Lost Missiles, Lost Messages Conclusions A supplement to study’s research proposal, which is also attached to the presentation
Crisis Communication • AFDD 2-5.3 emphasizes the important relationship between the Air Force and its stakeholders – Communication efforts bolster those relationships – Openness and transparency are necessary • In this case, policy got in the way of openness – “Neither confirm nor deny” • Maj. Gen. Newton exhibited stereotypical hostility toward media in press conference
Capabilities for Crisis Communication • In a crisis, normal rules no longer apply – Adaptability is required • HRO concept – Deference to expertise • Did leaders listen to recommendations from AFDD 2-5.3? – Decentralized decision-making authority • Who was choosing the key messages? – Evidence of organizational learning • Air Force got out ahead of the Taiwan incident
Effects on Air Force • Highest-ranking leaders fired • Strained relationship with key stakeholder groups – Congressional leaders – Local citizens/general public • Procedural changes implemented • Elite certifications revoked • Heightened media scrutiny
Discussion • Could an effective crisis communication plan have prevented any of these adverse outcomes?