A Better Understanding of Crisis Management and Issue Management

· Blog

Crisis management and issue management are commonly used terms in many professional spheres. Although they may seem similar at first glance, the two concepts are quite different.

No matter what type of business we work for, being prepared for any situation and having a contingency plan in case of a crisis are winning strategies. Of course, in an ideal world, we would want to avoid dealing with crises. Experiencing a crisis is one thing; knowing how to manage it is another. And without preparation, the risk of making mistakes is even greater.

Issues are an integral part of every aspect of a company: social, governmental, internal, customer service, etc. Managing issues is a day-to-day process with the company's stakeholders, while crises can hit like a storm and devastate many aspects of the business.

Would you know the difference?

Managing a crisis involves intervening

broken image

Although most companies seek to avoid them, no company is immune to a crisis. A crisis can take many forms: a database leak, a senior executive committing a felony, a defective product that threatens consumer health or safety, and so on.

This crisis can have devastating repercussions on various levels (material, financial or human resources, company reputation), especially if the company employees are not properly trained. Preparing for a crisis includes various methods that have been adequately developed and tested:

  • Designing a multi-scenario crisis management plan;
  • Performing real-time simulations;
  • Choosing key officials to be part of the crisis team, determining their specific role and making their emergency contact information available internally;
  • And so on.

Being forced to act in a hurry is rarely ideal, especially if no one in the company is qualified to properly handle the areas affected by the crisis or to mitigate the negative fallout. Furthermore, the massive use of social media tends to increase the scope of a crisis. All of these elements will have an impact on the crisis, the perception by the public and the measures implemented to resolve it.

Essentially, when we refer to crisis management, we mean how to respond effectively and transparently to the repercussions of the crisis, how to offer coherent responses and, if necessary, how to restore the confidence of the parties involved. During a crisis, time is of the essence: it is best not to wait long to correct the situation.

Managing a crisis means reacting quickly to a critical event and intervening with integrity while considering all our target audiences.

Issue management: what really matters

broken image

Etymologically, an issue is nothing more or less than "what is at stake" or, in other words, the possible gains and losses.

Issues can be technical, financial, strategic or human nature. An issue can take several forms in a company and affect one or more stakeholders (government, customers, partners). There are many issues specific to each professional environment: obtaining a better market positioning, ensuring the trust of stakeholders, asserting one's expertise, generating engagement, etc.

Effective issue management helps prevent potential crises through a variety of steps once the issues have been identified. By effectively managing a company's issues, it is possible to avoid certain tricky situations that could become crises.

Such steps may include:

  • Media monitoring for the company and associated brands;
  • Engaging in discussions on social, political and environmental issues related to the organization;
  • Planning of communication tools;
  • And developing relationships with key actors within and outside the company.
broken image

In short, being aware of an organization's issues and analyzing them upstream helps develop strategies to anticipate crises and better articulate the actions of the people in charge.

Need to get a clearer picture? The Capital-Image team includes experts in crisis and issue management. They will help you take a proactive stance by defining your company's specific issues and developing a management plan to help you deal with potential crises.