If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t just plan for crises. Organizations must also test those plans regularly, preferably under conditions that best approximate the real-world crisis scenario.
Why’s that? Well, it’s the failure to exercise and update plans that’s often given as a reason for the breakdown of business resilience processes during moments of stress.
The issue predates the pandemic. Already in 2018, the Deloitte study, Stronger, fitter, better: Crisis management for the resilient enterprise found that 90 per cent of organizations reported confidence in their crisis management capabilities; only 17 per cent of those organizations, however, had performed simulation exercises.
The testing of crisis communications capabilities was similarly slipshod.
A 2016 Nasdaq public relations services study found that a majority of corporate communicators said that their company either lacked a crisis communications playbook (48 per cent) or were unsure of whether they had one (12 per cent).
Add to that, 60 per cent of organizations didn’t role play or weren’t sure if they did. Fewer than half (48 per cent) were actively using a media monitoring platform. And only 24 per cent of company CEOs and other spokespeople were receiving annual media training.
Have things changed since the pandemic?
Post-COVID resilience survey evidence from BCI suggests not fast enough. The data there show that exercises (1) aren’t being completed frequently enough, (2) on a sufficient scale, and (3) that exercise management programs are failing to prioritize complex disruption scenarios.
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