In a previous post we highlighted the elements of an underperforming crisis plan, to encourage companies to self-evaluate and improve those important tools. But just like a Beethoven composition requires a well-trained orchestra to perform a symphony, a good crisis plan deserves an aligned and rehearsed team to capably protect the brand and corporate reputation. 

Is that capability lacking in any way?  Here are some watch-outs:

  1. Lack of playbook familiarity.  If a crisis team is looking through a playbook for the very first time during a crisis, you can bet it won’t be very effective. Orientation training with interactive exercises is a great opportunity to onboard team members, get their feedback (essential to build group ownership), and build alignment on roles, expectations, information- and decision-flow.
  2. Lack of executive team endorsement. If playbooks and tools are considered to be only “one-team’s product” within a company, they’re likely to be ignored. Having leadership sign off on the playbook and show support of your plan of attack will help other team members feel good about it too. 
  3. Remember, a playbook won’t have all the answers. A crisis rarely happens exactly as predicted and there will be times when a crisis team has to make on-the-spot judgment calls. A well-integrated team will have better success pulling some guidance from the tools in a playbook as well as relying on the team’s experience, training, situational awareness, and teamwork.
  4. Failure of imagination. Most companies we’ve helped through crisis understand the importance of maintaining credibility and focusing a team to row in one direction. However, the most common weakness of a crisis team is often the inability of applying foresight and flexibility to the crisis response. For example, the stakeholders you must reach on day one of a crisis may be very different from the stakeholders you reach on day five. The same can be said of the goals and strategies that you set—these can also re-adjust. This is why we advocate strategy workshops, which are interactive trainings that build muscle to best manage a lot of the gray areas of crisis/reputation management.

M Booth helps our clients build great tools and cultivate great crisis-management capabilities through our reputation resilience programming. These are essential elements in 2022, when brands and reputations can be challenged in an instant.

About M Booth’s Crisis Capability

Over the years, our team has provided crisis/reputation resilience services to more than 170 of the world’s best-known brands and organizations—including more than 35 on the current 2021 Fortune 500 list. If you want to know more, ping

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M Booth has a presence in 32 markets around the world in partnership with Next 15, the lovely folks who acquired us.


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