The Difference Between Issues and Crisis Management

In the field of crisis public relations there is an important distinction between issues management and crisis situations.

Issues management involves assessing and proactively resolving any policy and communications issues that can negatively affect the public’s perception of a company or an organization. Crisis PR experts deal with sensitive issues on a daily basis, identifying them and determining strategic options for moving forward.

Crisis situations on the other hand are different. Unlike issues, crises pose a serious threat to a company’s reputation as soon as they arise. Crises are by definition unpredictable events that require an immediate reaction. This is why it is so important for every organization to have a designated person who could act as Crisis Manager in the event of an emergency.

Knowing the difference between issues and crisis management is important. In the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, any issue has the potential to escalate to the level of a crisis. Both situations require a quick and coordinated response, but need to be approached differently.

Take a close look at your company and identify any current issues that may potentially develop into a crisis. Be proactive: assign roles and responsibilities within your organization and write down procedures that should be followed during a crisis scenario.


Remember, the best way to minimize the financial and reputational damage in the event of a crisis is to have a comprehensive crisis PR plan in place at the ready. If your brand needs professional help with issues management, crisis preparedness or crisis mitigation, contact crisis PR experts at Red Banyan today.

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