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Risk Management Plan

What is a risk management plan?

Risk management is an ongoing business process used by management to identify, analyze, evaluate, and mitigate threats to the organization’s bottom line. The risk management plan goal is to identify potential problems before they occur and take proactive measures to reduce the threat and mitigate its adverse impact on the organization.

Threats can come from a number of sources, including the 16 categories that  ICM tracks in its annual crisis report:

  • Catastrophes
  • Casualty accidents
  • Class actions
  • Consumer Activism
  • Cyber crime
  • Defects and recalls
  • Discrimination
  • Environmental damage (man-made)
  • Executive dismissal
  • Hostile takeovers
  • Labor disputes
  • Mismanagement
  • Sexual harassment
  • Whistleblower
  • White collar crime
  • Workplace violence

In one best practice, risk managers conduct constant environmental scanning, assessing new threats and monitoring identified risks, reporting to management regularly.

Risk Management Plan

What is risk communication and how does it differ from crisis communication?

Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably.  For ICM, risk communication is part of a proactive strategy employed to address issues before they become a crisis.  Stakeholders may be at risk and need to make informed decisions and take actions to protect themselves and mitigate the effects of a threat– such as a severe weather threat.

Effective risk and crisis management teams follow basic principles of risk or crisis communication:

  1. Identify the risk and its potential impact on the organization.
  2. Develop a plan and take actions to mitigate.
  3. Inform key stakeholders to enable them to make informed choices.
  4. Measure communication effectiveness and modify as appropriate.
  5. Report effectiveness during debriefing and update plans accordingly.

How can ICM help you with your risk management plan?

ICM works with risk managers and members of the leadership team to assess vulnerabilities and identify specific risks that may be most likely or most impactful on the company should a crisis occur.  From there, ICM can develop a custom risk/crisis communication plan that includes playbooks for specific potential crises that pose the greatest potential for adverse impact on the organization.

The plan is designed to integrate with existing risk management processes and operational disaster response plans.


Deborah Hileman, SCMP
ICM President and CEO

CEO Expertise for Every Client

Deborah Hileman, SCMP, President and CEO. A  globally certified strategic communication management professional (SCMP), business leader, coach and consultant with more than 35 years’ experience in public and private companies and non-profit organizations, Ms. Hileman has led high-performing communications and marketing teams in health care, manufacturing, insurance and financial services, nonprofits and higher education. Her most significant areas of expertise include strategic communications planning and reputation/crisis management, change management, employee engagement and communication training.