The unprecedented global health crisis has thrown up the need for businesses to have a crisis management plan as revealed in a research by leading public relations firm, CMC Connect BCW, a member of the CMC Connect Group and an affiliate of Burson Cohn & Wolfe global communications agency. The research reported that between Q2 & Q3 2020, 27% of businesses in Nigeria suffered a major impact from the coronavirus pandemic, with only 9.9% of the respondents having a crisis management plan in place while 59% never had a crisis management plan before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research was conducted to measure the Relevance of Crisis Communication on Businesses in Nigeria during the COVID-19 Health Crisis by the communications company and to announce its new service offering: Crisis & Issues Management Specialized Service to media correspondents in Lagos.
According to CMC Connect BCW, the research was carried out on over 200 business owners and employees and further revealed that 78% of respondents agreed that the existence of a crisis management plan was important in inspiring confidence in organizational leadership.
The insights gathered from this research confirmed the gap in strategic crisis management for businesses which the company hopes to fill with its specialized service. The Crisis and Issues Management service is a specialized portfolio that provides a strategic roadmap for crisis, employing a 3-step approach – Prepare, Manage, Recover to guarantees business sustainability and continuity in spite of a crisis.
The Group Managing Director, CMC Connect (Perception Managers), Mr. Yomi-Badejo-Okusanya said “When a crisis occurs, there is a breakdown of trust between the organization and its stakeholders. Trust is a currency on which stakeholders trade, and it defines their loyalty and goodwill. Once this is disrupted, the organization is on its way down.”
“However, crisis preparedness presents an opportunity to rebuild trust and gain customer loyalty. Many organizations that have bounced back from major crisis to dominate the industry. Meaning that, crisis by itself is not an end but could be taken advantage of if planned for. This is where your crisis preparedness comes in, requiring skill and expertise in managing and maintaining propriety in the middle a storm.”
Business Director, CMC Connect BCW, Jerry Sawyerr reiterated that the service is not limited to organizations but also to government and individuals who are concerned about sustaining their brands regardless of crisis.
‘’Crisis happens all the time, most times, unannounced. It’s therefore important for organizations to take crisis planning seriously. Going forward, we are advocating for government to make it compulsory for any business to have a crisis plan as part of requirements for registration. Every Limited Liability Company must have a crisis manual before being allowed to operate, much like having a fire escape plan for building before approval by the government,’’ he said.
Led by an experienced team of experts in Crisis Management and a strategic advisory council locally and internationally, the portfoliowill focus on providing services including Crisis Communications, Issues Management, Risk & Impact Assessment, Crisis Manual Development & Training.