Private investigators tend to be known for their work in the private sector: finding missing persons, helping to track down runaways, and investigating concerns of infidelity. However, most private investigators actually conduct a majority of work in the public and corporate sector, working with law offices, hospitals, and corporations to help with everything from case investigations to fraud convictions.
One of the most common ways that private investigators help corporate clients is by conducting corporate crisis management. This blog post discusses what corporate crisis management is and how private investigators effectively help corporations when they find themselves in crisis.
What are the most common Corporate Crises?
Corporate crisis management is any situation where the unexpected arrives in a corporate setting, but there are common examples that can arise multiple times within the life of a corporation. The most common examples of corporate crises are:
–PR crisis – Information is leaked to the media and the corporation is put on the defense.
-Internal employee crisis– An employee has somehow compromised the company’s integrity, either by stealing, lying, or divulging information to an outside source. A PR crisis can be it’s own separate crisis, but most other types of crises end up being a PR crisis too once the media gets word of the situation.
–Financial crisis– The company finds itself in a financial crisis such as bankruptcy. Financial crises affect everyone from the accounting department to sales reps and are usually linked to an internal crisis such as theft or fraud.
–Legal crisis– The corporation is being accused of breaking the law, or needs to sue a client or partners. Legal crises require special treatment because they need to include outside sources such as lawyers, opposing counsel, police officers, etc.
–Partnership crisis– A partnership within the corporation is breaking up, leading to conflict and confusion in the company.
If you find yourself faced with one of the types of corporate crises described above, you will immediately feel the need to:
Conduct a thorough investigation of the events that transpired, build a strong defense for yourself and your company, locate any untrustworthy sources (employees that have leaked information, etc.), and mitigate damages as much as possible. If there is any sort of legal issues involved, you’ll want to gather a better understanding of any laws and regulations that apply to your specific situation, and how your state and federal laws can help or hurt your position. You’ll also need to stay on top of deadlines and maintain communications with the various parties involved in the crisis. This is why corporate crises have such a devastating effect on the CEO and HR departments in companies, and why private investigators have become a more common accessory for dealing with these kinds of issues.
So how do private investigators help the corporation manage the stress and work that comes along with a corporate crisis? Most of the help comes from the resources and tools that private investigators have access to that allow them to conduct more thorough research on individuals and companies, as well as the individual investigator’s experience when it comes to dealing with legal issues in that particular geographical region. (This is one reason why hiring a local investigator that specializes in your city or area is important.)
Returning to the four types of corporate crises discussed earlier, here are the major ways in which a private investigator helps corporations in these specific circumstances:
PR Crisis- Private investigators can use their tools and experience to track down any individuals who are leaking information to the press, they can also help the corporation understand how they can legally and effectively craft a better public image. Private investigators are well-equipped to deal with issues of privacy and can help CEO’s and employees install and manage the security equipment that they need to stay private and safe, both on the computer and in their office.
Internal crisis– In the case of an internal crisis, a private investigator can help you to discreetly and thoroughly investigate and screen your employees to figure out exactly what happened. PI’s can also act as consultants on how to take next steps after a corporation discovers any instance of employee misconduct or theft.
Financial Crisis- Private investigators that specialize in forensic accounting are used to track down corruption or fraud within a corporation’s books, catch instances of employee theft, trace suspicious transactions or activities, and essentially find any issues that a corporation has with their finances. If a company is already bankrupt, a private investigator can help to give experienced advice while helping the corporation to maintain their privacy and know their options.
Legal crisis- When a company is in a legal crisis, a private investigator can help to do discovery on the opposing council in order to build a strong defense for the company and its leaders. Going into a legal battle without having all of the information is a dangerous step that corporations need to avoid. Private investigators can even run background checks on their own clients in order to understand what the opposing counsel might be trying to use against them. In general, it is a good idea to have the expertise of a private investigator to help bolster the attorney’s case when in any sort of legal battle.
Partnership crisis– As with a legal crisis, a private investigator can help to protect their client by doing discovery on the other partner in the arrangement and help to build a strong case that will protect the corporation’s privacy and interests.
If you have found yourself in a corporate crisis, you may want to consider if hiring a private investigator will help you to solve your problems faster and with more privacy and efficiency. Most private investigators tend to be reasonably priced and will give you a big return on investment if they help you to catch the one piece of information that will make or break your case.