Predict. Prevent.

Many experts estimate that more than 75% of all crises are the simmering types that are both predictable and preventable. How? Develop an issues management program in your organization – across all divisions and throughout all layers – to evaluate the type of issues you face, the potential for those issues to become crises and the severity of the damage the issues/crises could inflict on your organization. Sound difficult? It’s not, but it requires commitment, regular maintenance and strong leadership.

To protect your reputation, you need to be constantly scanning the horizon for threats. In larger organizations, the communications department is the logical centre for an issues management program, but take care to involve experts from across the organization and your executive team. Being ready for that ‘lob from left field’ can still catch your leadership off-guard if there isn’t an awareness at the top of the current issues affecting your company’s well-being. Issues management is definitely a ‘team sport.’

Mapping issues managements systems works really well and can help everyone involved see shifting scenarios more easily. Begin by identifying the issues, prioritize them and then develop strategies and actions to manage them. The list may be long at first, but once you prioritize the issues and identify their level of urgency, you can create strategies and actions unique to your organization to deal with each of them.

Call me to help you predict and prevent crises that could damage your business. Learn how to establish and sustain an issues management program to identify problems before they become crises.

I have been practicing law for close to 30 years and I have retained Deborah Folka to assist my clients on several occasions. Each time, Deborah has made an outstanding contribution. Many business people and lawyers do not fully realize the strategic importance of media and public relations in any legal controversy. The truth is that legal battles frequently spill over into the ‘Court of Public Opinion,’ sometimes by accident but more often by design. Legal disputes are a form of economic warfare. The most effective legal warriors employ media and public relations as an essential weapon in pursuing their strategic objectives. Those who don’t use this crucial skill set are at a distinct disadvantage. Deborah has all the “right stuff” required to design, manage and implement a winning media campaign for any legal battle. She has an excellent understanding of how the entire process works, she is well connected with the media, she is strategically astute and she has excellent communication skills. Of equal importance, Deborah’s services are extraordinarily cost–effective. She is not part of a high overhead, bureaucratic organization. I recommend Deborah highly.

~ Robert Fashler, Lawyer, Gowlings LLP

It is trite, but true that if you want to be successful, you need to surround yourself with the best. Deborah is a quick study and incredibly adept at assessing a situation and defining a successful PR strategy to transform a difficult situation into a positive message. As a natural “people person,” Deborah is always a pleasure to work with and instantly puts clients at ease with her genial personality and straight talk approach. Deborah is the best!

~ Ingrid Otto, General Counsel & Executive Director, Legal Services & Strategic Labour Relations, BC Health Employers Association