Are You Prepared?

Issues are warning signs that an incident or crisis could occur and issues management is a tool for avoiding incidents and crises. Incidents are unexpected events that have been triggered by a deviation from internal or external standards. Both issues and incidents can be managed however, to avoid becoming a crisis.  A crisis is an event that can permanently damage the image and value of your organization.

Lukas Partners offers these tips for proactively managing issues:  

Select a team from your organization (issues task force) with one representative from each department.

Set meetings on a bi-weekly or monthly schedule to discuss what is or may potentially become an issue.

Make a list of all possible issues and prioritize each issue into categories such as personnel, safety, operational or financial.

Analyze each current and potential issue to gain a full understanding of how to respond to or plan for each specific issue scenario.

Create a list of questions and answers for each issue category.

Be transparent and informative with your messages (answers).

Distribute your possible issues and responses to your Board of Directors and members of your executive management team as well as your legal counsel.

Update your issues management plan or spreadsheet regularly to ensure that it is in line with your organization’s mission.

Since incidents can happen without any warning signs or as a result of a mismanaged issue, make sure your organization is ready to respond accordingly by:

Creating an incident team (response team) and clearly defining roles of each member.

Evaluating who has been affected by the incident or who could be.

Developing statements that address what happened and why, and what your organization is currently doing to minimize damage to all affected.

Communicating what will be done in the future to avoid a similar incident from occurring.

Developing and categorizing possible scenarios for incidents that could occur in the future.

Crafting statements of response from your organization to address any future incidents, so you can have them ready, in the event an incident does occur.

Taking corrective actions by making internal operational or policy recommendations to reduce any future risks.

At the heart of issues and incident management lies the theme of preparedness and responsiveness. There is no better time than now to prepare and identify issues and incident scenarios- because around every corner, there is potential for issues to arise and incidents to occur.

About the blogger:
Jim Bush is a senior account executive at Lukas Partners. He is accredited in public relations (APR) via the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Jim is a seasoned communication professional with experience in every aspect of corporate communication and takes pride in helping businesses and organizations better relate to the communities they serve.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

View All Posts