Let’s say you’re in charge of communications at your organization and you’re about to board a two-hour flight on a business trip.
After you’re buckled into your seat and you’ve dutifully turned off your smartphone, what you do not know is that all hell is breaking loose on the ground.
One of your organization’s employees did something disgraceful, and it was captured on video. About the time your aircraft has reached 10,000 feet, the video has already had 20,000 hits on social media.
Two hours later when you power up your phone, it lights up with messages.
Your mailbox is full of requests from reporters looking for a company statement on this horrendous act. Your organization’s senior managers are texting, calling and emailing you to get back to them quickly. Oh, and one other thing—the airline told you your luggage is on its way to Des Moines, and that’s not where you are.
Congratulations: Your crisis has started without you.
A little good news and a little bad news are in play.
First, the bad news: Get used to it.
Now, the good news: You can take proactive steps against those unexpected crises, but it takes commitment on the part of your organization.