Emergency Management, Crisis Management & You

The structured fields of emergency management, crisis management, and crisis communications have evolved over many decades.  Many people may be surprised to learn that modern incident management was really born in 1970 with FIRESCOPE (Firefighting Resources of Southern California Organized for Potential Emergencies). This led to NIIMS (National Interagency Incident Management System) and ICS (Incident Command System).

Emergency Management Planning and Disaster Response as Concept

These are operational crisis management and emergency management systems by other names.  They were originally designed for integrating government resources at the federal, state and local level and applying those resources in an efficient fashion regardless of their various management structures and geographic locations.

These systems have evolved significantly and have proven to be superior mechanisms for organizing resources to transform chaos into a manageable business.  They are now the globally accepted best practices.  Keep in mind, these are emergency management tools geared at physically resolving the problem and though they include a public affairs function, when we talk about crisis communications and brand management, we must have another unique discipline integrated into the equation.

Crisis Communications, brand protection and related messaging is not a standard emergency response or emergency management skillset and completely different than simply providing accurate information to the public.  Communicating the company position and relaying response specifics in a manner productive to both the public and the company is a highly specialized field, in which many claim expertise but have little to no experience.  Try asking your crisis communications and public relations experts to provide evidence that they’ve had any actual role in a response for which they want to teach you how to handle or want you to trust to them.  Ask if you’ll get the experts or the interns when you really need their assistance.

It’s time to wake up.  Just scan the headlines of any news organization and you’ll see that bad things happen to good people and organizations all the time.  The news is ripe with corporate crisis, executive misconduct, and disaster.  Ignoring the risk of a crisis is equivalent to all-in betting with stockholder money.  Many crisis events have impacted hundreds of thousands of people in the process, forced CEOs and other officers to resign and generated massive public contempt for the business. We’ve seen exceptionally high-risk, high-value companies shortcut security, safety, preparedness and risk the entire brand to save a ridiculously insignificant amount of time and money.

Regardless of the crisis, having the right departments and personnel responding to the event and the right people communicating your position are critical requirements.  If you choose an unpracticed, unplanned or impromptu approach, it’s likely that you will fail spectacularly.

Building a world-class crisis management team can be straightforward, achievable and take a relatively small amount of time with senior management driven objectives.  While you may never have on-hand all the resources you need for any situation, for most companies, a basic Integrated Crisis Management Team capable of professionally addressing events can be achieved with existing personnel, an insignificant amount of money, and very little time investment.   As with sports, the right team members, training and practice are the game-winning solutions.

For 17 years we’ve helped clients progress from basic emergency management to become masters of Operational Crisis Management and Crisis Communications.  We help them to organize, plan, train and physically respond to crisis events and supported their mastery of communicating their actions to the public, stockholders and other stakeholders. We’ve seen the dedication of employees to their business and their colleague, and we’ve witnessed them become more effective and resilient organizations. People are the solution to the problems.

If you have a crisis management team and haven’t met in six months or practiced as a team in the last year, you’re not meeting the most basic level of proficiency and you’re not ready.  Personnel changes at all levels, knowledge attrition, geopolitical issues, business goals, new product lines, family matters, and a host of other distractions in a constantly evolving environment all detract from maintaining a current situational awareness and preparedness capability for your company.

Whether you handle it yourself or you get help, you need to anticipate, plan, prepare and practice. Crises define people and institutions. Let your next crisis show you at your best in the way you respond, communicate and relate.

Contact Us

Phone: +1.833.227.4747

Email: info@corporatecrisisgroup.com

Address: 405 Main Street, Suite 730
Houston, Texas 77002