Any successful crisis response requires a calm demeanor. You simply can’t be effective with crisis management if you rush your thinking or overlook important steps. Additionally, it’s important to have the full support of your team when an unplanned issue that will impact your corporate reputation surfaces.
To help my clients manage both of these tough assignments under pressure, I use an issues management worksheet that I created with the help of my colleagues. My long-term clients have a copy of this worksheet that they provide to key employees.
Whether you’re responding to TV reporters trying to report a criminal investigation or a natural disaster, it’s important to gather facts quickly and accurately. Once the facts are sorted out, a proper assessment can be made and a strategy can be approved and implemented.
My crisis management worksheet includes more than two dozen questions that are pretty general but also pretty important. This document is intended to be adaptable for any crisis response.
It asks for the basics, such as the must-have “Please describe the incident.” It makes sure that the actual incident is being addressed: “Have the proper government authorities (police, fire) been involved?” And it digs to find out whether the incident sparking the crisis response may be newsworthy: “Is there anything noteworthy (young, old, famous, notorious, political) about anyone involved in the incident?”
You can download the complete list here: Crisis Management Worksheet
If you think I’ve left off a vital question for the creation of an effective crisis management plan, send me your thoughts. Direct emails to mail [at] bryan long dot com or contact me on Facebook or Twitter.