"What, Me Worry?": Crisis and Media Training in 30 Slides (or less)

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This presentation provides a broad overview of how to communicate effectively in a crisis situation to the media and other others. It explores some of the basis tenets of crisis communications and what it takes to be a successful spokesperson for your organization. In particular, it examines the role effective messaging (key messages) plays in an organization's communication with its public via the news media as well as some of the fundamental rules to avoid trashing your reputation.

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"What, Me Worry?": Crisis and Media Training in 30 Slides (or less)

  1. 1. The Catevo Group “What, Me Worry?”Crisis & Media Training in 30 Slides (or less) Roger M. Friedensen, APR Vice President The Catevo GroupCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 1
  2. 2. A Starting Point . . . What comes to mind when you hear . . . Public Relations – Exxon Valdez? Crises What comes to mind when you hear . . . – Tylenol? Reputation Trashing 101 The Basics The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 2
  3. 3. But First, “Caveat Emptor” How do you eat an elephant? Public Relations One bite at a time – Today’s presentation is not even a bite, more like Crises a nibble . . . Reputation Trashing 101 The Basics The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 3
  4. 4. Square One … What is “Public Relations”? Public Relations “A communications function of management through which organizations adapt to, alter or Crises maintain their environments for the purpose of achieving organizational goals.” Reputation Trashing 101 The Basics The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 4
  5. 5. Public Relations Communications-based (& that’s two-way Public Relations communications) Starts at the top Crises Deals with change & adaptation Goal-oriented Reputation Logical part of today’s business Trashing 101 environment . . . The Basics The public has a stake in your biz (and your members’ biz) The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 5
  6. 6. So W Makes News? hat Good news, like: Public Relations – Expansions, openings, awards, events – Mergers, acquisitions Crises – New products, services, hires – Earnings, funding growth Reputation – High-profile visits Trashing 101 – Contributions, donations The Basics – Human-interest stories Bad news, like: The Bottom Line – Well, just about everything else . . .Crisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 6
  7. 7. Crisis? What Crisis? Any abnormal situation that interrupts normal Public Relations operations – Usually a surprise Crises – Results in lack of control – Potential to attract attention/scrutiny Reputation – Time-sensitive, time-intensive Trashing 101 – Threatens reputation, stability, finances, The Basics competitive position, project viability, etc. The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 7
  8. 8. Public Relations Crises So What’s Been a Crisis for You? Reputation Trashing 101 The Basics The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 8
  9. 9. Crises Natural disasters Public Relations Accidents (mechanical, human error) Legal or financial difficulties Crises Government actions Criminal activities Reputation Trashing 101 Employee incidents Environmental incidents The Basics High-profile events The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 9
  10. 10. Types of Crises Sudden Public Relations – Exploding – Immediate Crises – Demand attention Smoldering Reputation Trashing 101 – Building – Continuing The Basics The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 10
  11. 11. Rule #1You can’t manage a crisis, but Public RelationsYou can manage your response Crises Reputation Trashing 101 The Basics The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 11
  12. 12. Some Basic Guidelines Focus internally first Public Relations Be swift, direct & honest Always tell the truth – if you mess up, ‘fess up Crises Cover the bases Tell the bad news first – before you’re forced to Reputation Trashing 101 Stick to the facts – don’t speculate Be flexible, accessible & proactive The Basics Provide regular updates Stay focused on the goal (one-day story) The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 12
  13. 13. Message Mapping High stress changes the rules Public Relations – 80% missed through negative dominance Message mapping involves SMEs, Crises communication specialists and public policy, legal and management expertise Reputation Benefits of message mapping Trashing 101 – Helps ensure accuracy and follow-up through cross-section involved The Basics – Requires consensus – Yields organized and prioritized information The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 13
  14. 14. Message Mapping Identify and prioritize stakeholders Public Relations Determine specific concerns Analyze specific concerns for general concerns Crises Brainstorm with message-mapping teams Collect supporting data for each key message Reputation Trashing 101 – Three key messages (seven to 12 words) – Three supporting facts each The Basics Ask outside experts to test messages Plan delivery of messages and supporting The Bottom Line informationCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 14
  15. 15. Stakeholders Employees/families  News media Public Relations Members  NGOs Board of directors  Vendors Crises Neighbors  Contractors Emergency response  Customers Reputation Regulators (direct  Business leaders Trashing 101 contacts, PIOs, etc.)  Industry thought leaders Government leaders  Investors, analysts The Basics (appointed/elected)  Funders, donors Community leaders The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 15
  16. 16. Address Core Values Health & safety of selves, families Public Relations Value of possessions & property Environmental protection Crises Economic security “Quality of life” issues Reputation Trashing 101 – Pride in community, career, etc. – Absence of conflict The Basics – Freedom from fear The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 16
  17. 17. An ExampleWest Nile Virus Message Map Public RelationsStakeholder: Citizens of a community threatened by the virusQuestion: How can we protect ourselves?Key Message: Key Message: Key Message: Crises“Remove standing “Wear Protective “Use Insect Repellant”water” Clothing”Supporting Fact 1.1 Supporting Fact 2.1 Supporting Fact 3.1 ReputationOld Tires Long Sleeves Deet Trashing 101Supporting Fact 1.2 Supporting Fact 2.2 Supporting Fact 3.2 The BasicsFlower Pots/Bird Baths Long Pants 23%Supporting Fact 1.3 Supporting Fact 2.3 Supporting 3.3Cat/Dog Dishes Dusk and Dawn No Substitutes The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 17
  18. 18. Powerful Key Messages “Ultimately, the number is more than we can Public Relations bear. I believe from this tragedy the city, nation and world will become stronger. Stronger economically, politically and emotionally.” Crises – Fo rm e r N w Yo rk M y o r Rud y G iulia ni e a “Clearly the events of the past several weeks Reputation Trashing 101 have generated a great deal of media interest; however, HP hasn’t lost its focus on what is The Basics most important: our customers and our partners and our employees.” The Bottom Line – M ha e l M e lle r, HP s p o ke s p e rs o n ic oCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 18
  19. 19. Credibility is the Key Three components of credibility Public Relations – Trust – Expertise Crises – Dynamism It all starts – and ends – with trust Reputation Trashing 101 The Basics The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 19
  20. 20. 10 W to Trash a Reputation ays1. Wait till the last minute: why prepare now if it Public Relations may not happen at all?2. Ignore your employees or members: it’ll just Crises distract them3. Ignore the media: heck, they’ll just twist the truth anyway Reputation Trashing 1014. Play by your rules only: why give a hoot about what anyone else wants? The Basics5. Never accept responsibility or apologize: my lawyer always knows best! The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 20
  21. 21. 10 W to Trash a Reputation ays6. Ignore emotions: feelings are for wimps – Public Relations Facts Rule!7. Cooperate only when you really have to: Crises keep your head down & your mouth shut.8. Provide only the bare minimum: why invite confusion with details? Reputation Trashing 1019. Dazzle ‘em with jargon: if a little is good, then a lot is even better! The Basics10. Ignore it & it will go away… The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 21
  22. 22. And About the Media . . . Significant influence on public opinion Public Relations They determine what’s news, not you No obligation to make you look good Crises Objectivity for journalists ≠ objectivity for business Reputation Generally not biased unless given a reason (& Trashing 101 trained to be skeptical) The Basics May know little about your business Can’t report what they don’t know Helping them helps you The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 22
  23. 23. From the Horse’s MouthSam Donaldson, Ho ld O n M Pre s id e nt: r. Public Relations“Whe n p e o p le a s k m e ho w to g e t a fa vo ra bles to ry , Ite ll the m tha t y o u c a nt bribe m e , y o u c a nt Crisesintim id a te m e , y o u m a y be a ble to ba m bo o z le m e(but whe n Ifind o ut a bo ut it, I be m a d a s he ll), ll Reputationbut y o u c a n g e t the be s t s to ry p o s s ible by ta king Trashing 101m e s e rio us ly a nd le ve ling with m e . A us ua lly , it nd The Basicsis fa r be tte r to te ll the p re s s wha t y o u c a n if y o uwa nt to a vo id a ba d s to ry . " The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 23
  24. 24. From the Horse’s MouthA North Carolina business editor: Public Relations" The c o o p e ra tive ne s s o f a c o m p a ny a nd itsc o m m unic a tio ns o ffic ia ls ve ry m uc h a ffe c ts o ur Crisesc o ve ra g e . Co o p e ra tive c o m p a nie s a re like ly to g e tfa ire r tre a tm e nt in s to rie s be c a us e we re a ble to Reputationte ll bo th s id e s o f the s to ry . " Trashing 101 The Basics The Bottom LineCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 24
  25. 25. If You Remember Only Four Things Tell the truth – if you mess up, ‘fess up Public Relations Be conversational, but remember it’s not a conversation Crises – Keep emotions and ego in check Concise block answers built on: Reputation – Never speculate – focus on the facts as you Trashing 101 know them – Use key messages (<3) and sparklers The Basics – Use bridges Prepare & practice . . . then practice some The Bottom Line moreCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 25
  26. 26. The Bottom Line Accept & embrace the media and the inevitable crises – Public Relations you will have to deal with them eventually Include public relations early at the management table Crises Have crisis communications & issue-specific plans ready Retain strategic counsel to supplement internal team & provide objectivity Reputation Trashing 101 Consider professional spokesperson coaching Practice for the good times . . . and the bad The Basics Conduct your business in a way that minimizes the potential for crises and the disruption they bring The Bottom Line Remember: it won’t last forever (the good or the bad).Crisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 26
  27. 27. The Catevo GroupThank You!Crisis & Media Training in 25 Slides (or less) Roger M. Friedensen, APR rfriedensen@catevo.comCrisis & Media Training | AENC| 10.12.07© 2007 THE CATEVO GROUP CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR DUPLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION 27

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