How Reputation Event/ Crisis-Ready is your Organization?

The following self-diagnostic is not a replacement for a comprehensive crisis audit of your organization by a qualified consultant. But it may help you determine whether it’s time to initiate one!

For scoring, see the legend at the bottom. Just answer Yes or No.

  1. You regularly scan your socio-political and stakeholder environment (news media, Internet, consumer surveys, etc.) for possible threats to your organization’s reputation.
  2. You regularly scan your internal environment (union issues, corporate governance issues, etc) for possible threats to your organization’s reputation.
  3. You have identified the main current potential threats to your organization’s reputation (risks are threats that are at least “medium” both in terms of likelihood and seriousness).
  4. For each of these threats, you have prepared a “what if” scenario describing how the threat would most likely unfold, and how the organization should, ideally, respond to it, including your main communication messages to stakeholders.
  5. You have prepared a set of procedures that are to be followed by managers throughout the organization, should any of these threats (or some unanticipated crisis) transpire. These procedures include specific protocols such as notifications of appropriate executives.
  6. You have designated and trained a Crisis Communication Team which is to be convened in the event of a crisis. This may be the same people who sit on your Emergency Response Team or another group linked to it.
  7. You have prepared a comprehensive, regularly-updated database (ideally in electronic form) of all the key people you may need to reach in the event of a crisis. This includes key media contacts, key contacts in government, key managers, etc., with their home, fax, cellular telephone, Twitter, instant messenger, and other coordinates.
  8. You have included everything from steps 3-7 in a regularly updated crisis communication manual (paper, electronic, or both) which is readily available to all your key executives and managers.
  9. You have condensed the key contact information onto a wallet card which all your key executives and managers can have with them at all times.
  10. You have tested your organization’s ability to carry out this plan and these procedures in a simulation.


Award your organization 10 points for each “yes.”

Under 50 points:
Either your organization has consciously decided it likes living dangerously or it’s living in a fool’s paradise. Let me guess: the organization also carries the least possible insurance, because one of your executives said “the premiums cost too much.”

50-60 points:

You’ve got something stuffed into your parachute sack…unfortunately you don’t know whether it’s a parachute or a dirty hanky. It’s time to turn your plan into a high-priority business project with a completion deadline and support from senior management. The majority of listed type organizations fall into this category.

60-80 points:
Now you’re training for the big time! Time to focus on those few things that are keeping you in from being the leader in your field!

80 points or better:
Welcome to being a leader in your industry. You can sleep nights; at least as far as crisis preparedness is concerned. All that is required from you is to benchmark and audit compliance to ascertain levels of assurance.

The questionnaire above is just a small extract of a detailed questionnaire that is included in a product called the Crisis Leader Toolkit. For more information and rates, send an e-mail to