LAHORE In Asia, the worlds fastest growing region for manufacturing, two-thirds (67 per cent) of business decision-makers surveyed say they have experienced a crisis, with product safety issues ranking as the predominant source. In the coming year, a majority (53 per cent) expects to have a product safety crisis, and two-thirds say digital and social media have driven up the cost of crisis. However, only 64 per cent of respondents say they have a crisis management plan, and 58 per cent believe there are gaps in their plan. These are some of the top findings in a new Digital Crisis Communications Study released by Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, and its sister firm Penn Schoen Berland, a global research-based consultancy. With so many senior business leaders predicting a crisis with digital dimensions for their company and admitting their current lack of readiness, there is an urgent need for organizations in Asia to protect themselves by putting into place a modern crisis communications infrastructure, said Bob Pickard, Burson-Marstellers Chief Executive for Asia-Pacific. Social technology creates the power to make any local crisis explode onto the global stage, so every company needs to know what to do when things go wrong and this can only be achieved through planning and simulation before incidents occur. Key findings from the study include: 81 per cent of business decision-makers in Asia say new media is playing an increasing role in driving reputation during a crisis; 70 per cent say the rise of digital communications has increased their companys vulnerability to crisis; 66 per cent believe new media, including social media, has significantly increased the costs of a crisis; 58 per cent believe after a crisis, new media, including social media, has made it easier to recover from a crisis; Product safety (40 per cent). and online/digital security (35 per cent) are perceived as the greatest risks to reputation; 75 per cent created their crisis communications plan after experiencing a crisis. The study also found companies in Asia consider preparing for a crisis difficult because of the need to respond quickly, increased public demand for transparency, and the globalized nature of communications.