Frontline crisis communication forfrontline staff – a practical workshopMelbourne, 29 August 2012
What it’s about• This workshop is about the tools that guide effective writing  for crisis management – from the point of ...
Important to note• This is a practical workshop that you should be able to  find immediately valuable when you get back to...
When customer service fails                                  E                          D   A          B                  ...
Crisis: a definition• Anything that stops a  business being able to  perform “as usual”   –   Earthquake   –   Product con...
Some other definitions• Criticism                        • Complaint   – Feedback from a                 – Feedback from a...
Crisis communication: why?• To get people to start  doing something   • Call us, visit a website,     evacuate the buildin...
A word on individuals• You are completely  unique. Just like  everyone else   – Every crisis is unique   – Every person af...
Risk Perceptions (Fear Factors)Lower Concern/Fear                           Higher Concern/Fear1. Under my control        ...
Commonalities• Despite all our  differences, deep down  we’re really all the same   – People want to know you     care   –...
Three rules and three tools• Rule 1: Information        • Tool 1: Know, Do, Go  breeds confidence,  silence breeds fear• R...
Rule 1: Information breeds confidence
Tool 1: The KDG Template(Know, Do, Go)Key Message 1:What is most important for people to knowKey Message 2:What is most im...
Example: product contamination•   Thanks for calling, and let me first start by saying I absolutely understand that    you...
Example: product contamination•   Thanks for calling, and let me first start by saying I absolutely understand that    you...
Rule 2: Empathy > solution
Trust Factors in High Stress Situations              Competence /                                                  Assesse...
Tool 2: CAP• CONCERN – humanise• ACTION – what’s the fix?• PERSPECTIVE –  containment
Tool 2: CAP• CONCERN – humanise   – What people need to know is...• ACTION – what’s the fix?   – What people can do is... ...
Example: product contamination•   Thanks for calling, and let me first start by saying I absolutely understand that    you...
Real-life example
Real-life statement
Rule 3: Know your audience
Tool 3: Ask TOM• Target Audience   • Who am I talking to?• Objective   • Why have they contacted     me?   • What are they...
Who’s getting in touch?
Who’s getting in touch?
The importance of knowing• Understanding who we’re engaging with:   – Helps us determine if we’re dealing with criticism o...
Summary• Frontline personnel can be the difference in a crisis• Understanding what happens in the crisis control room  can...
Thank you           Edelman Melbourne                 Level 5            287 Collins Street               Melbourne       ...
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Training your frontline staff in crisis communications - prepared for SOCAP 2012 (web)

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During a crisis, frontline staff can be the point of containment for some issues, or the tipping point for inflaming a situation. By thinking strategically about the role of direct-to-consumer communication during a crisis we can improve our chances of successfully managing a crisis - before it gets out of hand. Credit to some great thinking by Dr V Covello.

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  • This training has been developed to support people in a front-line communication role during a company issue or crisis. It can also serve as a primer for consultants, as well as Communications or Marketing personnel, although primarily it is aimed at providing practical crisis writing skills for:Customer Services (consumer)Sales Managers (account reps)Community Managers“Coal Face” personnel who may have personal contact with a stakeholder during an issue or crisisMuch of communication is about talking in macro terms“five things to know about Twitter”“how to pitch a story to journalists”“every pitch must include The Big Idea”This macro view also applies to centralised crisis management…but it falls down when we get to the coal face of stakeholder communications during a crisis
  • Impact-dependentWe only do this because we need someone to do (or stop doing) something very specificUsually, we caused the behaviour we’re trying to change
  • Training your frontline staff in crisis communications - prepared for SOCAP 2012 (web)

    1. 1. Frontline crisis communication forfrontline staff – a practical workshopMelbourne, 29 August 2012
    2. 2. What it’s about• This workshop is about the tools that guide effective writing for crisis management – from the point of view of frontline executors of the centralised plan• We focus on writing because even verbal communication must relate back to the organisational messages – so think of verbal communication as scripted copy• Increasing prevalence of email and social media as viable customer service communication channels means frontline customer service personnel are playing an increasing role in disseminating written communications on behalf of companies
    3. 3. Important to note• This is a practical workshop that you should be able to find immediately valuable when you get back to your desk.• It is not, therefore, a demonstration in amazing presentation skills designed to wow you with stagecraft.• The content will be provided after the course, both through SOCAP and on my Slideshare page when I remember to do it.• As such it is text-heavy, violates many rules of best- practice presentation skills and is unlikely to end up being the subject of a TED talk any time soon.
    4. 4. When customer service fails E D A B C F G PR!!Coal Face Customer Influencer Audience Client D Audience E Audience
    5. 5. Crisis: a definition• Anything that stops a business being able to perform “as usual” – Earthquake – Product contamination – Political instability – Death of key executives
    6. 6. Some other definitions• Criticism • Complaint – Feedback from a – Feedback from a stakeholder that you could stakeholder that you have have done something done something that better affects them personally, in – E.g. “Your new product a negative way doesn’t work as well as the – E.g. “Your new product old one” [replace with hasn’t worked properly, company-specific example] causing me emotional / physical / financial distress”
    7. 7. Crisis communication: why?• To get people to start doing something • Call us, visit a website, evacuate the building• To get people to stop doing something • Eating a product, driving a car, investing in ostrich farms• Immediate, measurable, binary
    8. 8. A word on individuals• You are completely unique. Just like everyone else – Every crisis is unique – Every person affected by a crisis is unique – Every communication must be tailored to the individual recipient – = incredibly labour- intensive
    9. 9. Risk Perceptions (Fear Factors)Lower Concern/Fear Higher Concern/Fear1. Under my control 1. Controlled by others2. Trustworthy sources 2. Untrustworthy sources3. Fair/large benefits 3. Unfair/few or unclear benefits / Involuntary Copyright, Dr. V Covello, Center for Change/Risk Communication
    10. 10. Commonalities• Despite all our differences, deep down we’re really all the same – People want to know you care – People want you to fix what you break – People want to know you’ve learned your lesson – People don’t want to keep complaining
    11. 11. Three rules and three tools• Rule 1: Information • Tool 1: Know, Do, Go breeds confidence, silence breeds fear• Rule 2: Empathy is more • Tool 2: CAP powerful than a solution• Rule 3: Know your • Tool 3: Ask TOM audience
    12. 12. Rule 1: Information breeds confidence
    13. 13. Tool 1: The KDG Template(Know, Do, Go)Key Message 1:What is most important for people to knowKey Message 2:What is most important for people to doKey Message 3:Where people can go to get credible information Copyright, Dr. V Covello, Center for Change/Risk Communication
    14. 14. Example: product contamination• Thanks for calling, and let me first start by saying I absolutely understand that you’re concerned.• My name is Grant and I’m here to provide you with the information you need to know about this product.• What we know is that only a few batches of the product were affected, and if you have the packet there I can tell you how to find the necessary information on the pack. Do you have it handy?• Ok, if you turn the pack over so you’re looking at the bottom of the box, underneath the Best Before date you’ll see a series of numbers. Can you find that? And what’s that number?• Great, thanks for that. The good news is that your product is not affected. Now, if you have any other product and that number is XYZ, then you should definitely call us back / return it to the supermarket, etc. If you would like to know more about the situation, please feel free to visit our website at www.findoutmore.com.au.
    15. 15. Example: product contamination• Thanks for calling, and let me first start by saying I absolutely understand that you’re concerned.• My name is Grant and I’m here to provide you with the information you need to know about this product.• What we know is that only a few batches of the product were affected, and if you have the packet there I can tell you how to find the necessary information on the pack. Do you have it handy?• Ok, if you turn the pack over so you’re looking at the bottom of the box, underneath the Best Before date you’ll see a series of numbers. Can you find that? And what’s that number?• Great, thanks for that. The good news is that your product is not affected. Now, if you have any other product and that number is XYZ, then you should definitely call us back / return it to the supermarket, etc. If you would like to know more about the situation, please feel free to visit our website at www.findoutmore.com.au.
    16. 16. Rule 2: Empathy > solution
    17. 17. Trust Factors in High Stress Situations Competence / Assessed in Expertise first 9-30 15-20% secondsHonesty / Listening / CaringOpenness / Empathy / 15-20% Compassion 50% All Other Factors 15-20% Copyright, Dr. V Covello, Center for Change/Risk Communication
    18. 18. Tool 2: CAP• CONCERN – humanise• ACTION – what’s the fix?• PERSPECTIVE – containment
    19. 19. Tool 2: CAP• CONCERN – humanise – What people need to know is...• ACTION – what’s the fix? – What people can do is... – Where people can go is...• PERSPECTIVE – containment
    20. 20. Example: product contamination• Thanks for calling, and let me first start by saying I absolutely understand that you’re concerned.• My name is Grant and I’m here to provide you with the information you need to know about this product.• What we know is that only a few batches of the product were affected, and if you have the packet there I can tell you how to find the necessary information on the pack. Do you have it handy?• Ok, if you turn the pack over so you’re looking at the bottom of the box, underneath the Best Before date you’ll see a series of numbers. Can you find that? And what’s that number?• Great, thanks for that. The good news is that your product is not affected. Now, if you have any other product and that number is XYZ, then you should definitely call us back / return it to the supermarket, etc. If you would like to know more about the situation, please feel free to visit our website at www.findoutmore.com.au.
    21. 21. Real-life example
    22. 22. Real-life statement
    23. 23. Rule 3: Know your audience
    24. 24. Tool 3: Ask TOM• Target Audience • Who am I talking to?• Objective • Why have they contacted me? • What are they looking for?• Message • What am I going to say?
    25. 25. Who’s getting in touch?
    26. 26. Who’s getting in touch?
    27. 27. The importance of knowing• Understanding who we’re engaging with: – Helps us determine if we’re dealing with criticism or complaint – Helps us provide a more effective solution / resolution – Helps us reduce repeat contacts by more effectively handling first encounters – Reduces the risk of us making it worse
    28. 28. Summary• Frontline personnel can be the difference in a crisis• Understanding what happens in the crisis control room can help inform your teams’ role• Being a containment point for the crisis adds immense value to the crisis management strategy• It’s all communication – you can help drive change within your organisation• Someone, somewhere in your organisation is probably already doing this stuff
    29. 29. Thank you Edelman Melbourne Level 5 287 Collins Street Melbourne www.edelman.com.au Email grant.smith@edelman.com Tel +61 3 9944 7626 Twitter @grantsmith8Slideshare http://www.slideshare.net/grantsmith8

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