Short Term vs Long Term Crisis Management
Short Term vs Long Term Crisis Management
The hospitality industry has never faced a crisis quite like the one in 2020. Within a relatively short space of time trade for hotels and restaurants came to a standstill. Only those that adapted quickly and effectively remained unscathed but even then, survival hasn’t been guaranteed.
What worldwide disasters or ‘crisis moments’ do demonstrate though is that a crisis management plan is now absolutely essential. The truth is that they always have been. But until the most recent crisis moment, many businesses had never considered implementing crisis management strategies or crisis management training for those they employ.
The aim of this article is to examine the different types of crisis management plans, such as a short-term and a long-term crisis management plan. Then to advise at what point each should be implemented. Ultimately, we want hospitality business leaders to be reassured and comfortable in the knowledge that they are prepared for any eventuality.
The Difference Between Short and Long-term Crisis
A short-term crisis is the most commonly seen and easiest to recover from. They can be spontaneous and are therefore difficult to predict, but from a risk analysis point of view, they should never be underestimated. A short-term crisis can become a long-term crisis if the scenario is question hasn’t been adequality covered by a crisis management plan.
An example of a short-term crisis could be a brief PR disaster. Businesses are expected to plan for these and identify potential crisis scenarios ahead of time, but what sets a business ahead of its peers is one that monitors, assesses and responds to the situation in a way that resolves it quickly. A business then must identify the key takeaways from this crisis, analyse its own handling and update its internal crisis management plan with this new data.
A long-term crisis is any scenario that will undoubtedly cause lasting damage to a business. It may be exclusive to that company such as bankruptcy, a high-profile PR disaster that makes national news or a competitor gaining a significant advantage in the market. Or it could be a global disaster that takes a toll on a specific industry. Examples include pandemic, recession or a scandal that shakes the public’s trust in the sector.
The difference between short-term and long-term crises is that long-term problems will continue to have an impact well after the initial crisis hits. The effects could be felt for years and unless a crisis management plan is in place, such an issue can eventually result in that company’s demise.
However, one advantage is that a long-term crisis can usually be anticipated before it arrives. Financial woes often build steadily, allowing diligent businesses the opportunity to act. Global events like pandemics are widely reported and tracked, allowing an organisation to lessen the blow should it impact them. This allows them to prepare adequate crisis management training and have the required strategies in place.
When Does a Short-Term Crisis Need to be Reassessed?
A thorough and comprehensive crisis management plan should ideally include any scenarios that could realistically happen before they do. This isn’t to suggest that every business should constantly prepare for a worst-case scenario, but no company is to situations beyond their control. A short-term crisis will eventually strike at some point, therefore those that seem the most likely should be examined periodically and plans routinely updated as required
Some short-term crisis moments are unique and preparation for them would have been impossible. In this case; a business should follow whichever strategies are most appropriate for resolving it. Planning is an essential aspect of crisis management, but there are issues that can’t be predicted, but even these can be prepared for to some extent. Although even spontaneous events that could not be predicted can be monitored and assessed, allowing the company to respond accordingly. Then once the issue has been contained, measures can be reviewed and assessed, then the overall strategy can be updated to include such events should they happen again.
When Do you put your Long-Term plans into action?
Every business owner should treat a possible long-term crisis with the utmost importance. It depends on the nature of the crisis but if the early warning signs appear then a business needs to implement its crisis management plan as soon as possible. Then it becomes essential to monitor and assess the situation as time goes on. The sooner plans are in place, the less damage will be inflicted, and the company will have the best possible chance to weather that storm.
Using the restaurant industry during a global pandemic as an example, businesses who invested in and trained their staff to use new technology that enabled them to shift their business focus to takeaways instead of ‘sit-down dining’, were able to be ready when this became mandatory. Those that did not need to hastily implement these changes during the crisis event. It’s equally important for a business in this situation to know when it’s safe to return to their previous approach too. Preparation is essential but so is adapting, ideally doing so in good time by anticipating the next stage of a crisis – be it positive or negative.
How We Can Help / Get in Touch
Virtual Solutions Global have 15 years’ experience supporting our clients with a range of reputation and crisis management methods. Our team of dedicated experts have the skills and knowledge to formulate a crisis management plan that’s unique to your business and prepares you for any possible scenario. Contact us here.