NEW YORK—Hill & Knowlton is offering a new threat readiness audit (TRA), designed to help corporations bring their threat readiness and response capabilities in line with new realities related to the ongoing war on terror.

“The heightened awareness over terrorism has exposed weaknesses in corporate threat readiness,” said Richard Hyde, director of Hill & Knowlton’s U.S. crisis communications group. “Stakeholders expect more from crisis management these days, even in traditional crisis situations. If your response plan doesn’t take these increased expectations into account, not only will your stakeholders hold you accountable for not planning properly, but also the damage to your reputation will be more significant.

“The days of being able to sleep easily with just a crisis communications plan are over. Companies are facing a range, scope, and potential of threat never before contemplated—or at least taken so seriously. This means that the way they approach preparing for and managing these threats has to meet today’s increasing demands.”

The TRA is based on the concept that managing threats today require a multidisciplinary approach in order to immediately addressing the short and long-term concerns of stakeholders, while simultaneously focusing on business continuity.

Hill & Knowlton’s TRA examines key components of a company’s threat management plan. It addresses, among other areas: values-based decision-making; timely alert procedures; delineation of management responsibility; clarity in message development; efficiency in communications delivery; preparations for human care; linkages with public authorities; competency in business continuity planning; and sufficiency in security and technological safeguards.

When required, the capabilities of other qualified specialist firms, such as those in protective security, risk communication, and human side of crisis, can be tapped to address individual company’s needs.