Tag Archives: risk management

Who Owns Crisis Management?

I hope this is an obvious point — reputation management is just one facet of broader strategic crisis management.

Communications pros play an important part in the broader system, along with those in business continuity planning (BCP, which is a focus on minimizing business disruption), risk management (often a combination of insurance, legal, regulatory and fiduciary risk), and incident/security management (typically a focus on environmental, health, safety and security risks).

Which discipline should supersede and own this process?   Well, none.

A company’s senior leadership is ultimately responsible for a crisis – they own the system, whether they like it or not.  Sadly, far too many of these leaders adopt crisis management systems that cover only one or some of these disciplines. Continue reading Who Owns Crisis Management?

Preliminary lessons from the gulf oil spill

Provided by Deepwater Horizon Response's photostream (Flickr)

I don’t like to “rate” crisis responses as they’re unfolding, but I suppose you could glean lessons from the 4th inning of a baseball game when they’re evident.  Thus, I decided to join the opinionated crowd by responding to a question posed on a LinkedIn PR News Group discussion on “What are the top 3 crisis management lessons you’ve learned from the BP oil spill?”

Here are expansions from my short replies, with links that help round-out perspectives.


1) Companies that take great business risks must have a commensurate risk management system when things go ker-plewy.It’s easy to criticize BP, if you enjoy fishing out of a barrel.  BP is the designated “responsible party” among all responders of the Joint Incident Command, and as such, the lead butt to kick.  BP also has a history of mishaps and mammoth profits that make many uncomfortable.  Their executives have certainly made some blunders…even before the spill.  (Describing risk calculations in “three little pigs” terminology is colossally stupid, and the company’s oil spill response plans were based on unrealistic data.)

Of course, several parties were pushing limits to get oil out of the deep sea bed, without the equal attention to the safety net required in taking such risks.  Learning nothing from White Star, this was akin to not having enough lifeboats on the Titanic.  Those involved include BP, Transocean, Halliburton and the government’s formerly-named Minerals Management Service.  More analysis is required to untangle the blame.

Continue reading Preliminary lessons from the gulf oil spill