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How to Choose the Best Crisis Management Planning Company for You

In an era where the unexpected can disrupt business operations, having a robust crisis management plan is imperative. Crises, whether natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or public relations incidents, can occur at any time. Organizations often turn to specialized crisis management planning companies to ensure they are prepared to handle such situations. Selecting the right company is crucial for the effectiveness of your crisis management strategy. This article provides a detailed guide on how to choose the best crisis management planning company for your organization.

  1. Understand Your Needs

Before you begin your search, it is essential to have a clear understanding of your organization’s specific needs. This involves identifying the types of crises your organization is most likely to encounter and defining your objectives for crisis management. Key considerations include:

  • Risk Identification: Determine the primary risks your organization faces. These could range from natural disasters, technological failures, and cyber threats to reputational risks and operational disruptions.
  • Objectives: Define what you aim to achieve with your crisis management plan. This might include ensuring business continuity, protecting stakeholder interests, or maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Scope of Services: Decide whether you need a comprehensive crisis management plan or specific services like risk assessment, training, or ongoing support.
  1. Research Potential Companies

With a clear understanding of your needs, the next step is to research potential crisis management planning companies. Look for firms with a strong reputation and proven track record in the industry. Here are some strategies for effective research:

  • Industry Reputation: Seek companies with a solid reputation and positive reviews. Online testimonials, case studies, and industry awards can provide insights into a company’s credibility and success.
  • Certifications and Accreditations: Verify if the company holds certifications from recognized industry bodies, such as the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) or the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). These credentials indicate adherence to industry standards.
  • Experience: Assess the company’s experience in handling crises similar to those your organization might face. Industry-specific experience can be particularly valuable.
  1. Evaluate Expertise and Services

Not all crisis management planning companies offer the same level of expertise or range of services. When evaluating potential firms, consider the following factors:

  • Comprehensive Services: Ensure the company offers a full spectrum of services, including risk assessment, plan development, training, simulation exercises, and post-crisis evaluation. Comprehensive services ensure thorough preparedness and effective response.
  • Customization: The best firms tailor their services to meet your specific needs rather than offering a generic solution. Customized plans are more likely to address your unique vulnerabilities and operational nuances.
  • Technology and Tools: Inquire about the technology and tools the company uses. Advanced software for communication, data analysis, and real-time monitoring can significantly enhance crisis management capabilities.
  1. Assess the Team

The qualifications and experience of the team members who will be working on your account are critical to the success of your crisis management plan. Consider the following:

  • Qualifications: Review the qualifications of the consultants and trainers. Look for relevant certifications, degrees, and professional development in crisis management, business continuity, or related fields.
  • Experience: Assess the practical experience of the team members. Have they managed real-life crises? Do they have experience in your industry?
  • Communication Skills: Effective crisis management relies heavily on clear and timely communication. Ensure that the team members are excellent communicators who can work well under pressure.
  1. Check References

References provide valuable insights into a company’s performance and reliability. Ask potential firms for references from past or current clients, particularly those in similar industries or facing similar risks. When speaking with references, consider asking the following questions:

  • Project Scope and Execution: What was the scope of the project the company handled? How effectively did they execute it?
  • Responsiveness: How responsive was the company during the planning and implementation phases? Did they provide timely support during a crisis?
  • Outcome: What was the outcome of the crisis management planning? Did the plan work effectively during a real crisis?
  • Ongoing Support: Does the company provide adequate ongoing support and updates to the crisis management plan?
  1. Understand Costs

Cost is an important consideration when hiring a crisis management planning company, but it should not be the sole factor. Consider the value and quality of services you will receive in relation to the cost. Here are some tips for understanding costs:

  • Transparent Pricing: Look for companies that offer transparent pricing without hidden fees. Ensure you understand what is included in the quoted price.
  • Value for Money: Compare the cost with the range and quality of services offered. A higher price might be justified if the company provides superior expertise and comprehensive services.
  • Budget Alignment: Ensure that the services align with your budget. Discuss payment terms and options to find a mutually agreeable arrangement.
  1. Review the Contract and Agreement

Before finalizing your decision, carefully review the contract and agreement. The contract should clearly outline the scope of services, deliverables, timelines, costs, and terms of engagement. Ensure the following:

  • Clear Scope: The contract should specify what services will be provided and any exclusions.
  • Timelines and Milestones: Establish clear timelines and milestones for the completion of different phases of the project.
  • Performance Metrics: Include performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the project.
  • Termination Clause: Understand the terms under which the contract can be terminated by either party.
  1. Consider Long-Term Partnership

Crisis management planning is not a one-time project but an ongoing process. Building a long-term relationship with your crisis management planning company can provide several benefits:

  • Continuous Improvement: Regular updates and improvements to your crisis management plan based on new risks and changing circumstances.
  • Consistent Training: Ongoing training and drills to ensure your staff remains prepared for potential crises.
  • Strategic Partnership: A strategic partnership with the firm can help integrate crisis management into your overall business strategy.
  1. Evaluate Post-Crisis Support

Post-crisis support is crucial for learning and improving. A good crisis management company will offer post-crisis evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the response and identify areas for improvement. This phase includes:

  • Debriefing Sessions: Conducting debriefing sessions with your team to discuss what worked well and what didn’t.
  • Lessons Learned: Documenting lessons learned and integrating them into the updated crisis management plan.
  • Future Planning: Providing recommendations for future improvements and ensuring that your organization is better prepared for the next crisis.


Choosing the best crisis management planning company is a critical step in safeguarding your organization against potential crises. By understanding your needs, researching potential firms, evaluating their expertise and services, assessing their team, checking references, understanding costs, reviewing contracts carefully, considering long-term partnerships, and evaluating post-crisis support, you can ensure that you select the right partner to help you navigate through challenging times. A well-chosen crisis management planning company will provide the expertise, support, and resources needed to protect your organization and ensure its resilience in the face of adversity. Investing in the right company is not just about immediate protection; it’s about building a foundation for long-term security and success.



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