This month marks the official start of spring, and, for many, this means spring cleaning. Whether it’s your house, your closet or your office desk, winter is over and it’s time to get organized, refocusing on your top priorities for 2018.

For businesses, the second quarter is the perfect time to reflect on performance, ensure processes are running efficiently and identify missing elements of your communications plan – including issues management. This is something many don’t think about until an issue arises, but it shouldn’t be. A risk management audit can identify potential threats so you can implement a process and proactively prepare for crisis.

During the last few years, many public moments provided key learning opportunities on the importance of an issues management plan as part of your communications strategy. We’ll focus on just two, related to award season:

  • Let’s start with the upcoming Oscars. Last year, the wrong envelope landed in the hands of Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, the presenters of the final award for Best Picture of 2016. This ultimately led to extreme confusion when the entire cast of La La Land took the stage, before the true winner, Moonlight, was identified. Learning from last year, they have implemented an intense six-step plan to avoid another envelope crisis.
  • Similarly, Steve Harvey had his own cringeworthy moment back in 2015 when he announced Miss Colombia as the winner of the Miss Universe Pageant, instead of Miss Philippines. Again, the ballot card was to blame. Although the information provided on the card was correct, the way it was presented is what ultimately led to the confusion.

In scenarios like these, it is important to identify potential for error, especially when millions of people are watching live. Both situations were avoidable from the start, and required swift, controlled communication immediately following. I would stand to bet both organizations now have a communications plan at the ready in the case a similar situation arises. In fact, all award shows should have one.

Even when you aren’t on live television, broadcasting to the majority of America, it’s important to operate as if that is the case, because the cameras are never far away. When you have a crisis, it’s always better when you are prepared.

To learn more about how we can refresh your issues management plan and prepare your organization for what might arise, contact us today.

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Posted By Jami Sowers

Building a bracket for each season of The Bachelor, Jami regularly predicts the winner. With a love of fashion and makeup, she's greeted by name at her local Sephora. When she's not shopping, Jami enjoys trying new restaurants and partaking in Zumba, Pure Barre and Pilates.