Tools of the Trade: CrisisResponsePro Launches to Provide Collaborative Software and Content for Effective Crisis Response

Tool Allows Crisis Team to Unify, Respond Quickly to Immediate Crises

Despite the advances of the digital age, you still can’t advertise your way out of a crisis—but that doesn’t mean the entire marketing suite doesn’t need to be unified under PR’s leadership and prepared to respond quickly.Now, there’s a tool to help PR leaders coordinate under fire. Crisis and litigation communicationssoftware provider CrisisResponsePro has launched a web-based subscription portal that aims to bring the crisis communications team together, and provide content and a collaborative platform to respond quickly and effectively to immediate crises like physical accidents, data breaches and product recalls, as well as longer-term issues management in legal, regulatory and public affairs matters.

“In this media age, the right response can make the difference between a crisis that is managed and one that manages you,” said Jim Haggerty, founder of the new company, in a company release. “Whether communicating with internal or external audiences, CrisisResponsePro provides the tools and know-how that allow each member of the crisis team to make better decisions, faster, in the face of events or reputational attacks that have thrust them into the harsh light of public scrutiny.”

Haggerty is CEO of the new venture. Thom Weidlich, formerly of the crisis communications firm Sitrick & Company, and before that a reporter at Bloomberg News for more than seven years, has been hired as CrisisResponsePro’s chief content manager.

Built around the “Virtual WorkRoom” concept, CrisisResponsePro offers templates, checklists and a unique, searchable database containing thousands of public statements issued by other companies facing crises, lawsuits and other sensitive issues. Organizations can upload their own crisis plan, templates and response materials for easy access from any computer or mobile device. An alert function brings the team together via SMS and email to collaborate in the Virtual WorkRoom and store and view crisis-related documents in a secure, cloud-based DocVault.

The site also offers daily updated news and analysis of current crises, as well as best practices for anyone who needs to communicate, immediately and effectively, to media, investors, employees, and other key stakeholders.

“CrisisResponsePro is a subscription risk-management tool that is intuitive and easy to use, with no long-term commitment,” Haggerty said. “For about the price of a trade journal subscription, you can be up and running today, responding immediately to current issues, and planning for the next crisis your team will face.”

Secure Communications Platform

CrisisResponsePro is hosted on secure, private servers by Summitas, a creator of portals for the financial community. This allows CrisisResponsePro to deliver effective crisis communication with the highest level of security: NSA-level, 256-bit encryption in transit and at rest; password protection for all documents; secure, encrypted confidential messaging; two-factor authentication; and daily backup to multiple server locations with bank-level security.

CrisisResponsePro is designed for organizations of all sizes, along with public relations firms, law firms, and others called upon for advice and counsel during a crisis. Depending upon the crisis, business executives and PR departments can use CrisisResponsePro to reduce reliance on outside specialists. For more complex crises, outside advisors—such as lawyers and public relations counselors—can be added to a Virtual WorkRoom quickly and easily. Under development for more than two years, CrisisResponsePro is already being used by a range of clients, including large industrial and healthcare companies, retailers, a resort complex and a major nonprofit.

The start-up venture is funded with an investment from PR firm PRCG | Haggerty LLC, an internationally known communications consultancy specializing in crisis, litigation and other sensitive public relations issues. PRCG is owned by attorney and communications consultant James F. Haggerty, author of In The Court Of Public Opinion (ABA Publishing, 2009), which Financial Times called “…the perfect handbook for this age…” Haggerty’s new book, Chief Crisis Officer, will be published in late 2015.

“This tool doesn’t necessarily replace PR firms and crisis communications specialists—it just makes everyone better at what they do,” Haggerty said. “While there are plenty of products out there for emergency response, public notification and social-media engagement, a simple, secure, efficient tool to facilitate crisis communications just didn’t exist. So we created one.”

Subscriptions start as low as $299 per month for a Virtual WorkRoom and up to 4 users. New WorkRooms and users can be added at any time, with subscribers charged monthly based on the number of WorkRooms open and users accessing the system. Enterprise pricing is available for larger organizations.

Source: CrisisResponsePro; edited by Richard Carufel

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