the go-to person for helping steer you safely through stormy waters. Let’s dive into the key roles both play to keep your business afloat when things get rough.

 

Preparedness and Planning

 

Being proactive (and not reactive) is the key to any crisis management plan. Sure, it’s impossible to predict the future. But you can be prepared for it.

 

Crisis managers have seen it all. That’s why they meet with your leadership team to discuss the simmering issues that can flare up into full-blown crises. A seasoned crisis manager will help manage and mitigate these smouldering issues before they become a PR nightmare.

 

Cybersecurity risks, employee unrest, or even negative online reviews could pose significant threats. A veteran crisis manager will ensure that you minimize the impact of any issue while ensuring business continuity.

 

Team Building and Training

 

Every crisis manager should understand the media and how to communicate challenging situations authentically and transparently. Media training will help your senior leadership team shape and control your media messages during even the most challenging times.

 

Crisis managers provide reputation protection across your entire business during various phases of a reputational issue. In the pre-planning phase, they implement digital tools, such as social listening, reputation monitoring, and media monitoring, to track how people view your company.

 

They also develop a reputation audit of your business, identifying any vulnerabilities and help you mitigate those before they erupt in a full-blown crisis. This becomes part of an overall crisis management plan that includes roles and responsibilities of your crisis management team, which stakeholders to communicate with in what order during various issues, communication messages and more. Media training for your spokesperson(s) is a must since relaying these messages and shaping the narrative of your story is essential during media interviews and stakeholder engagement. Knowing what to say and how to say it with confidence is a refined skill that will greatly benefit your leadership team.

 

Communication and Coordination

 

We should all know by now that saying “no comment” is not the best tactic to take in a risk situation. Silence can be interpreted as an admission of guilt. If you don’t shape the narrative of your story, someone else will fill the void and they may not have your best interest at heart.

 

A crisis manager is an expert in all forms of communication. With the media, internally with employees and boards and even investor relations. They establish the proper communication channels and messaging to ensure full transparency and authenticity in relaying your key messages.

 

Incident Assessment and Response

 

 

When a crisis strikes, the first step is to assess the situation. How bad is it? What’s the impact? A crisis manager promptly evaluates the severity from all sides and then decides on the best course of action. They implement the right response strategies and adapt as things change. Flexibility is key here—they need to pivot quickly and effectively, making sure the response remains on track and resonates with the right audience.

 

Media and Public Relations Management

 

A veteran crisis manager will become part of your team and help support you in challenging times. They should also have deep relationships with the media. A relationship that they have built over decades. This benefits you by letting you know which reporter and news outlet to turn to first with a well-crafted media statement.

 

In the digital landscape, a seasoned crisis manager will know how to handle blogs, social media platforms, and online news outlets. Your crisis manager will understand how to leverage both traditional and digital media to your advantage. They’ll craft compelling, timely statements for your website and social media, ensuring your message reaches the digital masses quickly and effectively.

 

Post-Crisis Analysis and Learning

 

We call this a Hot Wash. Once the dust settles, review the crisis. Ask yourself: How did we do? What could we have done better? What are the main lessons to be learned from this? How do we refine our policies and procedures to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

 

Every mistake is a learning experience. But it’s even more true when considering crisis management. It’s the only way, you, as an organization, get better at dealing with difficult issues.

 

Key Skills and Qualities of an Effective Crisis Manager

 

Leadership and Decision-Making Abilities: Crisis managers are natural leaders. They make tough decisions swiftly and confidently, often under immense pressure.

 

Emotional Intelligence and Composure Under Pressure: Keeping calm and understanding the emotional dynamics at play is crucial. Crisis managers excel at maintaining composure and supporting their teams emotionally.

 

Strategic Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills: Strategic thinking and prompt problem-solving are the hallmarks of a great crisis manager, allowing them to navigate complex situations effectively.

 

The Impact of Effective Crisis Management

 

Minimizing Damage to Reputation and Bottom Line: Effective crisis management protects the organization’s reputation and financial health, minimizing the fallout from any crisis.

 

Building Stakeholder Trust and Confidence: By handling crises effectively, organizations build trust and confidence among stakeholders, demonstrating their resilience and reliability.

 

Creating Opportunities for Organizational Growth and Improvement: Every crisis is an opportunity. Effective crisis management not only helps organizations survive but also thrive, driving growth and improvement in the long run.

 

In essence, a crisis manager is the unsung hero behind the scenes, ensuring organizations navigate turbulent times with poise and strength. Their multifaceted role is vital in safeguarding an organization’s future, making them indispensable in today’s unpredictable world.

 

Take the first step today towards a more resilient, dynamic and respected organization. Forge ahead with confidence and the assurance that your reputation is cared for and masterfully crafted.

When only the best crisis manager for your organization will do, connect with us to begin your journey to a stellar reputation. Contact Solv today!

Nicole Harris

Nicole Harris is the Founder and CEO of Solv Communications, a leading Reputation Management and PR agency in the Prairies. As a former network television news anchor and reporter, Nicole has gained deep insight into the power of earning trust through strategic communication. Over her 15-year career in the media she has covered some of the most high- profile risk management stories including cyber breaches at Fortune 500 companies, product recalls, workplace violence and everything in between. Nicole and her team’s extensive industry knowledge and strategic guidance will help you focus on what is in your control to mitigate risk and minimize damage to your reputation. It’s all about prioritizing strategic planning to spot an issue, effectively manage it, and develop action plans to safely steer you through any situation before it damages your reputation. Nicole has developed and delivered bespoke reputation management, strategic, and media training for senior executives, board members, politicians, and celebrities.

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