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Eight Steps for Designing a Coronavirus Crisis Management Plan

James Green spoke with Jaclyn Jaeger at Compliance Week as she wrote about stops to alleviate reputational and financial business disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

With the coronavirus pandemic front and center on everyone’s mind these days, companies are having to walk a fine line between taking care to communicate necessary and important information while also preventing widespread panic. How to go about doing that effectively begins and ends with a robust crisis management plan.

To assemble a crisis management response team:

“From a safety and brand standpoint, your crisis management team needs to have the authority to fully respond and to quickly respond, regardless of the incident,” says James Green, director of Risk Advisory Services at SAI Global. Many times, companies make the mistake of having one group of people with day-to-day responsibility and authority while assigning a different group of people as the crisis management team. “You want the crisis management team to mirror the power structure and culture of the company.”

In terms of internal and external communications plans: 

Both internally and externally, communication should be “early and often,” Green says, and people need to know when the next communication is coming. “That gives people a sense of calm,” he says. “That shows that you’re managing an incident and not just responding to it.”

Media training? 

“This is an area that companies trip on,” Green says. “If you’re going to put C-level [executives] in the public eye, they need to have professional training.” Doing earnings calls is a different skillset than facing a camera, he says.


Read the full article on Compliance Week; the magazine has removed its paywall during the pandemic.


Learn more about SAI Global's business continuity solutions that support business impact assessments, crisis management, disaster recovery, and planning for resiliency. 

Or, contact us to see how SAI360 has helped organizations like yours.


Additional resources

Visit our pandemic information resource hub, which includes reading materials, podcasts, and other best-practice guidance around managing business continuity, compliance, and risk management amid the coronavirus pandemic.

SAI Global hosted a set of in-the-moment webinars on Business Continuity Management during the coronavirus pandemic, Resilience 2020. We covered best practices for BCP teams as well as insights from experts on remote work, crisis communications, and vendor risks in a dynamic supply chain. Recorded March 16-17, they're all available to replay on-demand.

See our health & safety resources for EHS professionals to monitor and ensure the health and safety of workers during COVID-19.

We have released a free “Ethical Tip” Video for Ethics and Compliance Teams to share with your entire organization, Five Best Practices for a Healthy Workplace. Details on how to download the video