New study shows 80 percent of companies are ‘vulnerable’ or ‘exposed’ to a crisis

Study findings show only half of the 800 companies surveyed have a crisis management plan.

In a new study conducted by Burson-Marsteller, 800 business leaders around the world were surveyed on corporate perceptions about the state of crisis communications in the digital age. Nearly 60 percent of business decision-makers have experienced a crisis in their current or previous company, and 79 percent believe their company is fewer than 12 months away from a potential crisis, according to the study.

Still, only 54 percent of companies have a crisis management plan. The two main reasons for lack of a plan stemmed from indifference and the cost of developing a plan.

Participants were grouped based on their level of preparedness: 20 percent fell into the “Boy Scout” category — strong, comprehensive plan that can withstand the pressure of a crisis; 45 percent, the “Tightrope Walker” category — limited plan or vulnerable to an impending crisis. The remaining 35 were in the “Ostrich” category — no crisis management plan and completely exposed to any upcoming crisis.