LOUISVILLE: If an industry projection released last week comes true, next year will be among the busiest ever for crisis communication specialists.
LOUISVILLE: If an industry projection released last week comes
true, next year will be among the busiest ever for crisis communication
The Institute for Crisis Management is predicting a 19% jump in business
crisis events next year, largely owing to the anticipated aftermath of
Y2K computer problems.
’People need to think of this as an electronic blizzard,’ said institute
chairman Bob Irvine.
While Y2K problems may start cropping up when the clock strikes midnight
on New Year’s Eve, the real crisis crunch - in the form of class-action
lawsuits from people who were injured or financially damaged by
Y2K-related incidents - will not surface for at least six months.
’That’s when the feeding frenzy is going to start,’ Irvine
He noted that every class-action suit announced in 1999 generated an
average of 2.43 news stories, receiving far more coverage than other
business crises. With the number of class-action suits up significantly
in 1999 from past years, Irvine said that considerable damage could
result to the reputations of individuals and companies not ready for
possible Y2K disruptions.
To prepare, Irvine suggested that companies should attempt to devise
crisis containment strategies well in advance, and plan to be in contact
with their entire supply chain on January 1. Also, finding out about
problems as they occur - rather than months later from the attorney for
a disgruntled supplier - is crucial.
’A lot of people are talking about having their executives available at
12:01 on New Year’s Day, but that’s not realistic,’ Irvine said, noting
that the real work will be done over the New Year’s weekend and the