The expression “from every crisis comes an opportunity”, which we are all familiar with and have all used at one time or another, has become a somewhat of a mantra. In the last three years we have experienced almost every kind of crisis, predictable and unpredictable. It is precisely the latter that are the most demanding ones, in time, effort, and resources. While it is becoming increasingly rare to find organisations that do not have a mapping of their risks, it is more common for these same organisations not to have identified crisis management mechanisms in terms of communication and reputation.
If we had to look for a cause, it could be the lack of consideration of Communication as a transversal aspect of business management. Hardly anyone forgets to “knock on the door” of Communication to ask for help in promoting a new product or service or to communicate the new strategy to different target audiences. And that is the problem, using Communication as a “public wild card”. Communication should be seen as a feature of management itself and should emanate from the board of directors.
The 2020, 2021 and 2022 financial years are proving to be a reality check. Communication has been key to managing the health crisis caused by the pandemic. And the same is happening with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both from institutions and organisations. We are all aware that the wars of the 21st century have nothing to do with any other war we might consider. We are facing a war with consequences we can hardly know the extent of: humanitarian, widespread stock market crashes, lack of supplies, localised or large-scale cyber-attacks…
What remains to be seen, going back to the beginning of this text, is what opportunities have supposedly emerged from these crises. From a purely communication perspective, these situations are offering us the chance to show what we are capable of. It is the moment to show our efficiency in CSR, to see if the so-called SDGs matter to us or if they are simply worth including in our sustainability reports. To see if we really meet the ESG criteria. Most importantly, whether communication is being a truly useful tool for our stakeholders to get to know us and to have a true “picture” of our organisations.
By Juana Pulido, Partner at Estudio de Comunicación