Crisis Communications FACC Institutional Advancement ...


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  • Mr. Aylor’s house is depicted by the red star throughout this briefing. Remember that the distances references in later slides are from Patrick’s Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) navigational aid (NAVAID) located approx at the intersection the two runways and NOT from the end of the runway.
  • The blue dotted lines show Patrick’s class “D” airspace. Yellow depicts “congested” areas as defined by the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation’s VFR Sectional Chart. **Notice the tangent lines between Patrick Tower and Melbourne IAP airspace. Instead of having a full 5.4 mile radius it shortens down to 4.2 miles to the south where it butts up against Melbourne.
  • The FAR is the governing directive for all commercial, private and military aviation. Mr. Aylor does not live in a congested area. The 500 ft minimum altitude does not apply because the noise complaints are during takeoff and landing. The bottom line here is that these minimum safe altitudes DO NOT apply.
  • Distances based off of the Patrick TACAN located in the middle of the field.
  • Going East from Runway 02----no problems (open ocean) Going East from Runway 20 - Noise abatement area over 45 MDG and Tortoise Island - Must not encroach into Melbourne IAP airspace
  • Going West from Runway 02 - Must account for tower/antenna obstruction to the north Going West from Runway 20 - Noise abatement area over Tortoise Island - Must not encroach into Melbourne IAP airspace
  • Arriving to Runway 02 no problem from open ocean Arriving to Runway 20 - Noise abatement area at 45 MDG and Tortoise Island - Avoid Melbourne IAP airspace
  • Crisis Communications FACC Institutional Advancement ...

    1. 1. Crisis Communications FACC Institutional Advancement Commission Conference Ken Warren 45 th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>What is a crisis? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you plan effectively for crisis situations? </li></ul><ul><li>How should an organization respond to a crisis? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you know if your response was adequate? </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul>
    3. 3. Crisis: 1. An unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending—with the distinct possibility that a highly undesirable outcome has occurred, is occurring or may occur 2. The critical phase of a situation that threatens the integrity, reputation, viability or stability of an organization 3. A legal dispute, accident or manmade disaster that could be attributed to your organization and requires it to respond in some fashion. What is a crisis?
    4. 4. What is a crisis? <ul><li>A situation where in the eyes of the media or general public your organization didn’t react in the appropriate manner. </li></ul><ul><li>5. When the excrement hits the fan and there are TV cameras and microphones pointing in your direction, congressional staffers are calling and there’s no place to hide </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is a crisis? <ul><li>What can prompt a crisis: </li></ul>Unethical Behavior Hazardous Material Spills Congressional Inquiry Downsizing 60 Minutes, 20/20, Nightline Discrimination Rocket/Satellite Failures Death/Injury (employee/customer) Pollution Cost Overruns Layoffs Contamination Lawsuits Bankruptcy Labor Problems Aircraft Crashes Indictment Acts of God Hostage Taking Accidents
    6. 6. Recent Crises <ul><li>Delta II/GPS explosion, January 1997 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Debris rains down on Cape </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cassini protest at CCAFS, October 1997 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hundreds march in protest of nuclear-powered spacecraft launched on Titan IV rocket </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Titan IV explosion, August 1998 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Billion dollar rocket & satellite explode over Cape </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Titan IV Centaur Upper Stage failure, April 1999 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$800 million dollar satellite placed in useless orbit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Titan IV Inertial Upper Stage failure, April 1999 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$250 million dollar satellite placed in useless orbit </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Water leaks into launch complex; damages $60 million GPS satellite, May 1999 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sparked questions about AF’s stewardship of critical space assets at CCAFS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Civilian dies in plane crash at CCAFS, June 1999 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raised security issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Patrick AFB pararescue specialist dies after heroic rescue at sea, December 2001 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First 920 th Rescue Wing member to die in line of duty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A1A closed due to terrorist concerns, Sept 2001-Jan 2002 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Put squeeze on businesses and commuters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seven astronauts perish in Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, February 2003 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Put DoD’s recovery operations under international spotlight </li></ul></ul>Recent Crises
    8. 8. Can You Plan Effectively for a Crisis? <ul><li>Two postures you can be in when a crisis occurs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepared or unprepared…so PREPARE!! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop and rehearse a crisis management plan that involves the senior leaders of your organization and all who might be involved in a wide variety of crisis situations that might be general in nature or peculiar to your organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That plan should include written guidelines on how you’d respond to specific types of contingencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You need to determine what types of crises you’re most likely to face and go from there </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>We have “crash kits” with blank news releases and checklists covering actions for the various contingencies we’d expect, as well as generalized situations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hurricanes, rocket mishaps, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, bomb threats, on-base disturbances, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fact sheets, bios and phone numbers are also included </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We have four of these crash kits because during a crisis, we normally send PA reps to three locations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Battle Staff in the Wing Operations Center </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Disaster Control Group or Initial Response Force at the scene of the mishap </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Unit Control Center in the PA Office </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And a spare kit, just in case </li></ul></ul></ul>Planning
    10. 10. Planning <ul><li>In the Air Force, we believe that practice is the best way to prepare </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We have about one base-wide exercise a month to rehearse our crisis management procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nobody likes it, but we all know it’s worth it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many of these exercises involve recalling personnel after duty hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recall rosters and knowing how to contact people are critical—you never know when a disaster might occur </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We simulate as little as possible because we want to keep it real as much as possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most recently we had a mass casualty exercise at our Tracking Annex in Palm Bay </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Planning <ul><li>We aced that exercise because we were prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Our crash kits were up-to-date with fresh recall rosters, key phone numbers, fact sheets, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>We’d conducted media training for key people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the Air Force we conduct training locally or send senior leaders to the Pentagon or AF Academy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We’d previously determined where we’d have a media operations center—not always necessary </li></ul><ul><li>It’s all about developing guidelines and procedures and practicing them regularly. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Planning <ul><li>Key items to remember when planning: </li></ul><ul><li>1 st and foremost goal is to account honestly to the American people </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd goal is to protect the integrity and reputation of the U.S. Air Force </li></ul><ul><li>Never lie, deny or try to hide your involvement </li></ul><ul><li>If you ignore the situation, it will only get worse </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind that people tend to remember what they heard first and last </li></ul>
    13. 13. Planning <ul><li>Always admit mistakes up front and begin doing whatever is necessary to re-establish credibility and confidence with internal and external audiences </li></ul><ul><li>One of the first responsibilities of crisis communication team should be determining the appropriate message to address the situation—ID potential crises and have some canned messages ready to go </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t communicate immediately, you lose your greatest opportunity to control events. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Planning <ul><li>A crisis situation is always tough when dealing with the news media. Therefore, tough questions and rehearsals are necessary to help the spokesperson(s) prepare. We call it a “murder board.” </li></ul>
    15. 15. Planning <ul><li>It’s better to over prepare than be surprised by the depth of questioning from the news media. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Planning <ul><li>Tips for Working with the Media </li></ul><ul><li>Always do what you can to make a complicated issue as simple as you can for reporters. </li></ul><ul><li>All media should be treated equally. Remember, they’re all after the scoop. They all want a different angle than the reporter standing next to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop strong relationships with the media before a crisis happens. </li></ul><ul><li>Always return their calls promptly. </li></ul><ul><li>Let them talk to the people in charge. </li></ul>
    17. 18. Planning <ul><li>Picking and Training Right Spokesperson(s) is Critical </li></ul><ul><li>Should be vitally involved in the situation </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledgeable about the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Comfortable in front of TV cameras and with reporters </li></ul><ul><li>Articulate, able to speak without using jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Projects confidence, sincerity </li></ul><ul><li>Able to remain calm during stressful situations </li></ul><ul><li>Respectful of the role of reporters </li></ul><ul><li>Remember Sheriff Moose! </li></ul>
    18. 19. Planning <ul><li>Can’t stress planning and practicing enough </li></ul><ul><li>In today’s world, it’s not a question of whether a major crisis will strike an organization. It’s a matter of when, which type and how. </li></ul><ul><li>As depressing as it may seem, there is no alternative but to prepare for crises. </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipate and prepare for the worst. </li></ul><ul><li>The worst crisis is the one you’re not prepared for! </li></ul>
    19. 20. Responding to a Crisis <ul><li>Generalized Checklist </li></ul><ul><li>Form your crisis management team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Come up with plan of action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Detail your messages and who needs to hear them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and train spokesperson(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If necessary, set up a 24-hour news media ops center and a crisis hotline </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Give info about the situation to state, local and other officials responsible for informing the public and media </li></ul>
    20. 21. Responding to a Crisis <ul><li>Anticipate public concerns and issue news releases and/or have news conferences before such concerns distort public perceptions and reality </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain a central log to track all events </li></ul><ul><li>Alert switchboard to direct all media and public calls to the media center </li></ul><ul><li>Drink lots of coffee and keep the No-Doze handy </li></ul>
    21. 22. Responding to a Crisis <ul><li>The good news is that it’s great to be prepared, the bad news is that no matter how hard you prepare you’ll never be able to anticipate everything. </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless: prepare and practice, practice, practice. </li></ul><ul><li>In the Air Force, our goal is to have our messages prepared and our ducks lined up so we can make an initial release not more than one hour after the mishap or situation occurs that creates the crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>We strive to be proactive. </li></ul><ul><li>We view crisis management as a strategic necessity. </li></ul>
    22. 23. Responding to a Crisis <ul><li>In the tape I played for you, you saw how the 45 th Space Wing responded to a Delta rocket blow up </li></ul><ul><li>That happened about three months before I got here, but what I want to do is a brief case study on a crisis that we faced in April 1998—the failure of a Titan IV rocket’s upper stage to put an $800 million dollar military communications satellite into its proper orbit… </li></ul>
    23. 24. Mission Failure—April 30, 1999 <ul><li>Titan IV-B launched from CCAFS that morning carrying an </li></ul><ul><li>$800 million satellite </li></ul><ul><li>About five hours into the flight, controllers noticed that a </li></ul><ul><li>scheduled burn of the Centaur Upper Stage did not occur </li></ul><ul><li>This left the satellite in an unplanned, useless orbit </li></ul><ul><li>The news media was standing by for confirmation that the </li></ul><ul><li>mission was successful </li></ul>Crunch Time!
    24. 25. What we did at “Crunch Time” <ul><li>This crisis scenario already envisioned </li></ul><ul><li>Fill-in-the blank releases already done </li></ul><ul><li>Senior spokespersons already trained; still did quick murder board to go over specifics of this situation </li></ul><ul><li>Unit Control Center set up in PA Office </li></ul><ul><li>Initial news release distributed within an hour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone calls made to key media reps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handled more than 100 media queries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>News conference done within four hours </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Logistics for news conference already planned, no hassle getting it set up </li></ul></ul>
    25. 26. What we did at “Crunch Time” <ul><li>Set up media ops center in Building 401 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosted 20 reporters who filed stories from there </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Got word out to global audience that although this mission failed, the MILSTAR constellation was still healthy and capable of supporting America’s warfighters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimately responded to over 250 media queries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NY Times, Washington Post, major TV networks, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Florida Today, Aviation Week, Space News and more covered this </li></ul></ul>
    26. 27. What we did at “Crunch Time” <ul><li>Exposed media reps to most senior AF spokespersons available throughout the process to maintain credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Generated follow-up news releases almost daily for the first week after mishap—even if there wasn’t really anything new to say </li></ul><ul><li>Ensured that efforts to include perspectives of potential stakeholders were focused on in our communications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HQ Space Command, 45 th Space Wing, SMC, Lockheed Martin, TRW all had input—helped convey message that America’s aerospace team was strong and united in spite of this major setback </li></ul></ul>
    27. 28. How did we do? <ul><li>In planning for this contingency, we asked ourselves how we’d measure success in terms of crisis communications </li></ul><ul><li>Among other things, we decided that these were the primary criteria we’d look at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did our messages get out quickly to all those affected/interested? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Were all the appropriate players involved? Did we use the right spokespersons? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Were the ensuing reports accurate and widespread? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Were the news media reps (our customers) satisfied with how we handled things? </li></ul></ul>
    28. 29. How did we do? <ul><ul><li>Did the story grow legs, take on a life of its own, or go on longer than it should have? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How did our employees rebound from this crisis? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Was the American people’s trust in us to perform our mission irreversibly damaged? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How much harm did this failure have on the Air Force’s standing with Congress? </li></ul></ul>Be Honest in Your Self-Evaluation: We tried to be!
    29. 30. Report Card <ul><li>In the final analysis, we did pretty good </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Messages got out very quickly, within an hour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top leadership involved from the start; spokespersons performed admirably </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports were widespread, fair and balanced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media reps told us prompt and proactive handling of situation provided them opportunity to hit streets running with official info from the start; dramatically mitigated potential for reporting errors and unbalanced reports. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actions defused another potential negative media frenzy within 48 hours and shifted some focus from negative “Lost in Space” types of reports to the effectiveness of the constellation already on-orbit </li></ul></ul>
    30. 31. Report Card <ul><ul><li>Our employees responded well to our communications and what they saw in the media; rededicated themselves to proving they were the world’s finest space launch team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>While we lost some of the public’s confidence, ultimately we believe by being up front about the mishap and later its causes, that the public stuck by us </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress commissioned several studies, but continues to provide adequate funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A great deal of our current success is based on the fact that we were open and up-front about the mishap. </li></ul></ul>
    31. 32. Summary <ul><li>Defined crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Talked about planning and practicing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: What are the three most serious potential crises my organization could experience? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then come with guidelines and procedures and practice, practice, practice. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discussed responding to crisis situations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The initial responsibilities for crisis managers are fact finding, analysis, damage control and communicating. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don’t communicate immediately, you lose control. Never try to hide anything. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Touched upon analyzing your crisis communications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take your lumps and put lessons learned to work </li></ul></ul>
    32. 33. Questions?