Furrowed brows and rueful looks could be seen (once again) on the faces of the participants in our second compliance workshop last week. While the first workshop dealt with a number of (often recognisable) issues in relation to cybersecurity, this time the discussion centred on crisis communication. Starting from five case studies which we examined from both a legal and communication perspective, we shared a number of do's and don'ts in the event a crisis situation arises within a company.

"Companies shouldn't ask themselves if they will ever be faced with a crisis situation but rather when this will be the case"

Each case was taken from daily (corporate) life. An important takeaway was the message that companies shouldn't ask themselves if they will ever be faced with a crisis situation but rather when this will be the case. The reactions of participants were mixed, ranging from "this would never happen to us" to "actually, it's a bit like this within our company".

Modern means of communication present a vast number of opportunities but also entail a wide variety of risks. Managing these risks requires special attention. Without arguing for a mountain of paperwork and red tape, we believe it's important that each company have at least the appropriate internal procedures and mechanisms to manage these risks. The size of the company and the sector in which it is active are decisive factors in this regard. A small business with five employees can get by with transparent internal communication at regular intervals. For a (small or larger) company active abroad, clear rules (which of course take into account cultural differences) are essential.

"Every company should be prepared for crisis situations"

The most important message we wish to convey is that every company should be prepared for crisis situations. In this regard, preparation involves applying a specific structure rather than trying to find solutions to the various situations that may arise.