Crisis Readiness Assessment

Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5
Stage 6

About the Assessment

To effectively respond to issues and crises, it’s important to understand the gaps that exist in your organization’s crisis response capability. Each stage of a crisis can expose major vulnerabilities. If you are a CCO or communications professional, answer these questions to see where your organization falls short and receive customized recommendations for areas you might invest in to be better prepared for a crisis.

Stage 1: Surprise

Q1: Does your crisis plan exist in digital form so it can be rapidly deployed across multiple channels? (Hyperlinked Word documents do not count as “digital”)

Q2: Have you established and defined the roles of your crisis response team for each of your organization’s major areas of vulnerability?

Q3: Do you have a dedicated situation room equipped with everything you need to manage a crisis, sustain the crisis team, and maintain contact with your entire organization?

Q4: In the last 12 months, have you simulated the crises most likely to occur?

Q5: Has your company articulated a cultural POV on how to respond during a crisis?

Stage 2: Insufficient Information

Q1: Do you have a dark microsite ready for deployment, in case of a crisis?

Q2: Do you have holding statements, media Q&A, etc. pre-developed for each of your company’s most likely crisis scenarios?

Q3: Does your company have a pre-determined stance on whether it will disclose information in a crisis?

Q4: Does a mechanism exist for keeping key company information as up-to-date as possible (e.g., people, protocols, policies)?

Q5: Do you have a defined system/channel for notifying, gathering, and sharing information with your issues management team when crisis strikes?

Stage 3: Intense Scrutiny from the Outside

Q1: Do you have the technology and resources to analyze the online conversation around the issue, as it evolves?

Q2: Do you have a digital/social advertising/SEO strategy for when a crisis hits?

Q3: Does your organization have defined processes and technologies to prevent version control around statements, key messaging, etc.?

Q4: Has your list of media contacts for global, national, regional, and industry publications been updated in the last 90 days?

Q5: Do you have defined processes to keep employees updated with important information?

Stage 4: Esclating Flow of Events

Q1: Do you have rich and relevant content around each major area of vulnerability, ready to deploy (e.g., infographic on the training staff receive around malware)?

Q2: Does your company have pre-established thresholds to determine the levels of severity for an issue, and how (or if) the organization should respond at each level?

Q3: Do you have a “news hub” that is capable of incorporating rich assets (i.e., video, infographics) into content?

Q4: Are cross-functional partners aware of/rehearsed in their role in crisis response (e.g., Marketing pulling advertising content)?

Q5: Is there a defined/uniform way that your company documents actions taken during a crisis (e.g., called Jane Doe from CNN at 10:42a.m.)?

Stage 5: Siege Mentality

Q1: Does Communications have a seat at the executive table for key decision making during every genre of issue?

Q2: Have you established, socialized, and educated social page managers and community managers on when/how to respond to or escalate social posts during a crisis?

Q3: Has your company identified/developed and maintained relationships with a list of influencers (both general and industry specific)?

Q4: Has your organization provided media training to relevant subject matter experts, so that they may address the press during specific crises?

Q5: Have you developed guidelines/protocols that empower relevant employees and stakeholders to use digital channels to respond to inquiries?

Stage 6: Bunker Down

Q1: Does your company have a repository of relevant case studies from past crises to learn from and benchmark performance against?

Q2: Do you receive frequent (daily, at least) updates around online listening, microsite metrics, etc. throughout the duration of a crisis?

Q3: Does your organization have reciprocal relationships with competi-tors/peers for assistance during certain types of crisis?

Q4: Are different audience segments well-defined and pre-loaded into social advertising platforms, so that they may be reached with targeted messaging?

Q5: Does your organization have resources (internal or vendor) to create visual and dynamic digital content on-the-fly?

Readiness
Score

0%

You answered No to
0 out of
questions.

Readiness
Level

Low
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Your Recommendations

  • Reputation App
  • Crisis Plans
  • Listening Command Center
  • Full Simulation
  • Content Creation
  • Paid Social Strategy
  • Executive Bootcamp
  • Media Training
  • Issues Escalation Protocol
  • Web Development
  • Influencer Strategy
  • Peer Summit


All Recommendations

  • Reputation App
  • Crisis Plans
  • Listening Command Center
  • Full Simulation
  • Content Creation
  • Paid Social Strategy
  • Executive Bootcamp
  • Media Training
  • Issues Escalation Protocol
  • Web Development
  • Influencer Strategy
  • Peer Summit

You have completed
the self assessment

Use the menu on the left to get more information on each of your customized recommendations.

For more information, contact us here.
View Reccommendations

Reputation App

About This Recommendation:

We believe that the analog, red-book approach to crisis management is outdated, leaving many companies vulnerable to exacerbated reputational harm as a result of ineffective crisis response. Our application, RepComm, enables more effective navigation of a crisis response by providing the right information to the right people at the right time.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Crisis plans do not live in digital form, making it time-consuming and cumbersome to consult during a crisis situation.
  • You do not have a defined and/or uniform way of documenting actions taken during a crisis (e.g., called Jane Doe from CNN at 10:42am).
  • A mechanism does not exist for keeping company as up-to-date as possible.
  • You do not have a defined system/channel for notifying, gathering, and sharing information with your issues management team.
  • Your organization does not have defined processes and technologies to prevent version control on key documents during a crisis.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Creativity

Crisis Plans

About This Recommendation:

A prerequisite to is having up-to-date response plans that are specific to each of your areas of vulnerability. Ideally, these crisis plans would follow a uniform high-level structure, regardless of the situation, to enable easy navigation during a crisis and seamless transition into using our reputation application, RepComm.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Your organization has not established and defined the roles of your crisis response team for each of your organization’s areas of vulnerability.
  • You do not have a dedicated situation room equipped with everything you need to manage a crisis.
  • You do not have pre-developed communications materials for each of your company’s most likely crisis situations.
  • You do not have defined processes to keep employees updated with important information.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed

Listening Command Center

About This Recommendation:

In the digital age, an issue can arise in a nanosecond. Thankfully, technologies exist that enable the collection of valuable intelligence on the online conversation that is taking place relevant to our brand and/or a specific crisis. When used correctly, this technology can be used to address burning questions and shape forward looking strategy to maximize resonance and impact of your communications.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • You do not have the technology and resources to analyze the online conversation around an issue.
  • You do not receive frequent updates around online listening, microsite metrics, etc., during a crisis.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Agility
  • Speed

Full Simulation

About This Recommendation:

As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect – the same applies to crises. Conducting a crisis simulation around an area of vulnerability helps with a number of aspects of crisis management, including the pinpointing of weaknesses in existing crisis plans, fostering collaboration across the organization, and improving muscle memory in crisis response.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • In the last 12 months, you have not simulated the crises most likely to occur.
  • Cross-functional partners are not aware of/rehearsed in their role in crisis response.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed

Content Creation

About This Recommendation:

During a crisis, a natural vacuum is created, and in the digital age, your organization is competing with all forms of media to fill this vacuum. A fundamental piece of controlling the narrative is creating and syndicating visual and compelling content. Ideally, this content will have been created in preparation for a crisis, and can be deployed at a moment’s notice.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Your organization does not have rich and relevant content around each major area of vulnerability, ready to deploy.
  • Your organization does not have resources to create visual and dynamic content on-the-fly.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Creativity

Paid Social Strategy

About This Recommendation:

With social media platforms applying algorithms to their content feeds, the reach of organic content has declined by the day. During a crisis, when competing with all forms of media, it is critical to shape the narrative before somebody else does. In order to to this, an organization must deliver relevant content to the correct audiences at the optimum time with social media advertisements, and executing this in an effective way requires prior strategic planning.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Your organization does not have a digital/social advertising/SEO strategy for when a crisis hits.
  • Audience segments are not well-defined and pre-loaded into social advertising platforms.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed
  • Agility

Executive Bootcamp

About This Recommendation:

We live in the era of engagement, and people have become averse to corporate speak during crises. How an organization speaks to its constituents and what it discloses during a crisis is defined by its “crisis culture.” This crisis culture is shaped almost exclusivelty by the key decision makers (i.e., the executive team), and seldom by the communicators. In order to make the cultural shift, executive education is key.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Your organization has not articulated a cultural POV on how to respond during a crisis.
  • Your company does not have a pre-determined stance on whether it will disclose information during a crisis
  • Communications does not have a seat at the executive table for key decision making during every genre of issue.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Authenticity
  • Transparency
  • Creativity

Media Training

About This Recommendation:

Organizations are held to incredibly high standards by the public during a crisis, and the court of public opinion can be won or lost in on-the-record communications to the media. People don’t just want to hear from the CEO – they want to hear from the subject matter experts who are going to deliver valuable information. These experts need to be educated with media training on how to deliver messages in a disciplined, yet authentic way.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Your organization has not provided media training to subject matter experts.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Authenticity
  • Transparency

Issues Escalation Property

About This Recommendation:

How do you define when a minor issue has the potential to blow up into a major crisis? This is especially challenging when the amount of time you have to make a call on responding continues to decrease as we become more digitally mature. An issues escalation protocol adds a scientific approach to deciding if, when, where and how an organization should respond to a brewing crisis.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Your company does not have pre-established thresholds to determine the levels of severity for an issue, and how (or if) the organization should respond at each level.
  • You have not established, socialized, and educated social media/community managers on when/how to respond to or escalate social posts during a crisis.
  • You have not developed guidelines/protocols that empower relevant employees and stakeholders to use digital channels to respond to inquiries.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed
  • Agility

Web Development

About This Recommendation:

Elevated web traffic can overload servers, with stakeholders visiting the site in search of information about the issue. Additionally, keeping all updates pertinent to a crisis on an organization’s main site can further corrode brand equity. One way to solve for both of these issues is the creation of “dark sites” in preparation for crises. Best practice is to do the heavy lifting development work beforehand, allowing the organization to stand up a dark site swiftly, with developers helping with updates as the crisis evolves.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • You do not have a dark microsite ready for deployment, in case of a crisis.
  • You do not have a “news hub” that is capable of incorporating rich assets (e.g., videos, infographics) into content.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Creativity

Influencer Strategy

About This Recommendation:

The journalism landscape has fundamentally changed in the digital age, and influencers are a crucial piece of shaping public perception, especially during a crisis. Identifying relevant influencers and building and maintaining relationships with them can be incredibly impactful when a crisis hits.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Your list of media contacts for global, national, regional, and industry publications has not been updated in the last 90 days.
  • Your company has not identified and developed/maintained relationships with a list of influencers (both general and industry specific).

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Authenticity

Peer Summit

About This Recommendation:

No company is immune from crisis, and many have experiences in dealing with crises that can be of significant value to organizations. Attending a Peer Summit and collectively sharing best practices across companies and industries around different types of crises is a hugely effective way of fostering a culture continuous learning.

You have received this recommendation because at least one of the following statements is true:

  • Your organization does not have reciprocal relationships with competitors/peers for assistance during certain types of crisis.

Implementing this recommendation will help you improve:

  • Speed
  • Transparency
  • Creativity