When it comes to crisis communications scenario planning today, don’t limit yourself to the obvious circumstances. When we help organizations plan, we encourage them to think big and out of the ordinary. What do I mean? As we have witnessed all too often, the unthinkable has happened for many organizations today. From mass shootings to vehicles being used as a weapon, there’s no end to what can happen at a place of business or in a public space that could affect your organization.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say a manufacturer talks through their possible crisis scenarios and the list includes injury or death on the job due to unsafe practices. While these are good, I would push the organization to think through other scenarios such as: disgruntled employee shooting, random shooting, employee under the influence getting in an accident with company (and branded) vehicle, employee/leadership embezzlement, hacking of client credit card information and sexual harassment claims against leadership.
What is catastrophic thinking?
I finally figured out the other day that there’s a term for the way I think. It’s called catastrophic thinking. While it has created angst in my life because it’s hard for me to curb the way my mind races ahead to the worst possible situation, I have learned to appreciate my talent when it comes to planning and working through crisis communications. When it’s time for your team to plan your crisis communications scenarios, make sure you have a catastrophic thinker on the team. In today’s world of unknowns and imagining the unthinkable, you need it.