The importance of data collection before, during and after a crisis is well established. Still, crisis, more than some things, presents difficulties when assembling data points.
For example, the 2022 edition of PRNEWS’ annual Crisis Tracker asks respondents myriad questions about crises they’ve handled from October 2020 through October 2021. But one PR pro’s definition of ‘crisis’ may differ from another’s.
Similarly, there’s no standard definition of being ‘crisis prepared.’ So, when a communicator says her team is ‘crisis prepared’, another might judge the same unit as unprepared.
Moreover, in its quest for data, the Tracker asks how quickly crises ended, allowing firms to return to ‘business as usual.’
Again, what one communicator considers ‘back to normal,’ another may see as a business still in crisis. In addition, there’s a raging debate over the proposition that some crises end years after they begin or never really end.
All that aside, some learnings emerged from the survey of nearly 300 communicators conducted in October and November 2021. The most newsworthy was what issues are concerning crisis pros. Besides COVID, they include: DEI, misinformation/disinformation, activism, cyber, natural disasters and employee/executive misconduct (please see Chart 3).
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