Crisis Management

In today's business environment, companies are increasingly faced with unexpected events that threaten safety, financial stability, and a hard-earned, good reputation. When facing these events, quick decisions must be made. Decisions that will have serious and long-term consequences on the client's bottom line, community standing, and exposure to resulting liability. Overnight, issues can become framed and fixed in the mind of the media, customers, investors, and the general public. There is no time to carefully analyze opposing recommendations.

Today's technological advances have not only added to a well-established list of possible crises, they have also increased the speed at which a crisis, or news of a crisis, is spread. Viral videos, well read bloggers with malevolent intentions, and unsubstantiated web attacks, are all reported in real time to an audience that is sometimes too large to estimate.

Properly confronting, and effectively controlling, these crises requires a cohesive, multi-disciplined team, capable of managing litigation exposure while, at the same time, knowledgeable in the best ways to ensure that the client's position is quickly communicated to it's stakeholders and becomes the lead story for the public.

As the crisis unfolds, the Gray Reed & McGraw Crisis Management team will direct responses and actions in an efficient and coordinated manner. Our assistance is designed to help clients prepare and respond in the appropriate manner, with the appropriate response. Our goals are two-fold - to minimize legal exposure, and, at the same time, protect the reputation of management and the organization.

This multi-dimensional approach is a direct result of our wide-ranging substantive experience in complex civil litigation, internet law, class actions, media-legal issues, corporate governance, accounting, insurance, international trade, and energy law. We want our clients to realize the vital importance of viewing a crisis from a range of disciplines, including litigation, public relations, and public policy.

Knowing firsthand the value of pre-crisis preparation, along with a swift and responsible crisis response, we offer a service capability that includes:

Preparation of a Crisis Management Plan

Crisis Prevention is the key ingredient of our Crisis Management Plan. A vulnerability audit will be a major part of our Crisis Management Plan. Litigators, with years of experience and hundreds of trials under their belts, will carefully examine areas in which a crisis is most likely to develop. Using a technique which balances the likelihood of a particular crisis against the possible fallout from the crisis, the Gray Reed team will offer a plan which results in an executive having appropriate recommendations at his or her fingertips.

During a time of crisis, communication is often the primary factor which determines the amount of damage, or gain that is realized from the situation. A crisis Management Plan developed by Gray Reed will provide a communication strategy, specific to the individual company, complete with prioritized stakeholder information, communication avenues, templates, holding statements, and specific guidelines for getting ahead of the crisis.

We strive to make all of our plans as thorough as possible, while also assuring that they'll be of real use in a real crisis. While we try to incorporate certain elements in every plan we write, content will drastically change from one client to another. We do not prepare cookie-cutter plans.

Crisis Response and Communication

When our clients face a sudden crisis or find themselves encumbered by a smoldering crisis, we help them respond immediately. Our team allows Operations to continue the work of the organization while we handle the crisis.

We focus on cutting through the sometimes paralyzing dichotomy of best practices from a short term liability standpoint and a longer term public relations vision. The Gray Reed crisis management team will assist a client in making the right decisions at the right time. Our experience ranges from managing litigation; to working with regulators, legislators, and federal and state executives; to working with reporters and managing public relations. Our team works closely with our own public relations and communication strategists in order to preserve any and all privileges you may enjoy from consulting with an attorney.

The Gray Reed crisis management team consists of lawyers on the cutting edge of social media and internet law. Our expertise in this area allows us to successfully advance certain responses while deterring those that are inaccurate or misleading.

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