Communications in a Crisis is Critical

Subject to our last post of “Cyber-attack – It’s not a matter of how but when?” Tesco Bank has suffered a severe attack with over 20,000 customers having funds illegally taken from their accounts.  Importantly though is how they have handled the crisis.  Customers are complaining of lack of information and a very unthoughtful message posted to their customers asking "how their weekend was going" has not helped matters. Their CEO, Benny Higgins has been likened to Benny Hill and their share price has dropped.  One UK based newspaper reported that “One customer wrote on Tesco Bank’s customer forum yesterday; ‘Because of your failure to be open about this, I have moved all of the money in my Tesco current account to another bank.’”  

As part of your Business Continuity Process it is very important to have a Communications Plan in place defining how you will communicate information during a crisis.

·         Prepared Holding Statements for specific situations i.e. cyber-attack; data theft;          fraud etc.  

·         Who is on the Communications Team?

·         Who will prepare the Update Statements?

·         Who is your audience that you are trying to reach etc. 

These are only a few of the things that need to be addressed before you experience a crisis – it will improve your company’s ability to react promptly, with transparency and consequently will result in better recovery from the crisis.