The problem with a crisis is that as soon as one happens, there will be after-shocks, just as you get with an earthquake.
Once an organisation gets into crisis mode, it is very difficult to get out. Like an air-plane in a tailspin (an unfortunate comparison given recent tragic accidents, but a good one) the more difficult it is to stay level.
Take Facebook which continues to struggle from crisis to crisis following the initial revelations some years ago that its data was being used by politicians to help them win elections.
Its latest effort is to commit to privacy – well it’s a bit late and I don’t see Facebook’s advertisers jumping and down with joy as the prospect of not being able to get key data on its customers.
Anyway, they will have a credibility problem. The problem is that no one believes that the Facebook leopard can change its spots no matter how many millions they throw at it in advertising.
And the spiral has come back to bite Volkswagen this week with an unfortunate phrase used by its Chief Executive: ‘EBIT macht frei’. This unfortunate phrase was very similar to the slogan at the gates of concentration camps: ‘Arbiet macht frei’ – works sets you free. I’m not sure about Earnings Before Tax and Interest (EBIT). Humble apologies have probably saved his skin
And of course media had a field day digging up VW’s past from its foundation by Hitler through to emissions scandals.
And finally, poor old British Airways which has taken a battering over computer problems took to blaming a sub-contractor airline because its flight ended up in Edinburgh rather than Düsseldorf where the passengers thought they were heading for.
If its says BA on the tail-fin, on your ticket and on you credit card statement, then it probably is BA. Best to own up.
So, be careful of that spiral.