Study: 80 percent of companies are ‘vulnerable’ or ‘exposed’ to a crisis

The study, by Burson-Marsteller, unearthed some startling notions about the state of companies’ crisis preparedness.

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The PR giant surveyed 800 business leaders around the world to get a better idea of corporate perceptions of the state of crisis communications in the Digital Age. The results “amounts to a wake-up call for business leaders who defend reputations and brand equity in today’s digitally connected marketplace,” Forbes said.

Among the findings, nearly 60 percent of business decision-makers have experienced a crisis in their current or previous company. Meanwhile, 79 percent believe their company is fewer than 12 months away from a potential crisis. Controversial company developments, online or digital security failure, and logistic difficulties were among the most likely anticipated crises.

When it comes to crises that can do the most damage to a company’s reputation, danger to product safety (defective or contaminated parts), online or digital security failure, natural disaster, and critical or negative new media campaigns were thought to have the greatest impact.

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