What You Can Do to Protect Your Company Before a Crisis Strikes

Online Exclusive: Q&A with Stasia Kelly, counsel to DLA Piper's White Collar, Corporate Crime and Investigations Practice.

It's not much of a stretch to call 2010 the year of the corporate crisis. Toyota, BP, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs and HP--five very different major corporate players encompassing a wide range of industries--all confronted the same challenge: preserving their carefully crafted corporate images in the face of devastating publicity. From multiple product recalls to a massive oil spill to securities fraud charges to a C-suite scandal, crises of epic proportions dominated the news. Smaller image-breaking issues roiled other companies throughout corporate America.

Team Building

A fundamental step in crisis preparation is identifying the team that will manage any future crisis from inception to conclusion. The internal players differ from company to company, but typically include the senior management team, including the general counsel, and the heads of communications and human resources.

Hiring Help

Even the largest corporations, with hundreds of lawyers and dozens of PR professionals on staff, have to look outside for help in managing a crisis.

Teasing Out Risk

Chances are if you hire a public relations firm or a law firm's crisis management group to help you prepare for a crisis, they will start with an audit of your vulnerabilities.

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Healthy Tension

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Mary Swanton

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