Planning for a Crisis

Your Response to the Unexpected

Planning for a Crisis

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How would your organization cope with a sudden crisis?

In 1982, seven people died after taking Tylenol® pain relief capsules that had been maliciously contaminated with cyanide. The manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson®, recalled and destroyed 31 million capsules, at a cost of $100 million. It quickly informed consumers and introduced new tamper-resistant packaging, and sales of Tylenol soon returned to their pre-crisis levels.

The company's swift reaction to the crisis was widely praised, and it was credited with reducing the number of potential deaths.

Such successful crisis management was due to Johnson & Johnson having a robust plan in place. It's not defeatist or fatalistic to plan for a crisis; it's realistic and wise. A 2014 survey by crisis management consultant Steelhenge showed that, while most of the companies that responded had a documented crisis management plan, in almost a third of cases it was drawn up after the organization had been through a crisis.

In this article, we explore what types of crises could affect your organization, and look at strategies you can adopt as part of your plan for preparing and responding....

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