Organizations want to avoid negative media or public attention that will harm their reputation and brand. One way to minimize damage from an incident is to have an understanding of the phases your about to enter into in your crisis;
When someone in an organisation discovers a critical situation, they usually bring it to the attention of their supervisors. This is known as either the pre-crisis warning or precursor. At this point in time, the critical situation is known only inside the organisation and is not yet visible to the general public.
A crisis moves from the pre-crisis to the acute stage, when it becomes visible outside the organisation. At this point in time, managers have no choice but to address it. It is too late to take preventative actions as any action taken now is more associated with damage control.
The chronic stage, usuallly the longest of the four, is where litigation occurs, media exposes are aired, internal investigations are launched, government oversight investigations commence and so on. This can go on for years or in some cases never ends.
The final stage of crisis management is when things begin to return to normal. Effective resolutions for the situation are put into practice, and if they go as planned, the incident begins to fade from the spotlight.
It's important to remember, when you can't get your hands on the information you need in a crisis, or when the information you have isn't appropriate, you can miss opportunities and your performance drops. As it happens, the information management ability organisations need to succeed is already within their grasp.