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Here you will find articles, archive blogs and case studies that PlanB have used or created over the years. To find information please type a keyword into the search box or click on the relevant tag.

We publish weekly updates from the business continuity world, covering recent news items or reflecting on our travels and experiences with clients.

Charlie addresses topics from a Business Continuity perspective and you might be surprised how much of today’s news relates to BC! Providing valuable insight, Charlie raises critical questions which will surely encourage you to reconsider your Business Continuity plans.

A Conversation about Resilience during the Ukrainian War

Charlie Maclean-Bristol FBCI and Gianluca Riglietti CBCI discuss resilience at a time where the conflict in Ukraine dominates the global scene.  During this informal conversation, Charlie and Gianluca address arising issues from the war in Ukraine such as cyber security and supply chain disruptions, as well as discussing related topics including the power of fake news and propaganda,

Crisis Communications – Do You Have a Team?

Charlie lists his suggestions for organising your incident management to include communications roles, and what that may look like. I thought I would leave events in Ukraine to the newspapers and TV this week, and talk about crisis communications teams. Over the last six months, we have been conducting lots of exercises, cyber being one of the main

Comments on the Yorkshire Cricket Club Racism Crisis

Have you given any thought to what your company would do if they were accused of wrongdoing and suddenly in a reputational crisis? This week, Charlie discusses what business continuity professionals should take away from the Yorkshire Cricket Club scandal, and points to consider when thinking about your own company. For the past year and a half, most

Fantasy Crisis Communications – Prince Andrew

In today’s bulletin, Charlie dives into the Prince Andrew court case and the communication issues surrounding it. Discussing the importance of branding, strategy and response, not only in this case, but in all crisis management cases. My daughter, Phoebe, is rather good at knowing who’s who in rugby and in last year’s 6 Nations she organised the family’s

BrewDog Crisis Communications: Case Study Review

This week I take a look at the BrewDog crisis communications, including how well they handled accusations against them and how your company can use the lessons learnt. I am partial to a Punk IPA and some of the company’s rather gooseberry tasting beers. So I thought now that the incident is out of the news, I would

The changing face of journalism and how it should be reflected in our plans

This week I shares my thoughts on the evolution of journalism and how crisis communication plans should be adapted to keep up with the changes. I have been working on some strategic/crisis level plans and have been thinking about what should go into the crisis communication section of the plans. In quite a number of plans I have

Dealing with emotion in crisis communications – the UK results fiasco

Following the release of A-level and GCSE results in the UK, I discuss how to counter an incident which has invoked a lot of emotion. The algorithm seemed flawed This week my daughter Phoebe was one of the students anxiously awaiting her GCSE exam results. You couldn’t fail to see the government flailing around trying to produce a set

Crisis Communications – Skype to the rescue

This week Charlie looks at an article from The Times, ‘Welcome to The Skype Pandemic’, which discusses how journalists and experts tuning in to interviews from their homes is affecting our news consumption. A team of Kim, Gillian and I have been teaching the CBCI course this week and I was thinking of talking about the lessons learned

Crisis Communications – A Dark Art?

Charlie looks at Timothy Coombs’ ‘Situational Crisis Communications Theory’ and how you can develop a crisis response strategy from it. For many years I have slightly shied away from crisis communications. I have developed crisis management plans, emergency plans and business continuity plans at all levels, for a multitude of different organisations and industries. I have also run

Prince Andrew – How Not To Draw A Line Under An Incident

Charlie discusses Prince Andrew’s recent interview with Newsnight and what crisis communications lessons we can learn from it. I talked about Prince Andrew in this bulletin on the 20th September 2019, entitled “He knows exactly what he’s done and I hope he comes clean about it”. I ended the article by saying: ‘In the end, this storm will blow over

“He knows exactly what he’s done and I hope he comes clean about it.”

This week Charlie shares his comments on the crisis communications aspect of the Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein scandal. I have been following the Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein story with interest over the last few weeks and thought I would make some comments on how the crisis communications of this incident have been handled. I assumed that

Using Dark Websites for Crisis Communication – Three Case Studies

Charlie discusses the use of dark websites for crisis communication. I thought this week I would discuss the use of dark websites for crisis communication. When you hear about a crisis on the news, I always suggest you take a look at the organisation’s website and see how they are portraying the incident. A dark website is a

LA LA LA I am not listening…

Charlie argues that during some crises it is best not to listen to the angry voices attacking you, but to keep quiet and weather the storm, which will quickly dissipate. This week I have been in the Caribbean where the main TV stations are American, so I have been watching a lot of CNN. Not particularly because I

Does an Authoritarian Nation State Dictate Your Crisis Communications?

This week Charlie talks about incident management communications within authoritarian regimes. I will leave a bulletin on the terrible events associated with the Palau earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia until next week. This week we were asked to bid for some incident management training in a country which has an authoritarian regime. The work would include delivering training

Talk is Cheap

Following news of a data breach at British Airways, Charlie looks at incidents seen as the fault of the organisation involved, and the actions organisations can take to show that they are taking such incidents seriously. One of the news items today is about a hack and data breach at British Airways. The organisation will no doubt apologise and say

“Peace in our time” – Donald and Kim: A Crisis Communications View

Following the first summit meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, Charlie outlines how crisis communications can be used effectively to manage an incident and meet the expectations of stakeholders. There was no doubt that the meeting between President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un was historic, but the debate surrounded how successful it was. President Trump had no doubt that

Is social media changing?

With the recent Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal influencing new restrictions surrounding social media platforms, I consider whether the use of social media during incidents will change. Over the last few weeks we have seen the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data scandal unfolding. The incident led to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, testifying before members of Congress and answering questions on privacy, data

A review of TSB’s communications in response to their failed IT upgrade

In the midst of TSB’s ongoing online banking meltdown, Charlie shares his thoughts on how the organisation has been managing the communications aspect of the incident.  Last night I was doing what I always tell the readers of this bulletin to do and was looking at how TSB bank have been responding to the failed upgrade of their main banking platform. After

Developing a Reputation Risk Management Framework

This week, I apply the PESTLE framework to business continuity, in response to finding other risk management frameworks too restricting.  Over the last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about risk management frameworks for business continuity. The more I look at business continuity, the more I feel that basing the risk and threat assessment on PPRS (people, premises, resources and suppliers)

Fake news again…

With another scandal surrounding President Trump emerging this week, Charlie looks at how BC professionals should respond if their organisation’s reputation is being damaged by fake news. Most of you will have seen President Trump in the news this week for retweeting a number of anti-Muslim videos, originally posted by the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First. The videos were of

Equifax UK – How not to manage the communications of a cyber breach

Raising awareness for European Cyber Security Month, Charlie looks at the Equifax data hack, as an example of how cyber security incidents should not be handled. One of the things I noticed during my research when developing BC Training’s Managing and Preparing for Cyber Incidents course, was the lack of guidance on how to respond to a cyber incident. There was lots of information

Tables Turned – Managing a Reputation Incident

This week Charlie discusses reputation management, in response to the negative reaction he received for his bulletin titled ‘The Grenfell Fire Fallout…’. As a consultant, you spend your time telling others how to manage incidents, but you very rarely get a chance to actually manage one. My chance to manage a reputation incident came a couple of weeks ago. When writing about incidents,

A Business Continuity Manager’s Guide to Fake News

This week Charlie discusses the ever emerging issue of ‘fake news’ and what impact it can have within Business Continuity. These days, every second article, radio broadcast or TV news bulletin seems to be full of stories of fake news or about fake news. So this week, I thought we could take a look at what fake news actually

Trump Press Conference – What can we learn?

After watching the news coverage of Donald Trump’s recent press conference, Charlie looks at the President-elect’s communication style in relation to business continuity. On Wednesday night’s news (11th January 2016) there was wall-to-wall coverage of the Trump press conference. The President-elect was asked questions about an intelligence dossier containing lurid sex claims and allegations of compromising ties to Russia. As ever,

Gaff or Crisis…

This week Charlie looks at the importance of ‘thinking before you speak’, especially when your words can affect your organisation and its reputation.  The former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, was suspended from the Labour Party earlier this week for making anti-Semitic comments. It got me thinking about how the words of senior managers can have a major affect on their organisation and its

Thoughts on the death of Cecil the Lion

I feel that we can’t let this week’s bulletin go by without commenting on the death of Cecil the lion, which has dominated the news and the social media this week. The story so far is that rich, white, American dentist (not usually a combination which evokes public sympathy), Dr Palmer, pays $50,000 to shoot a lion in

22/05/2015 Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Occasionally in the news you hear a story and wonder how the organisation can get it so wrong when the solution seems so obvious. Thomas Cook’s handling of the deaths of Robert and Christianne Shepherd nine years ago is an example of a company which got its crisis management very, very wrong and caused major damage to its

19/03/2015 Recovering business reputation following a scandal

This week Charlie discusses the lessons learned from media scandals and how businesses should deal with similar incidents. I thought this week I would comment on an item in the news. The lead item in this lunchtime’s news (Monday 16th March) was the Police Watchdog investigation into alleged corruption in the Metropolitan Police, including claims it covered up child

19/09/2014 Amplifying a Crisis

Charlie discusses managing a reputation crisis. Last week I was very busy training. First of all I did the two day ‘BIA’ course followed by the one day ‘Writing the Plan’ course, and then finally the two day ‘Crisis and Incident Management course”. We had some excellent people on the course and we all learned from each other.  During the

22/04/2014 Say sorry…….like you mean it!!

The main story that has caught my eye recently was the resignation of Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.  A political storm had been whipped up over her expenses, with Mrs Miller accused of funding a home for her parents at the expense of taxpayers. She was cleared of this allegation but told

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest word…..

I was on holiday recently taking advantage of the very good weather we were having in the UK. When you get hot sunny weather in Scotland you have to get out and take advantage of it! I almost missed the news about the horrific train crash in Canada, in which the train rolled down into the centre of the

You Can’t Win!

Highlighted in the news, was an article about BP asking David Cameron to raise the issue of the compensation that they were having to pay to companies for the Deep-Water Horizon disaster with the US government.BP are claiming that the compensation package is being abused, and that they may have to put aside more than the £5.2bn agreed in

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