When we look at the TEPCO Fukushima Dai-ichi crisis we can say a lot about how it erred. It’s easy. In fact, much of it is standard boilerplate talking points for crisis communications and media relations consultants – stuff that you can find just by googling “crisis communications”. What I would like to do, is share some thoughts about one aspect of the crisis that I noticed and saw parallels to other crisis, and, perhaps, you will came away this morning with something besides a nice breakfast.
Anticipating – Risk assessment.Response team – should be in place as soon as possible, such as yesterday.Spokesperson – You need one. TEPCO’s Last Supper style press conferences reassured no one.Training the team – Need to run through scenarios that are tailored to your company.Holding statements and templates – airlines have these, don’t you?-- “Our concern for those affected and their families. We are currently cooperating with the investigating authorities.”
5. Notification system. -- How you will inform your response team, executives and employees. -- Do not rely on one delivery system: TEPCO’s fax.6. Assessment/Monitoring systems. -- You have to know what is going on to make accurate decisions: TEPCO gross miscalculations of Sieverts in the water7. Reload system – refining, learning. You need to be able to provide accurate, current updates to all interested parties, and learn how to do it better while on the run.
One of the lessons from Andy Grove’s “Only the Paranoid Survive.”
source:http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/03/14/110314fa_fact_khatchadourianOne year after the crisis began, it was described this way…So in the Tokyo Dome, it would be one can of beer. Now then, if you happen to be sitting near that can of beer when it is shaken and then opened and you are rightly very angry. Or if it is spilled within a key electrical control, but this gives perspective. It was serious to those affected.
Crisis Comms in SM World.11.08.09
“Crisis Communicationsin a Social Media World”<br />Gil Chavez<br />Professor - Globis University IMBA, International University of Japan (IUJ)<br />BC Consulting<br />BC Consulting<br />www.consult-bc.com<br />1<br />
Agenda<br />The Basics<br />What is a Crisis?<br />Types, Examples, & Case Study<br />How do we handle it?<br />The New Reality<br />Managing the Data<br />“Water by the Ton”<br />Milliseverts<br />BP Oil Spill: Millions vs. Billions<br />2<br />
The Basics<br />Crisis Communications 101<br />3<br />
What is a Crisis?<br /><ul><li>Usually defined by:</li></ul>1. Magnitude: <br />Is it great enough to threaten organization viability?<br />2. Time: <br />How much time is available to react and counter?<br />
Crisis vs. Issue<br /><ul><li>Main differences: Magnitude and Time.
“A crisis is an issue that has been ignored until it has become huge enough and urgent enough to deal with.”
P&G logo, Pepsi syringe</li></li></ul><li>Deal with a Crisis Before it Happens<br />Preparation & Training are the Keys <br />Anticipate & assess risk.<br />Create a Response team.<br />Appoint a Spokesperson.<br />Train the Response team, Spokesperson, and the whole organization.<br />
Deal with a Crisis Before it Happens<br />5. Create Holding statements and templates.<br />6. Develop a Notification System.<br />7. Set Up Assessment & Monitoring Systems.<br />8. Reload System – i.e. refining, learning. <br />
Take Action<br />Action isn’t everything, it is the only thing.<br /><ul><li>Act fast, Act big
Even relatively ineffective measures show that you are doing something about the problem.
Gives the media “something to eat”.</li></li></ul><li>Case Study: Nishi-Shuzo<br />Contaminated rice:<br />Sept. 22 , 2008, Nishi-Shuzo, maker of Satsuma Houzan shochu ran full-page ads in major dailies announcing voluntary recall of 300,000 bottles.<br /><ul><li>Ads explained
Didn’t wait for test results/Posted results to web site
Lesson: Acting fast preempted crisis</li></li></ul><li>Damage Assessment I<br />“Look for the 2nd, or 3rd explosion…”<br />Crises tend to weaken organizations <br />Trigger secondary or tertiary problems. <br />Avoid thinking that what has happened is an isolated event or that it will quickly pass. <br /><ul><li>Terrorism comes in clusters; so do other disasters:
Drugs corporal punishment/death scandal gambling (JSA)</li></li></ul><li>Damage Assessment II<br />Start with Worst Case and Work Backwards<br />Identify the worst reasonable outcome at first<br />Don’t understate the problem<br />(Viewed as a lie if you announce later problem is worse.)<br />Example: TEPCO’s repeatedly extend evacuation zone.<br />Question: Why did TEPCO do this?<br />
Messaging<br />The 4 C`s of crisis messaging:<br />1. Concern for those affected.<br />2. Cooperation with authorities.<br />3. Corrective measures.<br />4. Communication of these activities.<br />
Social Media Concerns<br />1. Clueless <br />People who know nothing about the problem commenting on it. <br />2. Liars <br />People who want to influence the situation for own objectives. <br />3. Rumormongers <br />Fear and lack of knowledge drives speculation, which drives rumors.<br />4. Misinformed <br />Neither of the above, but people who simply missed parts and forwarding wrong info.<br />5. Noise makers <br />Every media outlet wants your attention now, from large organizations to the Twitterati and blogosphere. <br />
What does that mean for us?<br />We must…<br />1. Anticipate bigger potential problems <br />2. Be prepared to take bigger action quicker <br /><ul><li>Auto recalls now executed at first sign of a problem.</li></ul>3. Be able to explain what we do to new audiences.<br />
The New Reality <br />Full control of communications is a thing of the past.<br />News media is pressured to report first, confirm later.<br />Huge increase in number of non-expert influencers commenting on your business and its problems.<br />
Recommendation:<br />Aim to make your organization as open as possible – don’t wait to explain what you do and how your do it.<br /> (ex. Zappos)<br /> Use terms, numbers, and data understandable for the common person.<br /> (Next section)<br />
Managing the Data: Focus on Numbers and Terms<br />Crisis Communications 101<br />20<br />
TEPCO: Water by the ton<br />“I went to the store for a kilo of milk…”<br />May 29, 2011 Yomiuri Shimbun:<br /><ul><li>“It will cost about 53.1 billion yen to decontaminate 250,000 tons of radiation-tainted water….”
How much water is that?</li></li></ul><li>TEPCO: Water by the Ton<br />250,000 tons of water = 100 Olympic Swimming Pools<br />Olympic swimming pool (OSP): 2,500 metric tons of water<br />OSP = 1/200,000 sydharb (Sydney Harbour)<br />
Millisieverts<br />Press Release:<br />Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 9 am Mar 17, 2001)<br /><ul><li>“The radiation exposure of 1 TEPCO employee, who was working inside the reactor building, exceeded 100mSv and was transported to the hospital….” </li></li></ul><li>Millisieverts<br />Which means what?<br />How long was he exposed?<br />How did it happen?<br />Which part of the body?<br />Results of the medical exam?<br />
Millisieverts<br />Which means what?<br />Estimates measured annually or hourly: <br /><ul><li>9 mSv per year: Air crew on NYC – TOK polar route
100 mSv per year: Lowest level related to long-term, but extremely low, cancer risk
800 mSv per hour likely to cause radiation sickness; may increase risk of cancer by 2 to 4 percent.</li></li></ul><li>BP Oil Spill 2010<br />Initially underestimated size of spill<br />Final total --<br />4.9 million barrels of oil<br />(a large number and an unfamiliar term)<br />And that means….?<br />
BP Oil Spill 2010<br />312 Olympic Swimming Pools (206 million gallons)<br />That’s a lot….<br />And this is a lot more:<br />Gulf of Mexico total volume: 660 quadrillion (15 zeros) gallons<br />Roughly a 1:1 billion ratio<br />
BP oil spill 2010<br />“If the Gulf of Mexico were the Superdome, the total spill would be three cans of beer inside.”<br />In Tokyo terms: 1 can of beer inside the Tokyo Dome<br /> (1 Superdome = 3 Tokyo Domes)<br />
Conclusions<br />“A crisis forces your organization to speak directly people who have no idea about your business.”<br /><ul><li>Once story takes shape, it’s difficult to change.
Place them in simple, daily context.</li></li></ul><li>Thank you.<br />How to Find me:<br />Twitter:@gilchavez<br /> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org<br /> Biz site: consult-bc.com<br /> Personal site: gilchavez.com<br />Support the Pink Cow.<br />