The crisis management plan for industrial companies
Regardless of the sector in which a company operates, it is more than likely that at any time every company must face a crisis situation
Digital marketing is often related as a mere channel of sales and traffic generation to our website. Beyond this, a good digital marketing strategy must also contemplate, among other things, how the company should act in delicate moments because, sooner or later, this moment is very likely to happen. A crisis management plan for B2B industrial companies must consider all possible situations as well as the importance of a sensitive situation to public opinion. In short, a crisis management plan must anticipate a series of risk scenarios that a company would have to face in the future.
At the same time, this plan must include the strategic responses to the crisis situation in the different usual means of communication, emphasizing a timely and diligent communication in order to minimize a negative impact and preserve the business reputation and therefore the trust from different groups of interest or stakeholders. Sometimes, it is not even necessary that there is a real problem so that a company can feel cornered by public opinion, because unfortunately rumors and market expectations can transfer a high level of nervousness to stakeholders.
Characteristics of a crisis
Any company faces countless challenges and problems on a daily basis and that is why it is considered a business crisis when one of these problems of a certain magnitude transcends to public opinion since the company can easily lose control of corporate communication. In addition, the viralisation of any content on social networks can easily contribute to an exponential spread of a business crisis situation. On the contrary and although it may be unlikely, it may happen that a company is facing one or several problems of a certain magnitude but since none of them has transcended public opinion, we cannot grant the situation the category of crisis.
Although each crisis situation may have different characteristics and triggers, any crisis situation shares the following properties to a greater or lesser extent:
- Unpredictable and unexpected. Although sometimes certain team members may foresee a potential problem that can be passed on to the media, the truth is that any anticipation strategy may not be enough due to a lack of calculation of the magnitude of the problem or simply when it suddenly appears.
- Relevance. Every business crisis begins with a problem of some relevance that can expand rapidly within the company or even in the same sector. That is why it is vital to know how to distinguish the daily problems and challenges of the company with relevant problems of a certain size that could trigger a real crisis.
- Public. As we have commented previously, any problematic situation within the company will go into the category of crisis as soon as the information reaches public opinion, a fact that can trigger panic among stakeholders as well as in the general public depending to the company's sector.
What are the objectives of a crisis management plan?
Any crisis management plan, whether designed for B2B industrial companies or B2C companies, must answer the following questions: What are we going to communicate? Through what communication channels? Who will be in charge of communicating? Who do we want to address?
Just as each crisis is different, so are the companies, so each particular case may have different answers to the previous questions. On the other hand, regardless of the business sector, the crisis management plan aims to reduce the media impact of a crisis and reassure some stakeholders that may have panicked. While there is no exact strategy that defines what a crisis management plan should be like, another objective that should be considered is the recovery of business reputation that may have been affected by a loss of credibility after a crisis episode.
The crisis management plan and social networks
Nowadays, any crisis that happens in a company will automatically extend to the world of social networks even if the company in question has no presence across them. This is an actual threat that can destroy in a matter of minutes the reputation of a company with false or unclear information so that is why we must pay special attention in how a company should act in social networks during a crisis.
A common mistake of companies in these situations is to communicate reactive responses to the situation that only make the problem worse. On the contrary, the crisis management plan must include information regarding social networks about who, how, where and when the relevant press release will be made to avoid at all costs a possible catastrophe in our online brand reputation.
At BCM Marketing we help industrial companies to establish a comprehensive crisis management plan by developing an appropriate strategy for each sector.
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