a Crisis ?
A crisis can be a career ender or an
opportunity to excel; it can also be an opportunity for the organization's PR
function to build credibility or destroy whatever had accumulated. When the
crisis occurs, it's too late to start planning for it. This is when all the
months of prior planning and relationship building pay dividends. When a crisis
erupts, you must already know and understand your media.
Perhaps more importantly, you must have the confidence of the organization's
"dominant coalition" and be a member of it. Following are some keys to
Regardless of the source of
crisis be it a natural phenomenon, human activity or inactivity, no
matter what type it is destructive or not, it goes through several stages.
The number of
those stages differs, ranging between three and five. But the former are
unanimous in that crisis management involves all procedures, initiatives
and activities carried out "before", "during" and
"after" the crisis event.
A key word in crisis
management is "prevention" and concentration of primary
intellectual, moral, social and technological efforts during the period
before the crisis. The main goal is to prevent the effects which are
negative for people.
The skill of managing crisis
focuses simultaneously on their prevention and the possibilities for
their management once they have become a reality.
individual should be designated as the primary spokesperson to represent the
Company, make official statements and answer media questions throughout the
back-up to the designated spokesperson should also be identified to fill the
position in the event that the primary spokesperson is unavailable.
in front of a TV camera and with reporters. Preferably, skilled in handling
media, skilled in directing responses to another topic, skilled in identifying
key points, able to speak without using jargon, respectful of the role of the
reporter, knowledgeable about the organization and the crisis at hand Able to
establish credibility with the media, able to project confidence to the
audience, suitable in regard to diction, appearance and charisma, sincere,
straightforward and believable, accessible to the media and to internal
communications personnel who will facilitate media interviews, able to remain
calm in stressful situations.
addition to the designated spokesperson and backup, it can be anticipated that
other parties involved in the crisis; police, fire department, health officials,
etc., will also have a spokesperson. It is important to obtain the identity of
that individual as early as possible so all statements and contacts with the
media can be coordinated between the two individuals and their
organizations/interests whenever possible.
crisis situation is always difficult when dealing with the media. Therefore,
tough questions and rehearsals are necessary to help the spokesperson prepare.
you don't communicate immediately, you lose your greatest opportunity to control
events. (Attached is a fill-in the blanks news release that can be used with
little or no preparation as your first news release). Your first news release
should include at a minimum the who, what, when and where of the situation.
brochures or fact sheets about the company or the area in which the crisis has
occurred are helpful in informing the reporters or anyone else seeking
information about the company.
is a list of publics served by many public affairs or communications
departments. When you are working on a crisis consider what the most effective
method of communication would be for each group. Ensure that you communicate
with each group that is part of your audience.
log should be established to record all telephone calls from the media or other
parties inquiring about the crisis. This will help to ensure that the many
callbacks required are not overlooked. It will also assist in the post-crisis
of do`s and dont`s
To prepare for Broadcast Interviews
contingencies require quick response plans?
How should planning be conducted in order to assure unified action?
What are the desired elements of a quick response plan?
How can the information in the plans best be made available when needed?
capabilities will be needed to execute the plans?
should planning be conducted to assure unified action?
are the desired elements of a quick response plan?
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