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The Clientside Podcast

Communication in a Crisis with Jonathan Hemus

The Clientside Podcast

37 min Jonathan Hemus

Clarity in communication is vital at the best of times, but none more so than when reacting to a crisis on what could be the worst day of your career.

Andrew Armitage talks to crisis management expert Jonathan Hemus of Insignia Crisis Management about companies should plan their response when things go wrong, and why practice and role playing crisis situations could even increase the value of your company in the wake of a disaster. We also look at the role of social media and how crises expose what your brand values really mean to company's forced to react to the unexpected.

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Andrew Armitage:
Hey, welcome back to the Clientside podcast, I'm your host Andrew Armitage and this is the show that speaks to leading voices, giving you actionable steps for you to apply to your business, to support your brand, your marketing and ultimately your growth. I hope you're doing ok, thanks for joining us and tuning in. It's great to have you with us. We really appreciate it, especially under these difficult circumstances where there are lots of you, not really working from home, but looking after children, trying to homeschool while also trying to work or run a business. We're now some weeks into the coronavirus crisis, and while many of us have heard the phrase we're all in the same boat as the crisis has evolved, clearly we're actually all in the same storm, but we're definitely not all in the same boat. The impact has been huge in lots of different ways and although we appear to be leaning towards return to some normality, there is evidently a long way still to go and the crisis is by no means over yet. So my guest today is a leading expert on crisis management who works with businesses including Cathay Pacific, DP World, NFU Mutual and Stagecoach, to protect their reputation and value at the most challenging of times. And without doubt, that's exactly where we are right now. So my guest today is Jonathan Hemus of Insignia Crisis Communications. Jonathan, welcome to the show.

Jonathan Hemus:
Thank you very much Andrew, pleased to be here.

Andrew Armitage:
Great to have you, really appreciate you taking the time. So, Jonathan, just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about Insignia, if you can.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah. So I'm managing director in Insignia, we're a specialist crisis management consultancy and basically, yeah, we help organisations to do and say the right things on the worst days of their lives and historically, that's everything from a product contamination to an accident to an environmental incident, to management misbehaviour, and at that time, leaders of businesses clearly are under enormous pressure to do and say the right things and what we do is we help them plan, train and rehearse so that they're able to do that. And of course, what we also do is sometimes advise them that during those situations. As you say, what's particularly unusual at the moment is that virtually every business in the country is facing their biggest crisis all at the same time and so that's created enormous pressure and it also has been particularly difficult because organisations don't have all of the normal capabilities and and resources around them. But, uh, yeah, we're working with organisations now to help guide them through those choppy waters and we're also working with organisations to help them prepare for the next crisis.

Andrew Armitage:
And do you find that crisis management has a certain framework or a pattern that you follow because, you know, industrial accidents or product recalls; you know there's a precedent been set there, but with Covid we've never seen anything like this before, have we?

Jonathan Hemus:
Correct. There is that that word that I'm going to use one more time, it is unprecedented. This is the biggest crisis by far of my 30 year career in this area, and it's the biggest crisis that pretty much anyone alive today has faced in their lives or careers. So to have planned and prepared for every last detail and impact of this would probably be incredible. However, a really good crisis management plan provides you with a framework and a way of working that will apply to any crisis situation. So one of the misconceptions about crisis management is that the plan that you prepare before the event gives you all of the answers to the particular situation itself or makes all of the decisions for you or creates that communication for you. What it does do is it gives you and your team a very clear, structured and purposeful way of working under pressure. And it gives you checklists and resources that give you a head start, and in any crisis, time is short; information is short; resource is short. So the more thinking, planning, training and rehearsing you can have done beforehand, the quicker you will be able to exert influence and the more purposeful that response will be. So no plan that could have answered every challenge associated with the pandemic. But certainly, you know, clients I'm talking to, the ones that had a crisis management plan, even if it never mentioned a pandemic, got to grips with the situation a lot more quickly than a lot quicker than those that didn't.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah. Always, I guess, there's going to be an element of dealing with a very specific circumstance, you can never predict exactly what might happen. And that's clearly been the case here, hasn't it?

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. And there's a real danger, in fact, of planning to specifically follow up until have a situation, because sometimes what organisations do is they do base their crisis management plan, perhaps on the five biggest, almost likely risks that might affect their organisation. But if anything else happens, they're completely blindsided.

Andrew Armitage:
I guess there's a danger of them seeing it has been a one size fits all, when actually it's not going to be.

Jonathan Hemus:
Exactly. And whilst having, you know, checklists and templates, holding statements for your five biggest risks, that is helpful. Your plan must be broader than that. It must cater for the crisis that you hadn't predicted. And another trap that I think I should mention at this point is when you're looking at your risks, sometimes people look at risks in a very scenario specific way. So well, one could argue that one could have predicted a pandemic, but even if one hadn't predicted a pandemic, maybe if we looked at risks from the impact of a situation, some of the things that people are challenged with at the moment could have been overcome. Let me expand on that.

Jonathan Hemus:
So one of the impacts of the current situation is that people are not able to get into their normal place of work that is an impact which could have been created, for example, by a terrorist attack.

Andrew Armitage:
Right.

Jonathan Hemus:
Not just a pandemic. People are not able to travel abroad at the moment, I'm old enough to recall the volcano erupting, which stopped people travelling internationally. So what I would encourage people to do is to think not so much about the specific detail of the scenario, but what would be the most damaging impact on your organisation? What would make it hardest for you to do business and retain your reputation and focus on how you can respond to those impacts? Not necessarily the detailed situation itself.

Andrew Armitage:
Right. Because those those outcomes are perhaps more likely...

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah

Andrew Armitage:
...than the single thing that causes them.

Jonathan Hemus:
Correct? Correct.

Andrew Armitage:
No that makes a lot of sense. And clarity is clearly going to be one of the key things; you talk about having, you know being prepared and being quick and timely, being able to react. Clarity obviously has to come with that, too, doesn't it? Which I guess that's where you are when we see these mistakes happen, companies are clearly feeling that pressure and they come out with something which quite often maybe isn't the right thing. Is that a common thing where, you know, the pressure gets to people and the clarity gets lost?

Jonathan Hemus:
It absolutely is Andrew. I've been working in this area for 30 years now and probably for the first two decades I continue to be surprised by big successful organisations led by a smart, intelligent leaders kept on getting their crisis response wrong. And then ultimately, it dawned on me that crises are, by their very nature, extraordinary events. They bring huge pressure, high stakes and a lack of resources, and if you put all of those things together, it perhaps isn't quite so surprising that people do what appears to be something ill-judged or foolish.

Jonathan Hemus:
And that's why it is so important to do your planning, training and exercising beforehand, because if you imagine facing literally the worst day of your career without the information you need, with a lack of time, with the media, your employees, your suppliers, the regulator, banging down your door for information, with you worrying about your job, with you were wrong about the value of the business, one can imagine very easily how one's mind can become befuddled, if one hasn't put a plan in place beforehand and actually, even more importantly, rehearsed it, because as with any skill, by practicing something, you build muscle memory and said the very best crisis management teams are those that have rehearsed regularly;

Andrew Armitage:
They can fall in action most can't they.

Jonathan Hemus:
Exactly, straight into it.

Andrew Armitage:
So what what sort of things would you put into a crisis plan? You talked about focusing on the outcomes.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah.

Andrew Armitage:
Imagine the worst case scenario and role-play, these sorts of things. Do you have documentation that direct people to follow certain process and procedure? How do those sorts of things come together when preparing for crisis?

Jonathan Hemus:
If I start with the plan itself first. Here are some of the critical elements that you should have within your plan. One is a clear definition of what a crisis looks like. And again, by what it looks like, I mean, if a situation has these kinds of impacts on our business, let's treat it as a crisis. So it has a definition right at the beginning.

Andrew Armitage:
And I guess that gives you some warning signs to look out for. Doesn't it? I suppose, as well?

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. Because, again, there's a real risk of denial or a creeping crisis that we don't recognise is actually as serious as it is. I've seen it there in black and white. You got you know what it takes that box, that box, and that this is a crisis. Or even if we're not sure what it does is it can say, let's treat this as a crisis before, you know, before we have any evidence to the contrary.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah.

Jonathan Hemus:
Exactly. Because it's much easier to scale back down to hope it isn't a crisis and then have to play catch up.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah, I guess once you fall into that catch up scenario, it can be very difficult to to rebuild trust and confidence in the key people that are essentially listening to or on the other end of that crisis.

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. What you want to be doing is you managing the crisis rather than the crisis, managing you and that requires, say, swift recognition and then swift action. And that's really the second critical part of any crisis management plan. And without this second part, everything that follows in the crisis management plan is irrelevant. And that is an escalation and activation process. So in other words, if someone on the front lines, someone working on the shop floor, a call centre operator, if they are the first person to spot that a crisis is happening, something that looks like a crisis, do they know what to do? Do they know who to call? And once they've called their manager, does that manager then know what to do? So getting early word through to the leadership team is really important and then having a process of actually putting together that leadership team. Until those steps happen you can't exert control over the crisis because either you don't know it's happened or you haven't got the right people talking. So critical to work out, how do we get the message of a crisis from the front line through to the team who should be dealing without situation in the shortest possible time?

Andrew Armitage:
Ok, so you get your escalation plan. Where do you go next from then?

Jonathan Hemus:
So you then have your first meeting and even then the good old days when people had meeting rooms, most of those first meetings were via teleconference or video conference anyway. Speed is of the essence in a crisis. I've mentioned on a number of occasions already that time is in short supply, so you need to have that first meeting, ideally within half an hour of the crisis breaking, certainly within an hour of that, of the crisis breaking. And in that first meeting, you will be assessing what has happened, what is our strategic intent in this situation, where are we going to focus our resources, and what are some of the really critical first actions that we're going to take. One of the things I'd really like to emphasise at this point is that phrase I used of strategic intent.

Andrew Armitage:
I was going to pick you up on that, what what exactly the strategic intent mean? Because businesses have strategies.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah.

Andrew Armitage:
We're talking about something very specific, I presume, here?

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. So one of the real dangers in a crisis is the stereotypical headless chicken syndrome. People running around in all directions, doing things, being very active, but not being very purposeful. And it's because, I mean, apart from this thing about people being befuddled because of the pressure, it's almost an animal instinct. It's a fight flight freeze mentality.

Andrew Armitage:
Rabbit in headlights, isn't it really?

Jonathan Hemus:
Exactly.

Andrew Armitage:
Panic stations.

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. So how do we avoid that? And how do we make the best use of the scarce resource that we have? Well, the answer is this concept of strategic intent. And what it really means is developing a set of words and articulation of where you want to get to by the end of this crisis. So we're looking at a one month, three months, six month timeframe. What is it that we are seeking to achieve through our crisis management efforts? Where do we want to get to? So it could be as simple as our strategic intent is to retain the trust and confidence of our stakeholders.

Andrew Armitage:
Right.

Jonathan Hemus:
You know, each situation will be different and each organisation is different, but always take time to set out that strategic intent. Why is that valuable? Well, at least a couple of reasons. One, because it helps you to make decisions. So crises bring really difficult, really difficult decisions. Let's take a cyber attack. So there might be a decision at some point where you have to determine whether to shut down a system or not by shutting the system down, it might cost, let's say, half a million pounds of lost working time by shutting the system down. But it would guarantee that our customers confidential details are kept secure. What's our strategic intent? To retain the trust and confidence of our stakeholders? The decision becomes a lot more easy when you've set out upfront and agreed amongst the leadership team what it is that we're seeking to achieve here. The second reason why it's really important is because it helps you to prioritise. When you have scarce resources, you won't be able to do everything that you want to do. But if you know what it is that you're seeking to achieve, you can prioritise activity which is driving directly towards that strategic intent.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah, it makes makes a lot of sense in having something that really governs the way you then deal with something and the approach that you take, it sounds so critical because, you know, with so many of these things, the media swarm around so quickly. You know, we're not just talking about newspapers or the BBC these days. Of course, it's the social media which can get out out of control, arguably so quickly. And word spreads like wildfire, and, you know, we've we've seen there's been so many examples hasn't there, I mean, you say TalkTalk where I forget what the numbers were, but for argument's sake, it was 10 million customer records that were exposed, these sorts of things. It goes wrong, and when it does go wrong, clearly it's it happens very quickly and it has to be a way to recover that trust, I suppose.

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. In the old days when I started in this business, it used to be the first 24 hours of a crisis are really important. And I remember in the very early days, you know, you would be waiting for the next day's newspaper to come out and when it did come out, you would say to the clients, if they if the newspaper wasn't carrying particularly complimentary news, don't worry that this is this is tomorrow's fish and chip paper.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah, exactly, and you're another 24 hours before the next one comes out.

Jonathan Hemus:
Exactly. Or we'd be waiting for the 6 o'clock news or the 9 o'clock news. Often. In fact, most often, these days, crises break on social media, particularly those event based crises, you know. So if we take some of the awful terrorist incidents that know almost all of those first news appears on social media and so organisations are often getting first notification of a crisis from the outside world rather than from being able to control it themselves. So that's another reason why being able to respond really quickly is so important these days and it requires courage and confidence to communicate and make decisions even without all of the information that you would like. I'm not not suggesting any organisation should ever communicate anything of which they're not certain but what I am suggesting is if you are to have any hope of influencing the narrative and to shaping how people perceive your organisation, you have to be prepared to communicate early and without every last piece of information that you would like to have.

Andrew Armitage:
So do you find then that when you're sort of during these crisis exercises and the planning and so on? Is that generally removed from a communications team or are they do they tend to be integrated? Because I'm just thinking you take that scenario where you've got someone on social media, chances are the people who are scheduling social media posts or the content other than not going to necessarily be senior people. So it emphasises that need to have that escalation process very quickly. But, you know, from a social media perspective, you know, typically, what should the first response be? Should it be through social media or is it a case of no, let's just take stock. Do you acknowledge perhaps that something's happening and we're investigating? Or what what should that first line of defence be and arguably maybe first line of defence is the wrong way of putting it? Because, I guess defence is denial sometimes and that's not necessarily a good place to be either.

Jonathan Hemus:
So couple of thoughts on that, Andrew. And if I don't answer your question directly, then please press me. But I think what you have put your finger on is one of the other really key principles of crisis management, which is that you have to be very clear on roles and responsibilities within your organisation and all of the various different parts of your organisation need to be integrated and synchronised within the crisis management response. And sorry to keep banging this drum, but the only way you can be confident of that is by having thought it through ahead of time and set that up and briefed people and trained people and rehearsed people rather than hoping it works on the day. You know one of the big dangers, again, is that head office has got this beautiful crisis management plan and they've got all of their resources sorted at a corporate level, but, yeah, a brand has its own social media feed and the two things are not talking to each other.

Andrew Armitage:
Right.

Jonathan Hemus:
So it's important to think through where are those touch points with your organisation, where might stakeholders come to for information? Do we know where all of our social media front lines are? Have we got a handle on actually how many Twitter feeds exist within this organisation and how are we going to corral them within a crisis situation?

Andrew Armitage:
That's so important because the number of times where we come across groups or teams within companies who might think, oh, we'll set up a new Twitter feed for this part of the business.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yes.

Andrew Armitage:
And it's only considered to be a marketing channel.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yes.

Andrew Armitage:
Actually, the impact of using that, it's a touch point where good and bad things may happen, it's not necessarily escalated into that wider sort of response approach, I suppose.

Jonathan Hemus:
And you have to think that through in advance. I'm I'm going back now to the not mad cow disease, the infected beef issue from what was I don't know about seven or eight years ago now. And if you recall, one of the first organisations affected was was Findus.

Andrew Armitage:
Right.

Jonathan Hemus:
And everyone was really concerned about whether Findus food was safe to eat and the only social media feed was a Findus crispy pancakes Twitter feed, which got bombarded with you know questions and complaints and concerns. And all those questions, complaints and concerns just got ignored because Findus hadn't planned for, you know, someone using this social media channel as a source to vent their frustration. So be aware of what your kind of social media landscape looks like, plan for it, but to answer part of your earlier question, yes, you do need to be using social media in response to a crisis because, again, people will expect you to be communicating with social media. And not only that, it is a brilliant way of you getting directly from the organisation to the public or your stakeholders. So why wouldn't you want it? But it has to be done in a controlled way; the messages need to be planned and the way in which it's used needs to be planned.

Andrew Armitage:
And a top tip from something I've seen is make sure that any scheduled posts can be stopped.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yes.

Andrew Armitage:
So something that was felt appropriate three weeks ago that suddenly isn't appropriate doesn't get published.

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. And I would apply that to your entire marketing activity. So, you know, check check what your advertising schedule is.

Andrew Armitage:
Be prepared to put things on hold.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah, because either it may be a waste of time because people are not going to be looking to buy your services, but even worse, yes, it could be entirely inappropriate given the current circumstances. Yes. Do have that as part of your checklist.

Andrew Armitage:
Good stuff. Good advice. So clearly, we've been in a crisis.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah.

Andrew Armitage:
There's actually potentially a bigger crisis in front of us.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yes.

Andrew Armitage:
When we were all pushed into lockdown, we were retreating into our homes and yes, there was a business crisis, there was a human crisis, but as we start in turn the wheels again and warm things up, that's potential for more things to go spectacularly wrong, isn't it?

Jonathan Hemus:
It is, and I think there's a real danger at the moment, an understandable danger that organisations who've managed to endure the last couple of months and are now beginning to emerge on the other side, simply take a huge sigh of relief and try to get back to whatever business as usual is going to look like in future. Sadly, because of the fact that many of those businesses are weakened or damaged by what's happened over the last two or three months, they may have lost revenue, they may have lost value, they may have lost reputation, they may not have full team and if they do have a full team, there may not be working to full efficiency because they're working from home. What that means is you're actually more vulnerable to a second crisis that would probably cyber crime being one of the top things organisations should be aware of at the moment, because, sadly, the bad guys are not taking a holiday or showing any sympathy for weakened businesses. So I think one of the most important things organisations should be doing now is actually taking a bit of a breath, lifting their heads up, getting the leadership team together and saying, what have we learned from the last couple of months in terms of our crisis response? What has worked really well? That we want to repeat if we ever have a future incident and what hasn't worked so well and what's missing and what additional skills or resources do we need if we ever have to face anything of this magnitude or even the lesser magnitude again.

Jonathan Hemus:
And then acting on that, the last thing you want is in six weeks time, you know, a secondary crisis to occur and go, oh, if only we'd acted on the back of what we learned first time around. So, you know, there's a phrase which I believe came from Winston Churchill, don't let a good crisis go to waste. And I would really encourage anyone listening to this to act on that. And the other thing I would encourage organisations to do is to reassess your risk landscape as we emerge from the first phase of the pandemic, because, you know, the risks that you faced two months ago aren't the same as the risks that you face now. As I say, sadly, a number of organisations are weakened, certainly be external context is different. So taking a fresh look at what could damage this organisation's reputation, what could damage this organisation's business, I think is a really prudent thing to do at the moment.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah, definitely. So we've talked a little bit, we've gone straight for the jugular, straight for the worst day that a business could imagine in their crisis. But, you know, I follow you on LinkedIn and I've seen some of the posts that you've shared and good examples, I think the last one you shared was from Airbnb, so your crisis management isn't necessarily all about just imagining the worst. I suppose there's an element of that, I mean, it's all about preparation, but you've talked about, you know, thinking about how to react in a crisis.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah.

Andrew Armitage:
But there's a certain amount of public visible preparation that people can do through communication, the outcomes of how they're reacting to certain situations. Just tell us a little bit about that.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah, you're absolutely right Andrew. A crisis is the acid test of management. It's when leaders either crumble or fail or they rise to the challenge. And it's actually what what makes the organisation that there is evidence for an organisation called Oxford Metric, that actually proves that for those organisations that manage a crisis well, they can actually increase the value of the organisation. And that's because, you know, when challenged, when they're under the most extreme challenge, an organisation that can navigate and successfully get through a situation like that is rewarded both because the outside world can now see for real the quality of that management team, and they've also proven that, you know, the values and the culture that they talked about in the good times is much more than skin deep.

Andrew Armitage:
Yes, its action is more than just words.

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. So I think, you know, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is, you know, be human and communicate in a way which is absolutely in keeping with your brand, your reputation and your values. And if you exemplify everything that you believe in and everything that you've told the outside world, this organisation stands for before the crisis, that will serve you really, really well. It's he organisations that hide away or adopt a very stand offish corporate tone that tends to come in for the most criticism and then suffer the most.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah, have you come across a website called didtheyhelp.com?

Jonathan Hemus:
I have not come across that website, but I will be looking it up for this podcast. I've written it down already!

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah, it's quite amusing. And again, it's this trial by social media.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah.

Andrew Armitage:
And by the public, arguably not just social media, but when companies put themselves out to go the extra mile and clearly those that don't. This site, didtheyhelp.com, it has a leaderboard of heroes and zeros.

Jonathan Hemus:
Right.

Andrew Armitage:
With companies that have gone above and beyond or they've done something positive that perhaps was unexpected.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah.

Andrew Armitage:
And it's clearly driven up their brand value, that brand capital that they have. Whereas on the other side, you know, I mean, President Trump is very high up on the zeros.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yes.

Andrew Armitage:
Think that needs to be any question about that. But then you've got the likes of Wetherspoons, Britannia Hotels, Sports Direct.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yeah.

Andrew Armitage:
These are companies that when lockdown kicked in, they were a little bit resistant.

Jonathan Hemus:
Yes.

Andrew Armitage:
To following the guidelines, I suppose, for want of a a better word.

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. And I think if you're the kind of organisation which has very strong values and is known to be a good organisation, in a sense, you know, the penalty for getting your crisis communication wrong, it's far bigger than if you've never professed to be a good organisation before. So if I take, you know, a couple of airlines as examples, Ryanair doesn't profess to be anything other than straightforward, brash, down to earth; take it or leave it. Virgin Atlantic does. And the reason that one of the reasons why Richard Branson has come in for such criticism over asking, you know, for government support is because he has always positioned himself, his brand and his businesses as being, you know, man of the people, caring, sharing that, you know, warm and it just doesn't sit comfortably, you know, the approach he is taking now, whereas for Ryanair, the expectations are kind of low. Exactly.

Andrew Armitage:
They're almost starting from the bottom, aren't they?

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely. If you as an organisation, for example, stand for, you know, super high quality or super fantastic customer service, make sure that your crisis communication response exemplifies that. Because as I say, the penalty for not doing so is so much larger than if you've never professed those qualities in the first place.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, Jonathan, it's been a fantastic conversation, I really enjoyed that as some lots of takeaways that I think people will be able to put in place in their business and I particularly like the quote that you mentioned there, the year that you think was the Churchill quote. What was that again?

Jonathan Hemus:
Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Andrew Armitage:
Yeah. So I think that idea of continual learning, continual review, clearly, given the current circumstances, this is something that would be good advice. How often would you look to perhaps review something like that? I mean, it's going to depend on the scale of the business and the nature of the business, perhaps, as well. But is it something you review every every month and make sure that you've got the right things in place every six months? What's a typical...

Jonathan Hemus:
So I would say as a benchmark in terms of your crisis management plan, you should be reviewing that every quarter. And the main reason for that is a good crisis management plan will have contact details in it, and of course, those contact details are going to change every quarter and, you know, many's the time that an organisation has turned to its crisis management plan needs to get hold of some really critical and it turns out to be someone who, you know, left the organisation...

Andrew Armitage:
Right...

Jonathan Hemus:
...four years ago. So in terms of the detail of the plan, I would say quarterly in terms of a strategic review annually, and I would very much encourage organisations to do an annual exercise as well. It really is only by rehearsing your response to a crisis that you build that muscle memory that gives you the confidence and the deep capability to jump to action that not worst day of your career arrives.

Andrew Armitage:
And of course, at that point, you stand a far better chance of minimising the damage...

Jonathan Hemus:
Quite.

Andrew Armitage:
...strengthening the recovery opportunity as well.

Jonathan Hemus:
Absolutely

Andrew Armitage:
Fabulous. So, Jonathan, where can people find out a little bit more about yourself and Insignia? I know you've been doing lots of webinars and online briefings and so on, so where can people find out more details about you?

Jonathan Hemus:
So our Web site is insigniacrisis.com. You can find me on Twitter. I'm @jhemusinsignia. People can also feel free to email me on j.hemus@insigniacrisis.com. Hemus is H.E.M.U.S. If you email me and you're interested in this topic, we can add you to our invitation list for webinars and other events.

Andrew Armitage:
Great stuff. Well, thanks again, Jonathan. Really appreciate your time, your expertise and advice; I think there's a lot of takeaways for people to apply there. Really appreciate your time. Thanks very much.

Jonathan Hemus:
My pleasure, Andrew. Thank you.

Andrew Armitage:
Cheers, appreciate it.

Andrew Armitage:
My thanks again to my guest, Jonathan Hemas of Insignia Crisis Management and consultancy; do head across to his website insigniacrisis.com. If you scroll down to the bottom of the home page, you'll find that link sign up for the e-mail newsletter he mentioned. Also, check him out on LinkedIn as well, Jonathan can often be found giving online webinars and presentations and clearly has a wealth of experience in this area and it's a safe pair of hands for planning against the worst variety of different scenarios. A couple of key takeaways for me from the conversation that we just had. I think the idea of strategic intent and that guiding every step, every action, every piece of communication that you output been absolutely vital really in achieving a desirable outcome and really safeguarding the reputation as best you can. And of course, you know, looking at what sort of recovery might be feasible after some sort of incident or crisis. And I think the other point that really stuck my mind, that route, that escalation route from perhaps the frontline, whether that's the floor in a retail environment or factory, right up to the management or the response team, the leadership team that might be responsible for handling some sort of crisis. Obviously, we heard that these sorts of things can be triggered by employees, by individuals, by members of the public and those could also happen in a number of different areas, it might even be on social media where these things break. So, yeah, do look him up anyway and I'm sure you'll find a lot of value in some of the other things that he talks about.

Andrew Armitage:
Couple of quick things before we wrap up. We have an online scorecard on our website. So if you have ever wondered just how well your current marketing activity is performing to head across to adigital.agency, and about halfway down you'll find the link to our scorecard; a series of about 35/36 questions they're all multiple choice, so it's fairly quick and easy to answer, but it breaks questions down into 4 areas. And those are your strategy, your digital strategy, your assets, your profile and your skills. So if you're ever wondering just how your current marketing is performing or what the benchmark is, then head across to adigital.agency and fill in the scorecard, and you'll get a personalised report sent back to you with a score broken down into those 4 key areas. And we start and look back to going to work it will just help give you some focus and you'll be able to prioritise perhaps some of the activities around digital marketing that you might want to look out for over coming weeks and months.

Andrew Armitage:
Finally, if you've enjoyed today's show and you found it useful, then please do consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues. Or even better, you could go one further and leave us a rating or review. Just head across to Apple Podcasts or Google podcasts, we'd love to hear your feedback, we'd love to know what you thought of the show. And if you can spare the time, it leave us a rating and we'd be eternally grateful. Similarly, if you want to get in touch, then just drop me an email, send it through to andrew@adigital.co.uk and I'll pick that up and be in touch.

Andrew Armitage:
That's it. That wraps up another show today. Thanks for joining us. Hope you've enjoyed it and found it useful. Take care and we'll see you on the next episode.

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Whilst having checklists, templates and holding statements for your five biggest risks, is helpful, your plan must be broader than that. It must cater for the crisis that you hadn't predicted.

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