What is Issues Management

Question Answer
What is Issue Management?
  • Organisations engage in issues management once a risk potential becomes a reality
  • The process of undertaking a risk assessment to control an outcome and prevent an issue from proliferating
  • It is important so the issue doesn’t become a crisis to recover from
  • It is important when building, repairing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders
What is the difference between an issue and a risk?


  • A risk is something that can escalate into an issue
  • An event or circumstance that can negatively affect a business or entity i.e. cause an issue or a crisis
  • It will have an impact on objectives
  • Common business risk categories are:
    • Financial
    • Environmental / Community
    • People
    • Operations
    • Reputational


  • Once a risk potential becomes a reality, it is an issue
  • A situation that draws the attention and concern of influential organisations and stakeholders
  • An issue will come before action if there is consensus that a business or entity is going to be affected by the escalation of the issue

What is post issue management?

– What does this mean?

– What is the relevance of this?

– Where will this info be going?

  • A post-issue review process?
  • This is a period of monitoring and reviewing of the risk management plan
  • Key performance measures are tracked to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign in an ongoing evaluative sense
  • This includes ensuring the control measures and insurance are adequate
What is an issue management plan?
  • A plan that identifies issues and provides direction for organisations to manage these issues, which may include: communicating with stakeholders, media briefings and utilising existing channels for communication, among other strategies
  • Essentially, this is made up of strategies for dealing with risks specific to a business or entity
  • It covers these steps:
    • Identifies the issue or risk of an issue occurring
    • Assesses the impact of the issue
    • Treats the issue
    • Monitors and reviews the issue


Issue Management - Flowchart


There is a wet, slippery floor in a shopping centre. This is a risk. One risk mitigation tactic would be for the centre to put out ‘slippery when wet’ signs or an announcement over the PA. An issue would be when an elderly woman slips and falls on the wet floor, is very unhappy, and threatens to take the story to a media outlet. At this point the issue can either be managed, or it could escalate. If the woman gains a lot of media traction on television and in local news outlets and there is a significant amount of social media backlash and threats of legal action, this is now a crisis.

A crisis is a major catastrophic incident.