Hot Topics: Management of controversial issues

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  • Hot Topics: Management of controversial issues

    1. 1. Hot Topics: Management of controversial issues Susan Emigh, McMaster University Kathryn Warden, University of Saskatchewan CCAE conference – June 9, 2009
    2. 2. Hot topics <ul><li>Potential areas of controversy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Animal research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nuclear reactors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Containment Level 3 (CL3) laboratories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stem cell research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vaccine development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage potential reputational risks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain and build profile </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Animal Research
    4. 4. Long history of animal use in science -- Louis Pasteur, rabies research, 1880s
    5. 5.   Public Campaigns Against Research Institutions <ul><li>Le tter-writing campaigns, public demonstrations </li></ul><ul><li>Threats, hoax bombs, character assassination </li></ul><ul><li>Doorstop firebombs against researchers, property destruction </li></ul>
    6. 6. Public Campaigns ...Internet <ul><li>“ If you care about animals, consider checking out where your alma mater or favorite university stands on animal research.” -- a column on World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week, April/2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Stop Animal Testing in Nova Scotia (August 2007 to now) </li></ul><ul><li>Stop dogs, cats and other animals from being murdered at Dalhousie University and other universities across Canada!! I saw what was going on to dogs and other animals at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The things I saw were extremely painful, archaic and scientifically valueless experiments. Drilling into cat heads and shining a flashlight into their exposed brains?. . . This work also was supported by the Medical Research Council of Canada….. -- Facebook </li></ul>
    7. 7.     Student animal rights group activities   Hosting an Animal Rights Event at the University of Saskatchewan! Written by Amanda Griffiths, a student at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. October 2008   So when I heard about the Carnival of Solidarity, I decided to set up a booth to raise awareness about the oppression of animals. I actually got a really great response, and several emails and names of students who would be interested in being part of an animal rights group in the future.  We had a TV and DVD player set up, playing the peta2 DVD as well as the movie Earthlings.  A couple of guys actually pulled up some chairs and watched.  They were horrified at the footage of the fur industry and the meat industries.  A few people said that they were going to go vegetarian after reading the information and seeing parts of the videos.  One girl said she was a vegetarian but that she was inspired to go vegan from now on!   A few of us are now seriously considering starting up an actual group on campus, which I’m really excited about!
    8. 8. Publicity Campaigns – General U.S. animal rights groups spend > $280M/yr
    9. 9. Public Campaigns . .Youth audiences
    10. 10. In Defense of Animal Research
    11. 11. Animal research <ul><li>The stories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pet dog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rick Mercer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gnotobiotic laboratory </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Issues reports <ul><ul><li>Name of issue: Report name and Date, Month, 20XX </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Report writer: Name and position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue: The topic in form of the question. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spokesperson(s) (Most often only one person) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Name, title that makes this person the relevant spokesperson for the educational institution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>University phone numbers, E-mail, other contact info (home or cell phone) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other resources: Names and contact information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Response : In point form, all follow-up items to the situation decided or confirmed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background : In point form, all the facts of the situation as known. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribution: Names of all people given report. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Animal research approaches <ul><li>McMaster </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Animal research ethics committee/policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low profile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues management (prepared Q&A) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in research </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Animal research approaches <ul><li>University of Saskatchewan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>proactive issues management – FAQs and backgrounder on website, media training presentations to communicators and CLC group </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Challenges and Opportunities <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within the research institute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Within the academic institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With specific support / interest groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With the public in general </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With youth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crisis Management Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Training on responding to activists; media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>dedicated spokespersons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key messages, Q & As </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Challenges and Opportunities <ul><li>Partnering With Supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Positive Relationships with Local Reporters </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking Local Animal Activist Groups & Individuals & Activities </li></ul>
    17. 17. Nuclear Research Reactors <ul><li>Eight research reactors in Canada: two at AECL's Chalk River Laboratories and six at universities. </li></ul><ul><li>The stories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tabloid TV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>McMaster </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>U of S </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The law suit </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. “ The Bigger Picture” in SK <ul><li>SaskBusiness | March 1, 2009:| </li></ul><ul><li>“ Saskatchewan's SLOWPOKE: unknown to many, Saskatoon has been home to nuclear reactor since 1981.” </li></ul><ul><li>Future reactors being explored at U of S </li></ul>
    19. 19. Nuclear research approaches <ul><li>McMaster </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proactive: Public tours, myth-busting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>University of Saskatchewan </li></ul><ul><li>Getting prepared (key messages, Q & As, communications plans (int/ext), energy forum, media training, op-eds, etc.) </li></ul>
    20. 20. Level 3 laboratory research <ul><li>The stories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smallpox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HIV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Level 3 laboratory approaches <ul><li>McMaster </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Human research ethics committee/ policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring what’s going on in field/ at university </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media training/ relationship building </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Level 3 laboratory research <ul><li>Coming soon … U of S International Vaccine Centre (InterVac) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>( slated for completion in 2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Letters – even from the Pope! </li></ul>
    23. 23. $140-M CL3 lab. . . InterVac <ul><li>Canada’s largest investment in vaccine R & D </li></ul><ul><li>first CL3 in Western Canada for both human and large animal diseases </li></ul><ul><li>one of the world’s few CL3 facilities for large animals ie. livestock </li></ul>
    24. 24. Level 3 laboratory approaches … <ul><li>University of Saskatchewan InterVac </li></ul><ul><li>-- Major 2-yr targeted profile-building plan -- media and advertising campaigns, video </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ambassador toolkits – internal and external </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media training for scientists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New approach to community engagement: </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. InterVac CLC -- Model for building trust Public forums, website, Q & A, fact sheet, incident reports, etc.
    26. 26. Hot topics summary <ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies/ ethics committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media products: backgrounders, Q and As </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proactive media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis management preparations </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Hot topics summary <ul><li>Questions and discussion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you had a hot research issue? </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Hot Topics: Management of controversial issues

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