New Survey Finds Just 60% of Corporate Executives Say They Have Crisis Plan in Place

According to a new survey conducted by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s Crisis Management Team and Levick Strategic Communications, just 60% of corporate executives surveyed said they had a crisis plan in place, with 29% of those respondents feeling “confident” and 56% feeling “somewhat confident” about their organization’s ability to respond to a crisis.

Part of the reason behind the low confidence rates is that even among companies with a crisis plan in place, only 37% conduct any form of annual training in relation to that plan, according to the survey by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman's Crisis Management Team and Levick Strategic Communications.

According to Tom Campbell, former NOAA official and head of Pillsbury’s Crisis Management team, “Even more strikingly, fully one-third of those companies which do have a crisis plan could not recall the last time they actually reviewed or revised it, which clearly indicates an out-of-sight/out-of-mind approach to crisis management that may prove a company’s undoing.”

Fifty C-level executives, general counsel, and risk managers were surveyed.

Some key findings of the survey:

  • Twenty-four percent of those surveyed stated that their company had suffered from a natural disaster. An equal number claimed their company had been the subject of a data loss or security breach.
  • Twenty-one percent of all companies had at least one worker accident or death.
  • Nine percent reported being the target of protests or a consumer boycott.
  • The crisis that would have the most negative impact on their company was overwhelmingly said to be a data breach or technological failure, followed by natural disasters. Power outages and blackouts came in third.
  • With company reputations being able to be made or broken in a matter of hours via Twitter, Facebook, or other social media, 52% of those surveyed said that their company’s crisis plan did not effectively address how to handle just such a situation.
  • In the time preceding a crisis, 79% of those surveyed stated their companies made minor or major changes to their crisis plan to make it more effective. Among the most popular improvements were:
  1. Additional training at 21%.
  2. A crisis audit at 18%.
  3. Strengthened general counsel oversight at 14%
  4. Purchased or upgraded business interruption/liability insurance at 14%.
  5. Moving crucial systems off-site at 14%.
  6. Upgraded technology security systems at 14%.

For more information about these survey results, visit:

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