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What is your brand worth?

The importance of a tried and tested incident management plan.

Companies spend fortunes on advertising and marketing to enhance their brands. A strong brand generally equates to greater profit. However, in a crisis, a brand is at its most vulnerable.

Previously, one generally had the luxury of a little time to assemble and assess the facts before issuing a statement. The basic rules of media management stay the same; however, technology has changed and we now live in a world of instantaneous news.

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian multinational telecommunications company, found this out, to their detriment, with the latest four-day BlackBerry service outage. RIM, already in a rocky year of layoffs, poor sales and falling market share, could face lawsuits resulting from the service disruption.

Since the start of the four-day malfunction, RIM had only released three official statements. Out of the three, the company only mentioned the cause of the delay in the last message released on the second day of the outage. Asked why the company couldn't avoid network traffic backlogs by rerouting traffic by bypassing the faulty network operating centre, RIM did not give a straight answer.

This is the third major BlackBerry outage since 2007 and has placed the company's network under further scrutiny, and has caused harm to the brand's image, at a time when it is facing stiff competition from the iPhone and Android devices.

The outage has many customers wondering whether it's time to switch to another mobile device, and users' comments mainly target the company's failure to tell them about the problem they were facing, and the cause.

“Effective and rapid management of a crisis, with a tried and tested incident management plan, is the significant factor in protecting an organisation's brand from financial and reputational damage. It's pointless recovering a service but having your customer base desperate to leave you,” said Lynn Jackson, Senior Advisor, Advisory Services, ContinuitySA.

We live in a fast moving world, especially as regards communication. In the event of a disruptive incident that could affect an organisation's image, speed and accuracy of communication are vital and companies must be ready to react quickly, honestly and openly if they are to protect their reputation, their brands and their profit.

An up-to-date and comprehensively tested incident management plan will ensure effective and rapid management of a crisis, and is vital to ensure that the company's image and brand name are protected and even possibly enhanced in a crisis.

The contents of an incident management plan, which includes how an organisation will manage communication with their stakeholders, is a set of components and resources to assist the organisation's decision-makers in handling crises.

ContinuitySA is Africa's leading provider of business continuity management and related services. The company boasts some of the continent's most highly skilled and qualified business continuity and disaster management experts, who help companies, organisations and government departments of all sizes prepare for and deal with all eventualities. These include potential threats, events, incidences and unforeseen or sudden disruptions due to human error or natural events.

ContinuitySA also provides a variety of hosting solutions, ranging from co-located to fully managed virtualised environments, with their primary focus being to ensure their clients are able to address the resilience and recoverability of their IT services. These hosting services are complemented by managed backup and recovery services, virtual server replication and high availability solutions to satisfy any level of continuity requirement.

ContinuitySA operates the largest recovery facilities in southern Africa. It has a number of recovery centres in southern Africa, with over 20 000 square metres of recovery facilities in Midrand, Gauteng. Smaller sites have been located in Cape Town, Gaborone, Botswana, Mozambique and a joint venture has been established in Mauritius.

ContinuitySA. Our business is keeping you in business.

Additional information about ContinuitySA can be found at www.continuitysa.com.

ContinuitySA

ContinuitySA

ContinuitySA is Africa's leading provider of business continuity management and related services. The company boasts some of the continent's most highly skilled and qualified business continuity and disaster management experts who help companies, organisations and government departments of all sizes prepare for and deal with all eventualities. These include potential threats, events, incidences and unforeseen or sudden disruptions due to human error or natural events.

ContinuitySA also provides a variety of hosting solutions, ranging from co-located to fully managed virtualised environments, with their primary focus being to ensure its clients are able to address the resilience and recoverability of their IT services. These hosting services are complemented by managed backup and recovery services, virtual server replication and high availability solutions to satisfy any level of continuity requirement.

ContinuitySA operates the largest recovery facilities in southern Africa. It has a number of recovery centres in southern Africa with over 20 000 square metres of recovery facilities in Midrand, Gauteng. Smaller sites have been located in Cape Town, Gaborone, Botswana and Mozambique, and a joint venture has been established in Mauritius.

ContinuitySA. Our business is keeping you in business. Additional information about ContinuitySA can be found at www.continuitysa.com.