7 Steps to Create a Crisis Management Plan — Just in Case

A crisis management plan details how your business should react in an emergency. While crises are never welcome, it’s wiser to prioritize caution. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense, so having a prepared team and strategy in place is crucial for minimizing damage and restoring normal operations swiftly. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of last-minute disruptions, which could exacerbate the situation.


Clearly define the purpose of the plan to ensure clarity and ease of implementation.


Identify potential risks and prioritize them, then outline specific actions for each.

Response Team

Select leaders who will both contribute to planning and actively engage during a crisis.

Roles and Responsibilities

Define roles for various teams to address different risk scenarios, such as customer support, operations, marketing, HR, and security.

Crisis Management Process

Gather your response team for a brainstorming session aimed at evaluating your company’s risks. Utilize a risk register to pinpoint and assess the likelihood of various scenarios. This tool aids in anticipating potential setbacks and provides a clear picture of which threats are most probable. Once you’ve identified the high-probability risks, delve into their potential impact on your business. Analyze each one individually as they can lead to different outcomes, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the potential consequences.

Alert: Establish protocols for promptly notifying the response team, designating a triage point person for inquiries.

Assess: Plan how the response team will gather information, classify incidents, and prepare to act.

Activate: Initiate the plan, delegate tasks, and ensure clear communication among team members.

Administer: Outline procedures for addressing and resolving the crisis, including communication with stakeholders, legal considerations, media management, and plan updates.

Adjourn: Conduct a post-crisis review to evaluate the response and communication effectiveness and update the plan accordingly.

Dos and Don'ts

While readiness for a potential crisis is crucial, effectively communicating the situation and delivering the appropriate message to the intended audience is paramount.
  •  ● DO – Communicate with all audiences. Be upfront and let the public know what is happening along with your internal audiences (employees and appropriate vendors).
  •  ● DO – Break your own news. Get in front of the story so you can lead the information. This allows you to control your story on your own terms.
  •  ● DO – Take real action steps. Along with communicating the steps taken to all audiences and ensuring the immediate situation is being resolved—you also want to describe what is being done in relation to prevention.
  •  ● DON’T – Use no comment. Never say “No Comment” in the face of a crisis, being as responsive as possible without trapping yourself by saying more than you should before you should.
  •  ● DON’T – Don’t stall with information. Communicating in real time what you are finding out and as it progresses. Waiting to share information makes your audience feel like you are keeping important information from them.

Maintaining Effectiveness

Regularly review and update the plan to adapt to changing risks and business circumstances.

Creating and maintaining a crisis management plan requires dedication, but it’s essential for anticipating and addressing potential crises effectively. By investing time in preparation, your company can become more resilient and adept at managing risks as they arise.

To help you get started with your own plan, please download our helpful crisis management plan here.

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