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Crisis And The Ceo


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Crisis And The Ceo

  1. 1. Risk Communications Counseling the Top Dog Presented by Dan Keeney, APR DPK Public Relations February 27, 2009
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Crisis fundamentals </li></ul><ul><li>The role of public relations </li></ul><ul><li>How we sometimes contribute to a crisis getting worse </li></ul><ul><li>Inside the mind of a CEO </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul>Your Company PR
  3. 3. The Fundamentals <ul><li>The three components of crisis communications are crisis planning, response and recovery </li></ul>
  4. 4. Crisis Planning
  5. 5. Fundamentals: Define It <ul><li>A crisis is an unexpected and uncontrolled event or series of events that disrupt normal operations for a prolonged period and cause unwanted public scrutiny </li></ul>
  6. 6. Planning: Keep the Plan Simple <ul><li>The process of planning involves an objective inward-assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine operations and processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate and catalogue assets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good plans can be hundreds of pages </li></ul><ul><li>Better plans are just a few pages </li></ul>
  7. 7. A Crisis Plan that Works <ul><li>“ One of the first things you learn is you have to have a plan in place. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sophisticated or simple – you’ve got to have one. Frankly, the simpler the plan, the better.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Larry Hincker, Virginia Tech </li></ul>
  8. 8. A Crisis Plan that Works <ul><li>“ Most plans I see are convoluted, unrealistic, out-of-date nightmares to interpret and never tested by a drill. Good plans point you in the right direction so you can act fast. If yours doesn’t, throw it out and start over.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Richard Amme </li></ul>
  9. 9. A Crisis Plan that Works <ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on functional aspects of response </li></ul><ul><li>Build out crisis infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Examine and mitigate vulnerabilities </li></ul>
  10. 10. Planning: Crisis Infrastructure <ul><li>Crisis communications library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fact sheets, bios, aerial photos, database of contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communications infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offsite crisis response facility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Satellite phones, VoIP capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider having a “dark” crisis response Web site ready </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Planning: Vulnerability Checklist <ul><li>Fatality </li></ul><ul><li>Succession </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>Activism </li></ul><ul><li>Health and safety </li></ul><ul><li>Employee discord </li></ul><ul><li>Workplace violence </li></ul><ul><li>Forces of nature </li></ul><ul><li>Litigation </li></ul><ul><li>Hostile takeover </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory </li></ul><ul><li>Quality issues </li></ul><ul><li>Legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Racial issues </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>Animal rights issues </li></ul><ul><li>Human rights issues </li></ul><ul><li>Guilt by association </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal acts </li></ul>
  12. 12. Prioritize Target Audiences <ul><li>Insiders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees, shareholders, suppliers, customers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local, state and federal regulators and lawmakers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neighbors </li></ul><ul><li>Media to reach community </li></ul>
  13. 13. Plan for Rapid Response <ul><li>Who is on the Response Team and who are their alternates? </li></ul><ul><li>At what point do you activate the Crisis Response Team? </li></ul><ul><li>How can they be reached 24x7? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is spokesperson? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Prioritizing Target Audiences <ul><li>Insiders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees, suppliers, customers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local, state and federal regulators and lawmakers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neighbors </li></ul><ul><li>Media to reach community </li></ul>
  15. 15. Prioritize from the inside out <ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shareholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suppliers, customers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local, state and federal regulators and lawmakers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neighbors </li></ul><ul><li>Media to reach community </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Role of PR <ul><li>Investigator </li></ul><ul><li>Confidant </li></ul><ul><li>Truth teller </li></ul><ul><li>Forecaster </li></ul><ul><li>Do Gooder </li></ul><ul><li>Implementer </li></ul>
  17. 17. Investigator
  18. 18. Confidant
  19. 19. Truth Teller
  20. 20. Forecaster We're in big trouble
  21. 21. Do Gooder
  22. 22. Implementer
  23. 23. The Dirty Little Secret Is… We think CEOs have it under control
  24. 24. The Dirty Little Secret Is… But our deference to CEOs hurts them in a crisis
  25. 25. What Malcolm Gladwell Says
  26. 26. Communication in a Crisis <ul><li>According to Gladwell: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ (Crises) are likely to be the result of an accumulation of minor difficulties and seemingly trivial malfunctions.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Outliers, pg 183 </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Example: Three Mile Island
  28. 28. Example: Three Mile Island <ul><li>The Problem: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Routine water blockage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moisture leaks into plant’s air system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then the accumulation of minor difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trips two valves, shutting down flow of cold water to steam generator </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Valves for backup cooling system weren’t open </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hanging tag in control room blocked view of indicator </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Backup relief valve stuck open </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gauge in control room that should have warned of a problem wasn’t working </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Learn from Plane Crashes <ul><li>Gladwell writes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The kinds of errors that cause plane crashes are invariably errors of teamwork and communication.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Outliers, Pg 184 </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Avianca Flight 052 <ul><li>An accumulation of little things </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Malfunctioning autopilot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad weather </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long flight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Misunderstandings with FAA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor communication in the cockpit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Let’s climb aboard… </li></ul>
  31. 31. Mitigated Speech <ul><li>An attempt to downplay or sugarcoat the meaning of what you are saying </li></ul>“ Some people have been slow to embrace our message.”
  32. 32. Lessons from Plane Crashes <ul><li>Airlines now employ “Crew Resource Management” training </li></ul><ul><li>Teaches junior crew members how to communicate clearly and assertively </li></ul>
  33. 33. Mitigated Speech in PR <ul><li>Example: You learn that children are getting hurt using your product </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How does your </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CEO learn of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your concerns? </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. What do you do? Brief your boss and hope Send an e-mail Walk into his/her office Schedule a meeting Call his/her cell phone
  35. 35. What do you say? Let’s get the distributors on the phone The switchboard is lighting up Get the product off the shelf now Who should we notify first about a recall I think we may want to issue a recall
  36. 36. Learning to be Assertive A short video Credit: Video Arts
  37. 37. What Keeps CEOs Awake? Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers 12 th Annual Global CEO Survey
  38. 38. What We Know About CEOs <ul><li>CEOs want the insights of key advisors </li></ul><ul><li>CEOs expect change </li></ul><ul><li>CEOs feel less in control </li></ul><ul><li>CEOs value reputation and customers </li></ul>
  39. 39. CEOs: Know Change is Needed <ul><li>Percentage of CEOs who say their organizations face substantial change vs. ability to manage change </li></ul>Source: IBM Global CEO Study
  40. 40. IBM’s Analysis <ul><li>Constant change is certainly not new. But companies are struggling with its accelerating pace. Everything around them seems to be changing faster than they can . As one U.S. CEO told us, “We are successful, but slow.” </li></ul>Source: IBM Global CEO Study
  41. 41. CEOs: Keys to Competitiveness <ul><li>How important are the following sources of competitive advantage in sustaining your growth over the long term? </li></ul>Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers 12 th Annual Global CEO Survey
  42. 42. CEOs Need a Paddle <ul><li>Suddenly everything is important . And change can come from anywhere. CEOs find themselves – as one CEO put it – in a “white-water world.” </li></ul>Source: IBM Global CEO Study
  43. 43. CEOs: Threats on the Radar <ul><li>How concerned are you about the following threats in relation to your business growth prospects? </li></ul>Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers 12 th Annual Global CEO Survey
  44. 44. CEOs: Growing Influence <ul><li>To what extent has the influence of stakeholders who influence your decisions about the success of your business in the future, changed in the past three years? </li></ul>Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers 12 th Annual Global CEO Survey
  45. 45. CEOs: Impact of CSR <ul><li>CEOs are generally positive about the impact of rising corporate social responsibility expectations. </li></ul>Source: IBM Global CEO Study
  46. 46. Why PR “Doesn’t Get It” <ul><li>Perceived as focusing on the “wrong things” </li></ul><ul><li>We come across as wanting to be everyone’s friend </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The families of the victims want answers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t want to leave a reporter hanging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t want our neighbors to be mad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees are glum </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We shy away from numbers </li></ul>
  47. 47. The Art of Giving Advice <ul><li>Be positive </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate criticism </li></ul><ul><li>Urge prompt action </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Be an incrementalist </li></ul><ul><li>Be pragmatic </li></ul><ul><li>Be a strategic force </li></ul><ul><li>- James Lukaszewski, </li></ul>
  48. 48. Case Study: Baby Seat Maker <ul><li>Millions sold </li></ul><ul><li>Customers injured </li></ul><ul><li>CEO blamed the parents </li></ul><ul><li>PR’s role: negotiated terms of recall </li></ul>
  49. 49. Case Study: Pharma <ul><li>Made compounds for doctors nationwide </li></ul><ul><li>Patients died </li></ul><ul><li>CEO argued that doctors, patients and the coroner may have erred </li></ul><ul><li>PR’s role: apology and process improvements </li></ul>
  50. 50. Case Study: Retail <ul><li>Respected college town retailer </li></ul><ul><li>Sued by university for trademark infringement </li></ul><ul><li>CEO attacked judge’s character </li></ul><ul><li>PR’s role: get students involved </li></ul>
  51. 51. Summary <ul><li>The CEO: PR is a comb over </li></ul><ul><li>To be an equal, think like one </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan ahead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek the truth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak the truth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen your relationship now </li></ul></ul>
  52. 52. Questions/Discussion <ul><li>Download this presentation at </li></ul><ul><li>Also: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone: 214-432-7556 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter: </li></ul></ul>