Crisis Preparedness Audits

Chelgate’s “audits” companies and other organisations to help them gauge their readiness for a crisis. Our crisis audit offers constructive, thorough investigations of a client’s plans, working habits and performance.

How an audit works

Like a financial audit, our reviews pick out problems, and confirm that important elements of crisis preparedness are in place.

Most crisis audits take place in two phases. In the first phase, we meet with all leading individuals in an organisation responsible for crisis communication, often including the CEO. In a series of meetings, spanning from half a day to a whole day, we discuss with each individual their understanding of their employer’s crisis protocols, documents, routines, experiences, weaknesses and strengths. In the second phase, we review any documents handed to us by the client related to their crisis plans.

On the basis of our assessments, we prepare a report summarising our view of the client’s preparedness. This report can be followed up with meetings, and with additional training.

The nature of an audit

Our crisis preparedness audit take several aspects of crisis readiness into account, and are tailored to the likely risks facing a given client. However, we bear in mind that the most devastating crisis are often the least foreseeable, and might come from quotidian activities just as readily as from specialised or unique company activities.

Audits consider the following core issues, alongside other client-specific issues:

  • Staff knowledge
    • Staff understanding of their own crisis communication role
    • Staff understanding of others’ roles
  • Staff experience / prior performance
    • Genuine flexibility and crisis expertise/experience within the communications team
    • Structures for effective teamwork in crisis
  • The existence and use-ability of a crisis manual
    • Clear, widely-understood definitions of crisis
  • Existing facilities (e.g. for press conferences) and resources (e.g. appropriate client photographs)