Why you need a crisis framework

Crisis playbooks have long been the gold standard — but times are changing.

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Creating a flexible crisis framework

Every PR pro knows they have to plan for crises. A crisis striking your organization is a when, not an if proposition.

This planning has long looked like a detailed playbook with plans for various scenarios, ranging from a natural disaster to your CEO putting his foot in his mouth.

But best practices are shifting, and many are beginning to move away from the playbook to a more flexible, adaptable crisis framework.

“No one’s gonna look at a 100-page document if something’s on fire,” said Linda Barnhart, senior director at APCO, during PR Daily’s recent Media Relations Conference.

Playbooks, she argues, can be great documents. But the tendency is to create them once and then … never look at them again. They can feel set in stone and not able to adapt to the moment that’s presented to you.

Frameworks, on the other hand, allow you to “rely on your instincts and work with the environment and the information you have to mitigate the threat at hand and make sure you come out of it on the other side,” Barnhart said.

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