How short-term and long-term crisis responses require different mindsets

The immediate need to play defense, provide robust media relations and careful holding statements can differ from the strategic approach required for long-term management.

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Are You Ready. Chalkboard on a wooden background.

Modern crisis management and mitigation have become exceedingly complex.

With the evolution of the media cycle, social media and consumers’ demands for direct access to brands and organizations, crisis preparation and reputation management have become high tech, day-and-night, expensive endeavors.

According to some experts, that’s a relatively new reality.

“When I started in this business in 2000, after practicing law for nine years, crisis was purely reactive,” says Harlan Loeb, chair for crisis and reputation risk advisory services at Edelman. “Proactive crisis planning based on data and analytics simply did not exist. Something had to be ‘in play’—and only then did we activate. Engagement was highly tactical, because there was not a strategy proposition when one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world had one most destructive and consequential spills in history. It was all damage control.”

Changes have been dramatic given the rapid rise and global proliferation of digitally driven content in which citizen “journalism” has dramatically and permanently outpaced traditional news coverage in all of its forms.

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