Here are a few scenarios to consider when updating your crisis communications plan

March 20, 2023

by Kosta Petrov, Managing Director at P World

Prepare for the unexpected! This phrase has been repeated in the media and at events many times over. Despite its catchy nature, the truth is that there is no such thing as "unexpected" in today's ever-changing environment. OK, maybe an alien invasion, but let's not overdo it.

Perhaps some might argue that COVID-19, as well as the world shutting down unexpectedly, were not anticipated. As a matter of historical fact, this is not the case. A major pandemic has been occurring almost every 100 years, so to say that this was not anticipated is simply untrue.

Now that we've settled the whole discussion about what's expected and what's not, let's talk a bit about crisis planning. The words of one of our most highly rated speakers, Mary Jo Jacobi, are crystal clear: "Not having a crisis plan is not an option". Furthermore, "not rehearsing your crisis plan is not an option". Due to the ever-evolving nature of the modern world, the question that comes to mind is whether rehearsing a crisis plan regularly is sufficient? Given the current state of affairs in the world today, the answer is no.

Following our recent Crisis Communications Boot Camp in Winnipeg, our Managing Director shares some scenarios to keep in mind when updating your crisis communications plan.

Cyber Crisis

The moment you believe that a cyber crisis won’t happen to you, is the moment you put your business at risk. Ensuring your organization is prepared to respond to a cyber crisis quickly and effectively is critical to the continuity of your business.

Taking a position on issues of social and political significance

Consumers and employees are increasingly looking to brands, CEOs and companies to take a stand on social and political issues. It is imperative that you develop an engagement framework that helps your organization protect and enhance its reputation, effectively tell the story about who you are and what you stand for, and use your voice in a meaningful way.

DEI issues

In today's world where DEI has become highly political and polarizing, it is essential to be able to effectively address DEI escalations and crises when they arise. When dealing with emerging DEI issues, it is essential to possess certain DEI competencies in order to build authentic and culturally appropriate content.

Getting cancelled

In a world where outrage travels fast, and the list of brands and individuals facing a 'cancel culture' backlash grows longer, a crisis is likely no longer a matter of if - but when. By being prepared, you can move your organization from a place of reaction towards a mindset of accountability, avoiding missteps, mitigating damage, and rebuilding trust more quickly.


Nowadays, ESG and impact business are two of the most commonly used words in business. Considering the tremendous effort companies put into telling their sustainability stories, make sure you tell your story the right way so as not to be accused of greenwashing.

Check out the agenda for the Crisis Communications Boot Camp, which will be held in New York on 8 and 9 June if you are interested in testing and updating your crisis communication plan. This event will provide valuable insight into how Bayer, Amazon, U.S. Bank, NBC Universal, Equifax and WHO are rethinking their crisis communication strategies for a polarized world.