Damage Control


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This is a presentation about how to manage issues, crises and rebuild your company's reputation afterward.

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Damage Control

  1. 1. DAMAGE CONTROL How to monitor issues, manage crises and rebuild your company‘s reputation. By Zach Burton and Rodger D. Johnson Department of Communication Studies IUPUI
  2. 2. Issue Management Overview • Issue Identification • Environmental scanning. • Identify issues and trends as potential roadblock to an organization‘s business plan and goals. • Conduct a vulnerability analysis. • Planning. • Communicating. • Issue Life Cycle • Potential • Emerging • Crisis • Dormant
  3. 3. Definitions • Issue Management • The systematic management of trends that may affect your organization. • Crisis Management • The systematic management of metastasized issues that will fundamentally change your organization. • Emergency Management • The systematic management of an issue that will not affect a fundamental change in your organization‘s operations.
  4. 4. Issue Management Case Study: Mobil Oil‘s Editorial-Advocacy Campaign
  5. 5. Issue Management • What‘s an issue? • Any environmental thing that could impact your organization. • Issues that affect organizations can represent a gap between practice and stakeholder expectations.
  6. 6. Issue‘s ―Life Cycle‖ • Potential • Organization attaches significance to perceived problem. • Political/Regulatory. • Economic. • Social trend. • Emerging • Lines drawn in the sand. • Organizations use proactive media strategy to manage issue in the marketplace of ideas.
  7. 7. Issue ―Life Cycle‖ • Crisis • Positions solidify; groups seek resolution. • Pushed into public policy arena. • Clear and present public scrutiny and media attention intensifies. • Resolutions • Clear ―winners‖ and ―losers.‖ • Organization accepts the ―current‖ status of issue resolved. • Issue goes ―dormant‖ until the next trigger and flash point ignites it again.
  8. 8. Issue Management Case Study: Mobil Oil‘s Editorial-Advocacy Campaign
  9. 9. Editorial-Advocacy Campaign • Classic issue management. • Focused almost exclusively on efforts to influence political and social outcomes. • Many, but not all, editorials focused on petroleum and other energy matters. • Ad Forum called Mobil ―the leading practitioner in ‗issue‘ or ‗advocacy‘ advertising.‖ • Fortune magazine called Mobil ―the champ of advocacy advertising.‖ • Mobile engaged public conversation • Responded to criticisms of its motives. • Called voters to turn Carter out of the White House. • Promoted energy crisis could have been elevated with ―strong and wise political leadership.‖ • Referred to Ronald Reagan • Neo—conservative leadership
  10. 10. Editorial-Advocacy Campaign • Promote interests that went far beyond its immediate business objectives. • Robert Heath called it the ―feistiest‖ advocacy campaign to date. • There is a season and time for every purpose. • Siege economy in America. • Deep recession • Energy shortage • Rising fuel prices • Double-digit inflation • Crumbling industries • Mobil used The New York Times Op-Ed pages, weighed in on the issues. • Classic issue management.
  11. 11. Action Plans Planning suggestions for issue management and engaging the marketplace of ideas.
  12. 12. Action Plan • Research • Environmental scanning. • Gather intelligence and analyze. • Draft background briefing material. • Identify groups and opinion leaders who can advance your position. • Identify desired behaviors and outcomes. • How do you want the stakeholders and public to think about and react to the key issues? • Plan • Create issue database. • Conduct vulnerability analysis. • Draft background briefing material. • Media relationship management.
  13. 13. Action Plan • Execute • Deploy resources to engage issue. • Disseminate messages to create desired effect. • Explain and defend the organization publicly. • Establish contacts with key stakeholders. • Build rapport with key groups. • Government • Regulatory. • Media • Strategic publics. • Assure excellent inward and outward information flow. • (Everyone should be on the same page.) • Evaluate
  14. 14. Crisis Management Damage Control
  15. 15. Crisis Management • What to expect in a crisis. • Surprise. • Insufficient information. • Escalating flow of events. • Loss of control. • Increasing scrutiny. • Public • Governmental • Media • Threatens the organization‘s reputation and how it does business. • Challenges human, physical and financial resources.
  16. 16. Crisis Management • Four elements. • Trigger – unexpected event. • Treat – human lives, property, natural environment, etc. • Uncontrolled situation – beyond the control of organization‘s ―normal‖ management team. • Urgent • ―You can‘t wait until next week to deal with this.‖ • Fred Bagg, St. Francis Hospital.
  17. 17. Image Repair Where do we go from here?
  18. 18. Image Repair • Denial • Did not do it. • Events caused by someone (thing) other than organization. • Evasion of Responsibility • Provocation – responded to an act of another. • Defeasibility – lack of information or ability. • Accident – act was a mishap. • Good intentions – meant well, but.
  19. 19. Image Repair • Reducing effectiveness of event. • Bolstering – stress positive attributes. • Minimization – act not serious. • Differentiation – act less offensive. • Transcendence – more important considerations. • Attack accuser – reduces credibility of accuser. • Compensation – reimburse victim. • Corrective action – plan to solve and prevent problem in the future. • Mortification – apologize.
  20. 20. Your PR Guy For more information: Your PR Guy Rodger D. Johnson, MA (317) 908-5850 www.yourprguy.com
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