Arsonists use accelerants to assure damage from their crimes. Sometimes nature provides accelerants for wildfires such as dry brush from a drought. Accelerants make fires worse than they might have been.
Your crisis may fall victim to accelerants – human-induced or naturally occurring. An example of a human induced would be activists taking an interest in your problem situation and exploiting your vulnerability to further their cause. What might have been just a minor issue to manage can flare into a full-blown crisis as they fan the flames.
PETA is crowing because Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down after 146 years. The company experienced 36 years of protest activity from animal rights activists. The big tent was brought down by a number of factors, but the company’s inability to deal with the animal treatment issues was a contributing cause.
In addition to activists, a common crisis accelerant is the social media. If your problem goes viral, you will have another dimension to deal with. The social media can keep the fires burning.
The social media also work in tandem with the traditional news media, bouncing your problem back and forth. The evening news will report on the posts that are trending and social media activity will spike after the news reports some newly discovered element.