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Mark's Musings - January 2023

Setting objectives in a crisis

There is little doubt that the publication of Prince Harry’s book, ‘Spare’, and the accompanying promotional media blitz on both sides of the Atlantic have sparked a great deal of mixed emotions and reactions. Based on the amount of perceived or mismanaged issues over a number of years and communication breakdowns, there appears to be no tangible end state or objective, despite Prince Harry stating he is looking for reconciliation and wants to reshape the British media landscape.

Prince Harry and his issues aside, there are lessons for organisations to consider when reviewing the issue and crisis management plans, and communication approaches to support their response.

Before responding to an issue or crisis and managing it to a successful conclusion, it is most important to establish the objective.

As American educator and author Stephen Covey once said, “Begin with the end in mind”. What do you, as an organisation, want to get out of this? What is the end state? Obviously, weathering the storm until calm is restored. However, equally important is to come out of the storm in a better position to manage the next squall with your reputation intact.  This will support any risks related to market share and share price, and help manage any fluctuations, thus returning back to normal, or higher if you’ve managed the issue or crisis well.

Once the objective is set, develop the stages or tasks to be implemented to achieve the objective. As you develop those tasks, run through some scenarios.  Discuss the “what ifs” so you know how to react and remain agile, thereby attaining your objective.

Finally, get the right communications and messaging in place to support the response, remembering to go through the ‘Really Tough Questions’ list so you don’t rely on replies such as “that’s been taken out of context” or “I didn’t mean that”.

Link to the original post on the Sheena Thomson Consulting LinkedIn company page:  Setting objectives in a crisis