summary: If a crisis comes out of nowhere is it impossible to prepare for? Lack of preparation shows in the way our leaders are reacting to the Coronavirus crisis. The mixed messaging and lack of synchronisation between states and the federal government is undermining trust and creating confusion when we need clarity. Confidence in a company’s ability to effectively manage risk translates directly to buying behaviour. This confidence inspires trust. How will customers view your business from the other side? Will your Coronavirus response attract the right sort of attention?
If a crisis comes out of nowhere is it impossible to prepare for?
Today I heard the WA Premier commenting that the Coronavirus ‘came out of nowhere’ and so was impossible to prepare for. I accept the first part – that’s a typical crisis characteristic: hitting hard and fast, without warning. I don’t accept the lack of preparation that is evident in the way our leaders have reacted to the current crisis.
It’s vital to keep pace with an issue as it unfolds. Even better is to get ahead of the curve. Comprehensive preparation, including a response framework, enables the agility to respond (vs react) at the pace dictated by the unfolding crisis. In a way that resolves the issue at hand and supports the long game. That’s what we should expect, and what we deserve, from our leaders.
Leaders need to behave in a way that inspires trust
On Channel 10’s The Project last night there was a call for us to display a ‘generosity of spirit’ to allow the government to not always get it right as this crisis unfolds. Which I agree with, but they need to act decisively and behave in a way that inspires trust. The current lack of synchronisation between the states and federal government is undermining the trust Australians want to place in our leaders at a time like this. The mixed messaging is creating confusion when we need clarity.
The infodemic might be more dangerous than the pandemic
Despite the current infodemic around Covid-19 there is widespread confusion – largely due to the lack of coordination between state and federal levels of government. And all the departments in between. There’s so much information out there but it’s hard to determine what’s true and what’s not. This confusion about what to believe erodes trust. Which is a problem because trust is a powerful antidote to fear. You could argue that the infodemic is doing more damage than the virus itself because the widespread coverage affects more people.
The good that can come of it.
While it might be too soon to see the good in this Covid-19 debacle from the middle of it, the opportunity is to not just navigate the current crisis but to use the experience to better prepare for future challenges. The bad news is this won’t be the last time we find ourselves in this position. The good news is we can be better prepared.
You’ll be judged by how you respond
When this is all over you’ll be judged by how you responded to the Coronavirus crisis. Confidence in a company’s ability to effectively manage risk translates directly to buying behaviour. This confidence inspires trust. How will your customers view your business from the other side of the current crisis based on what they saw, heard or experienced for themselves? Will your behaviours attract the right sort of attention?
If you’d like to talk more about preparing for this challenge in your organisation, we’d love to hear from you.
About the reputation continuum
We help companies minimise the commercial damage caused by reputation loss. How? By synchronising your internal team and trusted partners to drive resolution of reputation issues, in a way that supports long-term commercial success. How prepared are you?
For more information: thereputationcontinuum.com
#riskmanagement #crisiscommunications #crisismanagement #crisisresponse #reputationmanagement #crisismarketing #preparedness #brandrecovery #reputationcrisis #reputationrisk #reputationcontinuum #coronavirus