The State of Crisis Comms According to the Pros

Katrina Dene, Head of Communications

August 10th, 2023

Examining some of the biggest brand battles of the year (which you can read about in Memo’s 2023 Crisis Index) got us thinking about how comms teams (and their agencies) tackle crisis planning and incident response in today’s climate. We surveyed 1,000 comms professionals to find out.

Memo’s State of Crisis Comms examines what comms people are most concerned about in 2023, how they are planning for potential crises ahead, their approach to incident response, and so much more.

Over 50% of in-house comms pros are not prepared for layoffs should they arise.

Despite it being one of the most common crises of 2023 thus far, restructures and layoffs ranked second lowest with only 44% of comms teams saying they have a plan in place. Could it be that just mumbling the word “layoffs” is too scary? Maybe comms pros just assume someone else has it covered.

Millennial & Gen Z comms pros are far more worried about leadership issues arising than their older counterparts.

More than 10% of Millennials and Gen Z comms pros ranked leadership issues within their top 2 concerns, compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers. These comms heroes spent their formative professional years watching #metoo and several social justice movements unfold.

In-house comms pros are most frequently looking at data to inform crisis response.

For agencies, 82% say that they leverage data to inform crisis response always or most of the time. For in-house comms pros, it’s slightly higher — 85% say that they leverage data to inform crisis response always or most of the time. While it’s a small margin between the two groups, comms pros within insights and analytics departments are more frequently looking at a higher variety of data sources, including readership.

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