The most critical skill in a crisis is…

  I’m often asked, “What are the keys to crisis response success?”.  After 25 years in the field, I have a ready stock of answers (a whole book’s worth in fact).  However, many of these articles have been from the standpoint of what the company should do, how fast they should respond or who should […]

gazelle in fear

Don’t be a gazelle – how to manage fear in crisis

Don’t be a gazelle – how to manage fear in crisis I was recently watching Animal Planet with my daughter. The show was about predators hunting their prey, in this case a lion and a herd of gazelle. Gazelles have keen hearing and a good sense of smell but sensing the lion, their immediate response […]

What about litigation?

  In my experience, at some point in the discussions during a crisis someone will utter a phrase that will kill the conversation. “We need to think about litigation.” This sounds like a pertinent and important thing to think about but this statement is as useful as the head of communications saying ‘it’s blowing up […]

weakest link CEOs

Are CEOs the weakest link in a crisis? They don’t have to be.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review about CEOs and leadership found that 68% of CEOs weren’t fully prepared for the job.  One interviewee sums up the reason for this stark finding thus: “When you become the final decision maker, everything changes. It’s hard to train on this.” Despite this high figure, the CEOs […]

business meetings

During a CRISIS – Who needs to be in the room?

Who needs to be in the room when developing crisis response? ‘Is everyone here?’ It’s a pretty standard and innocuous question at the beginning of most meetings or conference calls but working out what we mean by ‘everyone’ during a crisis can be difficult.  Unlike a standard meeting, where there is a set schedule, agenda […]

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What it’s like to work with KITH

We are in the crisis business, which means we’re also in the business of risk evaluation and risk mitigation. Wouldn’t you love it if you could de-risk the hiring of a professional service provider — like a crisis and reputation management consultant? There’s a tremendous amount of unknowns in hiring a consultant. Most of you […]

blowing up on social

Embracing Social Media During a Crisis

“It’s blowing up on Twitter….” One of the phrases that I cringe at is ‘this is blowing up on Twitter’. I’ve been in a number of crisis situations where the person responsible for social media will run into the room, look at their iPhone, utter those fateful words and then disappear. However, as a crisis […]

Trajectory of a Crisis: Are you prepared for what happens next?

What I want you to do is look at the trajectory of a crisis shown below and look specifically for the dotted line. The dotted line is where most crisis response tends to stop. After something breaks — my least-favorite expression to hear in these moments is “It’s blowing up on Twitter!” — usually there […]


Sorry doesn’t have to be the hardest word

  It should not be so hard for companies to “Sorry.” Recently, I was mulling over the different responses I normally see during a crisis meeting if the CEO asks, “What happens if we just apologize?” General Counsel: panic.   “No. We can’t do that. We can’t accept blame because of the implications it’ll have […]

two businessmen talking

The Risk Whisperer

  The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) gave his update to the group. ‘Someone accessed our user database with a set of compromised access credentials they obtained through phishing attacks. We think we’ve lost some PII and unhashed user login info. Unfortunately, it looks as though they also corrupted some of the logs in the […]