Here are our top 10 bulletins from 2021! We hope you have enjoyed reading these insightful discussions as much as we have. Without further ado, let’s jump straight in.
10. Isle of Coll Fire – A View From the Frontline
An in-depth discussion about a fire on the remote island of the Isle of Coll. Learn about how professionals and the community responded and how this incident compares to others Charlie has read about.
“As a consultant, I tell people how to manage disasters and incidents, but rarely do I get caught up in one, nor am I involved in the response. Last Friday, I took part in an emergency response to a fire on the Isle of Coll as a part of the community effort. I thought I would share my experience with bulletin readers and discuss how it aligned with the many issues that occur in the disasters I read and study.”
9. What Can We Learn? – Afghanistan 2021
In this bulletin, we look at the devastating events unfolding in Afghanistan and what we need to learn from this as business continuity professionals.
“I have been watching the events unfold in Afghanistan over the last couple of weeks with the Taliban taking over the country, the air evacuation taking place, and yesterday the two suicide bomber attacks that have killed over 90 people including 13 USA servicepeople. As Afghanistan is the lead story for every news bulletin at the moment, I thought I should share some thoughts with you all on what we can learn from these events.”
8. Once COVID-19 is over, should we have a written pandemic plan? – A debate
We would be very interested to hear your thoughts. If you would like to join this debate, comment on the thread on Charlie’s LinkedIn page here.
“There is an old adage that “armies prepare to fight their last war, rather than their next war” so after COVID-19, should we have a ‘fully loaded’ pandemic plan, detailing how to respond and including all we have learnt from this pandemic? Knowing that pandemics come around every 20 years or so, the last one being bird flu in 2009, should we have a plan? As there will be another in the not-so-distant future.”
7. Comments on the Yorkshire Cricket Club Racism Crisis
Have you given any thought to what your company would do if they were accused of wrongdoing and suddenly in a reputational crisis?
“For the past year and a half, most newspapers and bulletins have been dominated by COVID, with COVID being headline one, two and three! I suspect that there are lots of events, scandals and stories which never made it to the news when they normally would. Although I am not a follower of cricket, the Yorkshire Cricket Club crisis interested me for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is one of the biggest reputational crises we have seen for a while and there is a lot to write about, as it seems to have been handled particularly badly. Like all major scandals, it is starting to ripple out and involve people beyond the existing officials of the club and is threatening to engulf the whole English game. Lastly, my great-great uncle Martin Hawke was a Yorkshire and England player between 1880 and 1910, so there is a family interest!”
6. The Yin and Yang of a Cyber Incident Response – The SEPA Cyber Incident: A Case Study
SEPA’s response to their recent cyber attack. What they did well and what they didn’t.
“On Christmas Eve, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency was hacked and many of their systems were taken offline, including their emails, and they are yet to recover them. They have also said that they lost 1.2 GB of data “this is equivalent to a small fraction of the contents of an average laptop hard drive”, parts of which have been made publicly available by the cyber-criminal group behind Conti ransomware. Over the last four weeks, I have been publishing a running commentary on their response here. I thought this week I would share a bulletin on what they did well (Yang) and what they didn’t do so well (Yin).”
5. Location, Location, Location!
Charlie talks about why determining an accurate location during an emergency is important, and how you can incorporate this into your emergency plan.
“When responding to an incident it’s critically important to understand the location of the incident, so that internal support and the emergency services know exactly where to go. During an incident, every second counts! Vital support can be delayed if it’s sent to the wrong place. The chances of this happening are increased when the person at the site of the incident is under a great deal of stress, making it more difficult for them to provide a precise location (see article here). At the moment, a clear methodology of describing the location of an incident hasn’t been created.”
4. Preparation for Protest
How to prepare your company against protesters. Taking into consideration the safety of your staff, protesters and your company’s reputation.
“With the Extinction Rebellion in London last week and the COP26 (Conference of the Parties) happening in Glasgow, in 6 weeks. I thought it might be a good time to think about how we can prepare for being caught up in protests, or how you should respond if your organisation is targeted. Climate change is only going to get a more heightened profile and I do think an increasing number of different organisations will start getting targeted by protesters, therefore, organisations need to be ready. Hearing that the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) was targeted by protesters in London, alerted me to the fact that any organisation could be a target.”
3. The Future of Incident & Crisis Management Rooms Post COVID – In a Hybrid Working World
Need a more effective way of conducting meetings in this new hybrid world? Read about the pros, cons and solutions for utilising Microsoft Teams.
“With most organisations adopting hybrid working, it is becoming more likely that incidents will be managed by a combination of people in the office and those at home. This itself leads to managing an incident over a video conferencing system. This week I share some views on how technology can be used to manage an incident in our brave new hybrid world.”
2. BrewDog Crisis Communications: Case Study Review
Charlie takes a look at BrewDog’s crisis communications, including how well they handled accusations against them and how your company can use the lessons learnt.
“I am partial to a Punk IPA and some of the company’s rather gooseberry tasting beers. So I thought now that the incident is out of the news, I would write about BrewDog’s crisis communications after an open letter from existing and former employees “Punks With Purpose” alleging a toxic culture for employees within the company was published in the media.”
And finally drumroll, please! The number 1 spot goes to…
1. Is Business Continuity One of the Victims of COVID?
Thoughts on the industry that is business continuity and why Charlie believes COVID has negatively impacted it.
“Nothing particular in the news piqued my interest this week, therefore, I decided to give my thoughts on ‘Is Business Continuity One of the Victims of COVID?’. I think in a number of areas, business continuity (BC) was lacking when it came to responding to COVID and some may start to question the validity of BC.”