Half of firms left unprepared to cope with crises in the digital age

HALF of businesses are unprepared to cope with crisis management because of the speed news travels online, a survey has revealed.

A poll of 102 communications advisers by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer found half of firms were ill-equipped to handle a crisis, while 94 per cent believed failing to prepare left organisations open to “trial by twitter”.

Meanwhile 63 per cent believe businesses they had recently advised in relation to a crisis could have foreseen the event and prepared for it better.

Some 28 per cent said they had seen crises spread internationally within an hour, while 69 per cent saw the news travel abroad within a day. Social media played a part in that spread in half of cases within the country where the news came from, and 30 per cent of cases globally, respondents said.

Freshfields partner Julian Long said: “Failing to prepare for a crisis, no matter how unlikely it may seem, is really no excuse, particularly given that crises that genuinely come out of the blue tend to be the exception.”