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Real-Time Crisis Management

Managing a crisis and its consequences is not business as usual. Standard approaches or management structures don’t work. You can’t wait for all the answers to take action. Instead, you must be ready to act swiftly, decisively, and responsibly to protect your company.

A crisis is a defining moment for an organization. Core management skills and organizational values are put to the test, business practices are exposed, and decisions are examined with 20-20 hindsight.

At times like these, you can rely on Marsh Risk Consulting’s (MRC’s) Reputational Risk & Crisis Management Practice.

Our team

MRC’s Real-Time Crisis Management team has deep experience helping clients through all stages of crisis planning, response, mitigation, and recovery. We have has extensive hands-on experience supporting clients during some of the most severe, high-profile events, whether physical (such as natural disasters, industrial accidents, violence, recalls, and fires) or non-physical (including litigation, data breach, investor activism, and even executive malfeasance). Our crisis consultants have been there, seen it first hand, and helped manage it. It’s what sets us apart.

Because a crisis can strike at any time and an immediate response is required, our consultants are available 24/7/365 to provide counsel and personalized support to your senior leaders or the Board. We can help you:

  • Manage the crisis.
  • Mitigate the potential damage.
  • Bolster confidence in your organization.
  • Protect your reputation.
  • Safeguard your business.

How we work with you

When faced with a crisis, organizations too often become paralyzed and are unable to make decisions and take timely action. Good crisis management establishes order and control. It helps you find the calm within your storm. It helps you identify immediate next steps while developing a long-term strategy to resolve the situation and protect your reputation.

Marsh’s global team of crisis management professionals assesses the issues through the eyes of your constituents: employees, investors, customers, regulators, legislators, partners, community, media analysts…even the general public. What are they seeing? What do they expect from you? Answers to those questions will guide your actions and the decisions you make. Carefully considering each of these groups helps you manage the event effectively and mitigate any potential damage or lasting impact.

Answering the call

Within moments of your first call to the Marsh Crisis Hotline, we are fully engaged. We can quickly dispatch resources to your offices, while other senior Marsh colleagues immediately begin to work with you by phone and e-mail.

Your fully coordinated team will coach you and fill in any gaps in your existing capabilities. We are at your side with crisis management experts who have the knowledge, resources, and processes to help you make the difference between adequacy and excellence in your crisis management efforts. We help you to:

  • Assess impacts and risks.
  • Develop your strategy.
  • Drive your response.
  • Communicate to stakeholders.
  • Deliver humanitarian assistance.
  • Conduct a post-incident review.


Assess impacts and risks. By conducting a careful analysis of "likely" and "worst-case" scenarios, we can help you quickly understand the potential scope and trajectory of the event. Critical in this stage is our ability to "connect the dots" to see what else is happening throughout the organization, and how the crisis may affect those plans. We use these findings to refine the strategy and actions on an ongoing basis.

Develop your strategy. In a crisis, the natural tendency is to take a defensive posture and react only to isolated events and specific issues. However, our experience has proven that everything is interrelated. We can help you develop and implement an actionable, forward-thinking strategy to help guide decision-making at all levels of the organization.

This approach includes proactive initiatives and preventive measures to mitigate the crisis and its impact in the first 24 hours, the first week, first month, and beyond. It encompasses orchestrating all your incident and site-level response actions, including legal, security, business continuity, emergency response, supply chain, and others. As new information becomes available and as stakeholder reactions are measured, we continually review the strategy to determine if adjustments are necessary.

Drive your response. An endless series of meetings will accomplish little and daily business demands can quickly be forgotten. Instead, we quickly:

  • Help assemble the right crisis management team, starting at the top, to direct your response.
  • Implement the decision-making framework and focus on prioritized issues and actions.
  • Identify and neutralize emerging risks that could further escalate the crisis.

Our senior consultants will be by your side at each step, providing on-site support, identifying issues of primary concern, and helping you manage every aspect of your response.

Communicate to stakeholders. Letting everyone know what and how you are doing it is crucial. Our consultants can help you define your stakeholder information needs, helping you deliver a consistent and credible story to all audiences. That influences their perception of your organization’s response to the crisis, and of your organization as a whole. We can supplement your existing corporate communications team and provide on-the-ground support with this function as well.

Deliver humanitarian assistance. Often, managing the emotional response to an event can be a major part of an effective crisis response. Helping employees cope with trauma and become productive again is critical to moving beyond the event. MRC can help put your humanitarian assistance program in place, and also provide counseling services to traumatized employees.

Conduct a post-incident review. Managing a crisis situation provides a powerful growth opportunity to improve your existing processes and procedures for the future. We can help facilitate a post-incident review to identify lessons learned, areas for growth, process improvements, and timelines to implement those changes.

Once the crisis is over and its potential impacts addressed, the focus must be on restoring the company to normal. This includes identifying and taking steps to repair any physical, financial, operational, and reputational damage.

Leverage all our resources

As part of the crisis management process, we may also draw on the vast resources of not just MRC, but other Marsh & McLennan companies, to offer expertise to help manage specific aspects of an event. Activities that may cover include:

  • Implementing a product recall.
  • Uncovering the cause of a data breach
  • Identifying risk across the enterprise.
  • Quantifying damage.
  • Improving operational effectiveness.

We can seamlessly integrate the resources you require to meet your immediate as well as long-term needs.

Are you covered?

Marsh is an approved vendor of real-time crisis management services by many of the major insurers, so a portion of our fees may be paid under your existing insurance coverage. Participating insurers currently include AIG/AIU, ACE, Zurich, Liberty, Travelers, Fireman’s Fund, and others.

While it is impossible to know exactly when a crisis may occur, the appropriate insight, preparation, and planning can help your organization survive an adverse event and, if properly managed, even gain competitive advantage.