Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Crisis Management: Zombies

When dealing with a crisis, effective management begins with a proper assessment of the nature of the crisis. Utilizing a simple 2 x 2 matrix of impact on reputation of organization versus probability of the crisis going viral, crisis managers can make an informed decision on whether to respond and, if so, how to respond!

crisis communications response matrix

While the above matrix has proven to be an effective assessment framework, there is a new category of crisis that impacts organizations. These are the Zombies. Much like their name sake, this category of crisis does not stay dead - either they did not gain traction when it first occurred, or it keeps coming back to haunt the organization. An example would be the anniversary of the incident where grieving family members post tributes to remember their loved ones.

zombie crisis singapore

What this means for crisis communication practitioners is that post-crisis actions are just as important as during-crisis communications. Continual monitoring of related keywords (especially near anniversaries), as well as inoculation against the incident must be done to ensure that the crisis stays dead. In short, we cannot assume that once a crisis is "managed", we can forget about it. Crisis, like Zombies, can always come back to life.

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