The Practice of Public Relations

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The Practice of Public Relations

  1. 1. CHAPTER 9 ISSUES MANAGEMENT
  2. 2. QUICK QUIZ What’s the number one topic that PR people request in mid-career seminars? a.k.a. Crisis Management Issues Management Risk Communication Crisis Communication
  3. 3. “… the capacity to understand, mobilize, coordinate, and direct all strategic and policy planning functions, and all public affairs/public relations skills toward achievement of one objective: meaningful participation in public policy that affects personal and institutional destiny.” Public relations counselor W. Howard Chase defined it as: Define: Issues Management
  4. 4. Issues Management 5-Step Process Identify issues with which the organization must be concerned Analyze and delineate each issue’s impact on constituent publics Display the various strategic options available to the organization Implement action program to communicate the organizations views and influence perception on the issue Evaluate its program in terms of reaching organizational goals 1 2 3 4 5
  5. 5. Issues Management Anticipate emerging issues Plan from the outside in Deal from the top Identify issues selectively Maintain a profit-line orientation Deal with opportunities Develop an action timetable
  6. 6. OVERVIEW <ul><li>Identifying issues and trends </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluating issue impact setting priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing a company position </li></ul><ul><li>Designing company action and response to achieve results </li></ul>Job Tasks of Issues Management 4
  7. 7. QUICK QUIZ What’s involved in… <ul><li>Identifying issues and trends? </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional research methods </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on organization’s own geographical area </li></ul><ul><li>Stay informed about what is being said about the organization </li></ul>
  8. 8. QUICK QUIZ What’s involved in… <ul><li>Evaluating issue impact setting priorities? </li></ul><ul><li>Set up issues committees within the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Set up priorities within the organization </li></ul>
  9. 9. QUICK QUIZ What’s involved in… <ul><li>Establishing a company position? </li></ul><ul><li>Formal or informal processes </li></ul><ul><li>Position papers or policy statements by top managers </li></ul>
  10. 10. QUICK QUIZ What’s involved in… <ul><li>Designing company action and response to achieve results </li></ul><ul><li>Aim for integrated responses </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate various branch offices </li></ul><ul><li>Contact lobbyists </li></ul><ul><li>Speeches, advertising, and employee updates may be necessary </li></ul>
  11. 11. Health & Environmental Hazards “ Perception is Reality” High Level of Emotions “ Frequent & Forceful Communication is Necessary Let’s Discuss: Risk Communication
  12. 12. Recognize that risk communication is part of a larger risk management program—based on power, politics, and controversial issues. Steps to Planning a Risk Communication Program 7 Train management to deal effectively with the news media. Develop credible outside experts. Become an in-house expert to enhance your credibility with journalists. 3 2 1 4
  13. 13. Give the news media solid facts and figures BEFORE they approach you. Verify and double-check your data. Research the media’s and other publics’ perceptions of your organization to gauge credibility. Understand your target audiences and how the news can help you communicate effectively. 7 6 5 Steps to Planning a Risk Communication Program 7
  14. 14. MANAGING IN A CRISIS Warning signs that appear with crisis: Loss of Control SURPRISE! Insufficient Information Close Outside Scrutiny Siege Mentality Escalating Events PANIC
  15. 15. Managing in a Crisis 1 Define and understand the risk. 2 Describe the actions that might mitigate risk. 3 Identify the cause of risk. 4 Demonstrate responsible crisis management
  16. 16. WATCHWORDS <ul><li>Be Prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Be Available </li></ul><ul><li>Be Credible </li></ul>
  17. 17. NEVER say… “ No Comment” Public hears that as… “ Guilty!”
  18. 18. CARDINAL RULE for communicating in a crisis Tell it All and Tell it Fast!
  19. 19. Communicating in a Crisis <ul><li>Speak first and often. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t speculate. </li></ul><ul><li>Go off record at your own risk. </li></ul><ul><li>Stay with the facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Be opened and concerned, not defensive. </li></ul><ul><li>Make your point and repeat it. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t fight with the media. </li></ul><ul><li>Establish yourself as an authority. </li></ul><ul><li>Stay calm. </li></ul><ul><li>Be truthful and cooperative. </li></ul><ul><li>Never lie. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Develop a clear, straightforward position </li></ul><ul><li>Involve top management </li></ul><ul><li>Activate third-party support </li></ul><ul><li>Establish on-site presence </li></ul><ul><li>Centralize communications </li></ul>HINDSIGHT: Things Exxon Should Have Done 10
  21. 21. <ul><li>Cooperate with the media </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ignore employees </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the crisis in perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Position for the time when the crisis is over </li></ul><ul><li>Continuously monitor and evaluate the process </li></ul>HINDSIGHT: Things Exxon Should Have Done 10
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