Global CEOs See Crisis Capabilities as a Serious Threat in 2019

Crisis communications

Raconteur – and later, Visual Capitalist – recently published a fascinating infographic on the risky business of reputation management. It pictorialised research from Deloitte into what global CEOs see as the biggest reputational risks they’ll face over the forthcoming 12 months. Of particular interest to us was that crisis response capabilities were seen as the third biggest risk (after security [41%] and supply chain [37%] risks), with 35% of CEOs concerned about how their organisations deal with crises.

As a PR company specialising in crisis communications, we fully understand why CEOs see this area as such a risk. Reputations are everything, and in the context of today’s heightened, radical transparency and social media ‘gaze’, they’ve never been more delicate. Brands today are being asked to be bastions of morality and champions of social change – as is fitting and good. However, the world is also astonishingly complex with a barrage of issues and sensitivities we don’t yet fully grasp. To navigate this and ensure that there’s a continuous message of positivity that’s real and authentic, brands need to be human and humble. And that’s where we can assist.

The Raconteur graphic and Deloitte research shows C-Suiters simply don’t feel up to making emergency decisions in crisis scenarios. They realise data is crucial in this kind of situation, but few are actually collecting the insights they need. For example, 95% of the CEOs identify customer and client data as critical for decision-making in a crisis – but only 15% are collecting this information.

On the other side of the coin, companies need to be more careful than ever before how they protect and transparently declare the data they harvest. In the ‘BA data breach’ 2018 crisis comms case study, Raconteur shows that 380 000 of the airline’s customers were affected, and the business lost over £500 million off its group market value. The impact of a data breach like this is far-reaching and severe. Handling it swiftly, sensitively and efficiently is imperative.

For more information on how we can help with your crisis communications, have a look at how we partnered with our client Capitec to manage the bank’s reputation following the Viceroy report.