NEW YORK: Forty-nine percent of business decision makers around the world believe that the rise in digital communications has made their company more vulnerable to a crisis, according to the ‘Crisis Preparedness Study' released today by Burson-Marsteller and global research-based consultancy Penn Schoen Berland.
An even larger pool of respondents (65 percent) believe that new media makes crises more difficult to manage, and 79 percent expect to experience a crisis within the next year. Digital security failures and critical or negative new-media campaigns are among the root causes respondents believe will contribute to a crisis for their company.
As more and more online security breaches occur each day, but companies do not increase their level of preparation or set social media policies, a perfect storm is brewing for digital crises, said Dallas Lawrence, chief global digital strategist at Burson-Marsteller.
“Most companies are aware of the threat, but not prepared to address it,” Lawrence added.
The study was based on interviews with 826 business decision-makers around the world, with an equal split between respondents from large enterprise businesses and SME businesses. All respondents are above the age of 25, work full-time or are self-employed business owners, have an active interest in business and current affairs issues, and have significant decision-making power in their business.
Interestingly, while large numbers believe that crises are imminent and difficult to manage, only 54 percent of respondents said their companies have crisis communications plans. Among the four regions surveyed, Asia Pacific respondents are mostly likely to have a set crisis plan (64 percent), followed by US respondents (55 percent), Europeans (51 percent) and Latin Americans (29 percent).