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Handling Crisis: The Power of Protocol (2)

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Updated Crisis Communication Protocol presentation for the YMCA CMO Conference 9/20/19.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Handling Crisis: The Power of Protocol (2)

  1. 1. Bob “Pritch” Pritchard, APR, Fellow PRSA Kyle Golding, CEO / Chief Strategic Idealist The Golding Group
  2. 2. Basic Definition of a Crisis Surprise Threat Short Response Time
  3. 3. Basic Definition of a Crisis An organizational crisis is a specific, unexpected and non- routine event or series of events that create high levels of uncertainty and simultaneously present an organization with both opportunities for and threats to its high-priority goals. Ulmer, Sellnow, Seeger (2019). Effective Crisis Communication: Moving from Crisis to Opportunity
  4. 4. Key Components of a Working Definition Unexpected Non-routine Produces uncertainty Creates opportunities Threat to image, reputation or high-priority goals
  5. 5. Differentiating Risk Crisis Disaster Emergency
  6. 6. Defining the Environment Two Types of Crisis - Planned and Unplanned
  7. 7. Planned Crisis Sufficient notice to enable planning Have some control over timing of release Can usually rally the right resources
  8. 8. Unplanned Crises Little or no warning No control over timing  “Go with what you have”
  9. 9. Stages of a Crisis Initial reports (1)    Lack of reliable information    High state of confusion
  10. 10. Stages of a Crisis First reports (2)    Demands for action    Search for details/witnesses
  11. 11. Stages of a Crisis Sustainment (3)    Second Guessing    Causes/victims    Urban myth/conspiracy theories
  12. 12. Stages of a Crisis Milestones (4) Investigation/Charges/Indictments
  13. 13. Stages of a Crisis Anniversary (5)
  14. 14. Basic Truths The door always blows off at 1600…on Friday* Bad news, unlike a fine wine, does NOT get better with age Success is not totally dependent on natural talent
  15. 15. Timing is Everything  (Responses, that is) In General – Respond within one hour (if you can)   Long enough to enable fact gathering   Short enough to still be relevant
  16. 16. Timing is Everything  But what about the speed of Social Media?   Haters always show up first   Give your supporters time to fight for you   Ensure you give an official response
  17. 17. Basic Truths (2) Preparation for even unplanned crises starts well before the accident/incident Time spent preparing today…in the calm…pays off in the heat of the fray No matter how prepared you are…you will ALWAYS be surprised
  18. 18. Precursors for Success (1) Know your organization: be credible Know the news media and the art of communication Know your boss: Vision, Goals, Priorities Establish a good network within your organization
  19. 19. Precursors for Success (2) Stay ahead of the aircraft: Anticipate and plan ahead Follow-through Attention to detail The more people you communicate with the better
  20. 20. Precursors for Success (3) Give your boss the bad news early Keep your network humming with helpful information Take care of your people: Be a leader Feed your boss, so she can feed her boss
  21. 21. Precursors for Success (4) Be the “No!” person Don’t be afraid to say “But, Sir!” Find the time to train…that includes your Boss Focus on solving the problem…not the problem itself
  22. 22. The Basics (1) The door always blows off at 1600…on Friday!* Go ugly early! The first report is always wrong … the worse the report, the more wrong it is!
  23. 23. The Basics (2) If we don’t tell our side, who will? Don’t ever “Spin” Avoid, at all cost, the perception that you are covering up ANYTHING
  24. 24. The Basics (3) You can’t “jump-start” a dead press relationship… pour on the energy early
  25. 25. The Basics (3) There is no such thing as a timely wrong answer… you will be remembered for your inaccuracy, not your good intentions
  26. 26. The Basics (4) Wrong answers move at the speed of light… corrections move glacially While you’re worrying about the little things, don’t forget the big things We have more to fear from media ignorance than media malice
  27. 27. Some Specific Guidelines (1) Talk from the viewpoint of the publics interest, not the organization’s Speak in personal terms whenever possible If you do not want some statement quoted, do not make it State the most important fact at the beginning
  28. 28. Some Specific Guidelines (2) Do not argue with the reporter or lose your cool If a question contains offensive language or simply words you do not like, do not repeat them even to deny them If the reporter asks a direct question, give an equally direct answer
  29. 29. Some Specific Guidelines (3) If you don’t know the answer, say so…then say “ …but I’ll find out and get back to you.” If you can’t answer the question, say so and tell the reporter why
  30. 30. Some Specific Guidelines (3) Tell the truth, even if it hurts Do not exaggerate the facts
  31. 31. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis builds character
  32. 32. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis does not have any positive value
  33. 33. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis communication is about assigning blame and responsibility (on others)
  34. 34. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis communication is solely about getting information to stakeholders
  35. 35. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis communication involves taking a rigid and defensive stance
  36. 36. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis communication is about enacting elaborate prefabricated crisis plans
  37. 37. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis communication is about over-reassuring the public about the impact of the crisis to avoid panic
  38. 38. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis communication is about communicating only when new information is available
  39. 39. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis communication is primarily about managing the image or reputation of an organization
  40. 40. Misconceptions Associated with Crisis Communications Crisis communication involves spinning the facts surrounding the crisis
  41. 41. Navigating a Crisis Quick and Efficient Hint: The crisis plan is dead!
  42. 42. Definition of Protocol pro•to•col n. 1. The customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic, formality, precedence and etiquette 2. An original draft, minute or recording from which a document, esp. a treaty, is prepared 3. A supplementary international agreement 4. An agreement between states 5. An annex to a treaty giving data related to it 6. A plan for carrying out a scientific study or a patient’s treatment regimen 7. A set of rules governing the format of messages that are exchanged between computers v.i. 8. to draft or issue a protocol
  43. 43. Protocol v. Plan Protocol – Framework outlining processes and procedures   Does not describe how to respond, but why, where, when and by whom information is provided and disseminated   Focus on process obviates need to cover every eventuality   Streamlines response effort   Provides increased autonomy   Identifies training needs
  44. 44. Protocol v. Plan Plan: Step-by-step instructions   Focuses on how to respond   Doesn’t provide perspective   Can’t cover all eventualities   Obsolete as soon as written
  45. 45. Protocol v. Plan What Constitutes a Good Protocol? Clearly documented lines of accountability Clarity Brevity Incorporates organizational values
  46. 46. Elements of a Protocol  Intro Guiding principles Crisis Management Team procedures Establishing a communications command post Individual unit procedures
  47. 47. Ancillary Elements Crisis team contact information Emergency contact resources Equipment locations (A.E.D., etc.) Building information Individual incident and unit checklists
  48. 48. Group Discussion  (Think, Pair, Share) What types of incidents can you anticipate? List 3-4 basic philosophical tenants of your protocol. What individual units are likely to be involved? What information should those units provide?
  49. 49. Group Activity Using the provided template, begin to create a protocol and content outline for your individual branch.
  50. 50. Group Feedback Swap your draft protocol with another group Discuss the other group’s protocol and provide feedback
  51. 51. Have ???s - Contact Us. The Golding Group Bob “Pritch” Pritchard, APR, Fellow PRSA Kyle Golding, CEO / Chief Strategic Idealist Growth@TheGoldingGroup.com  This presentation: bit.ly/CrisisCommProtocol

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