After all, what is crisis management?

O que é, afinal, gestão de crise?

Crisis is a feared word because it directly affects a company’s reputation. One of Media em Movimento’s specialties is crisis management, so we help to demystify this word in its business lexicon.

An incident or an accident, a rumor, a complaint, a delay in the payment of wages, a dismissal, a threat of a strike, news in the press, or even social media, can be a reason for a crisis in your company.

There are several situations that can trigger a crisis, so start by classifying them, distinguishing them from a mere, daily problem to an incident, emergency, or crisis.

What does managing a crisis mean?

Managing a crisis is to identify the reason or the cause (as soon as possible), classify it according to the impact that it may have on your business, and put measures in action that resolve it in the shortest time. It is supposed to have a prior preparation for possible chaotic scenarios, such as a pandemic, and implies having a specialized team for this purpose.

Advantages of preparing for a crisis

Besides anticipating the crisis, getting ready allows you to:

  • Control the situation when it happens;
  • Know how to communicate it internally and externally;
  • Choose the right team with pre-defined responsibilities in times of crisis;
  • Make decisions quickly and clearly;
  • Have the team of operational supervisors aligned with the actions;
  • Monitor and evaluate the decisions made;
  • Learn lessons for the future.

Managing a crisis also implies having a crisis management team (or a press officer with experience in the area), a crisis management manual, a crisis communication plan, an internal communication flowchart, a meeting point outside facilities for emergency meetings, and backup of critical data for the business continuity, among others.

Types of crisis

There are many reasons that can end up in a crisis, so it is important to distinguish the reasons, mainly those that are exogenous to the company. We give you some well-known examples:

  • Accidental disasters – the relationship between wildfires and heat waves that affect agriculture in local producers;
  • Natural disasters – remember the Icelandic Volcano that affected world aviation and stopped the air traffic for weeks;
  • Technological disasters – the Chernobyl nuclear accident that had been going on for 30 years;
  • The economic crisis – the 2020 recession and the ongoing impact on the world economy;
  • The financial crisis – of football clubs and the impact on the reduction of players’ salaries;
  • The legal crisis – the impact of the GDPR on companies had an implementation deadline and required many adaptations in the protection of personal data;
  • The patrimonial crisis – the millionaire divorce from the owner of Amazon had a worldwide media impact due to the high values ​​of the separation of personal and business assets;
  • The image crisis – Samsung’s campaign with bloggers for the “wishes for 2013” ​​– this case was mediatic for using influencers in a Christmas campaign, leading to fire the marketing director in Portugal;
  • The crisis for criminal actionsFootball Leaks – a mediatic case that is still going on but, summing up, whether, by hacker intervention or intentional manipulation of employees, the company must have its systems protected and use the legal means for the purpose;
  • The crisis due to rumors – McDonald’s and the worms in their hamburgers – here a news team was invited to follow the process of making the hamburgers; the transparency throughout the process has gained consumers’ confidence in the brand.

Follow our blog and learn more about issues on crisis management.

Mafalda Marques, general director of Media em Movimento.


  • Manual de Segurança Alimentar, ASAE, 2014
  • Gestão de Crise e Comunicação, Joao José Forni, Atlas Editora
  • CRISES – De Ameaças a Oportunidades: Gestão Estratégica de Comunicação de CrisesAntónio Marques Mendes e Francisco Costa Pereira, Edições Sílabo
  • Gestão de Crise, Joaquim Caetano, Maria Vasconcelos e Paulo Vasconcelos, Editorial Presença