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November 24, 2020

Anna Ruth Williams


Chief Growth Officer

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According to Deloitte, only 49% of board members say their companies have playbooks for likely crisis scenarios. Even fewer (32%) say that their companies engage in crisis simulations or training. 

In a recent blog, I provided four must-have elements of a crisis comms plan that tech companies should consider. I argued that any quality crisis manual must delineate levels of crises and examples of each. This will ensure your plan is flexible enough to apply to the range of scenarios that today’s tech brands face. In this blog, I’ll dig deeper into each crisis level, so you can identify and react appropriately.

Level 1 - the most dangerous to your company’s operations, finances and reputation because it poses an immediate impact on customers, partners, end users and/or employees. Level 1 crises demand rapid escalation and an all-team approach. 

Example: a cyberattack that results in compromised customer data 

Level 2 - will likely negatively impact your business’s operations and customer success - potentially tarnishing corporate reputation. Level 2 crises often have a high probability of escalating to a Level 1 and should be treated similarly. 

Example: a natural disaster that interrupts service

Level 3 - the business is unlikely to sustain a long-term negative impact from a Level 3 crisis. However, your team should still operate prudently by being on alert and engaged in an activation plan. 

Example: Corporate rumors (such as M&A)

Level 4 - will bear the least impact on your company. Most “crises” are Level 4’s. They are everyday issues that need slightly more of your team’s attention in order to effectively manage them and mitigate their ripple effects. 

Example: an angry customer on Twitter 

Once you’ve clarified which level of crisis your business is facing, you can then tailor your reactive comms plan accordingly. However, it’s important to remember that every crisis has the potential to escalate to a higher level if not properly controlled. Our tech PR agency has seen Level 4 crises jump to Level 2 within a matter of hours because proper monitoring, reporting and activation plans weren’t in place organization-wide.

As a top crisis communications firm, ARPR helps global technology brands manage issues, minimize impact and preserve reputation. Click here to request a quote for a 20-page customized crisis comms plan that your tech company can have at-the-ready when the unexpected inevitably happens.