Critical Event ManagementTop 4 Organizational Critical Event Responses in 2020

From environmental threats to public health matters, cyberattacks to social equality protests, the ongoing challenges faced by critical event response teams in 2020 spread far and wide.

Given the potential devastating effects of mishandling a reputational crisis, our Catalyst Technologies team looked at some of the most pivotal events of the year and rounded up the Top 4 Best Organizational Critical Event Responses.

Want to learn a thing or two about how to navigate your community through a critical event? Read on to check out the Top 4 best benchmarks from around the globe.


Top 4 Critical Event Responses in 2020

  1. COVID-19 Critical Event ResponseApple (COVID-19)

    From retail outlets to global supply chain facilities, Apple moved quickly to keep their people and places safe.

    After closing all international stores outside of the US in mid-March 2020, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations announced marked changes to production warehouse facility layouts, mandatory PPE, and health screenings for both staff and consumers alike.

    One of the first private retailers to take swift action before government mandate, Apple’s focus on proactive care and consideration saw the brand maintain 2nd place for global brand value in 2020.

  2. Ben and Jerry’s (Black Lives Matter)

    Known for social and political activism, Ben and Jerry’s response to the Black Lives Matter movement took a top-down approach.

    Founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were among the protestors arrested in Washington, D.C. while the CEO shared four key actions the company was advocating for including the creation of draft legislation to end racial violence.

    Praised as one of the best corporate responses to the Black Lives Matter movement, Ben and Jerry’s “Silence is NOT an Option” release shared the organization’s intrinsic values to communities worldwide.

  3. Netflix (Black Lives Matter)

    Quick review of the Netflix product portfolio saw a new genre added to the streaming services ‘Watch list’: Black Lives Matter.

    Curated to promote Black curators and Black history, the feature will be a permanent staple for the production giant and its’ 192 million audience members worldwide.

    Just one step of a 4-part response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Netflix’s positive sentiment increased by an average of 25% by their fourth public action committing $120 million USD to higher education institutes historically populated with Black students and students of colour.

  4. 2020 Protest - Critical Event ResponseFind a Bed Australia (Australian Bushfire Crisis 2019-20, COVID-19):

    Founded during the midst of the bushfire crisis as a resource to find emergency accommodation for those displaced by the fires, this volunteer community stayed together to support healthcare professionals needing to isolate away from their families throughout COVID-19.

    With over 6,500 offers of accommodation to date, this crisis response team navigated multiple critical events with clear communication options for those in need and significant support from both local and international communities.

Key Takeaways – Best Responses

Check out the ’Best of’ list again – see anything in common? We’ve noticed a few similarities in the way our bar-setters responded to their escalating events and how they kept their mission aligned.

  • Quick-fire Response: Our best responders implemented action plans and connected with their community as soon as relevant information was available.

  • Actions, Not Words: Our Top 4 organizations enacted response plans without waiting for government mandates or public pressure to do so. Guided by actions, not words, each of our leading examples substantiated their claims with committed, proactive steps.

  • Lead with Values: Teams that aligned action with intrinsic corporate values were among the key standouts.

“Align with Engaged Voices: Organizations guided by existing voices in the space best aligned with the needs of the community.”

When responding to a critical event, organizations can put their best foot forward with preparation and committed action.

To best streamline the steps needed to navigate hard times, we recommend digitalizing your emergency response plan and automating team tasks.

Want to simplify the steps needed to stay on top of a critical event? Check out these on-demand links to industry expert masterclasses to help your team automate your first response plans before the going gets tough.



  • The One Brief, 2020, Pentland Analytics, 2020
  • Statista, 2020
  • Bloomberg, 2020, Ragan Communications, 2020
  • Chicago Booth Review, 2020
  • Find a Bed Australia, 2020