NEW YORK: US chief executives are re-addressing their crisis
management plans and placing increasing emphasis on their own, and their
According to the 2001 PRWeek/Burson-Marsteller CEO Survey, 21 per cent
of the 194 CEOs who responded said they had no crisis plan whatsoever
when the terrorists struck on 11 September.
Sixty-three per cent had a crisis plan, but found it inadequate for
dealing with the events. Just 19 per cent thought their plan was
excellent and worked well.
Accordingly, 63 per cent have already started to readdress their crisis
planning in the wake of the tragic events.
More than ever before, CEOs appear to be recognising the importance of
being the spokespeople for their corporations: 85 per cent said it was
absolutely crucial or very important for the CEO to be the
This compares to 42 per cent who said it was very important last
Burson-Marsteller CEO Chris Komisarjevsky commented: 'Corporations are
increasingly personal for the stakeholders, and their personalities are
often cast in the image of the CEO.
'The qualities, values, and beliefs they demonstrate, particularly in a
crisis, can have a huge impact on their corporations' reputation. This
research shows CEOs see that link.'
CEOs who responded to the survey also gave a ringing endorsement of
their PR departments and agencies.
And 75 per cent of respondents said PR should be the last discipline to
be cut - out of advertising, sales promotion, direct mail, and PR - in
an economic downturn.
Last year, 45 per cent of CEOs said PR was very important for raising
brand awareness, a figure that rose to 56 per cent in this year's
And 55 per cent of CEOs said PR was very important to safeguarding a
company's image during a crisis, compared to 46 per cent last year.
In response to the technology slowdown, 37 per cent of CEOs said the net
is less important to their marketing plans than it was a year ago.