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Crisis Management: The Savvy Communicator


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A presentation about putting together a crisis communication plan delivered to the regional gathering of Boys and Girls Club representatives.

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Crisis Management: The Savvy Communicator

  1. 1. Crisis Management: The Savvy Communicator Kami Watson Huyse, APR
  2. 2. Defining Crisis <ul><li>a. A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point. </li></ul><ul><li>b. An unstable condition, as in political, social, or economic affairs, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change.0 </li></ul>Definition from The Free Dictionary
  3. 3. 3 R s of Crisis Communication <ul><li>R esearch </li></ul><ul><li>R esponse </li></ul><ul><li>R ecovery </li></ul>Photo by Christopher.Woo, Flickr
  4. 4. Types of Crisis <ul><li>Environmental </li></ul><ul><li>Technological </li></ul><ul><li>Terroristic </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Misconduct </li></ul><ul><li>Managerial </li></ul><ul><li>Accidental </li></ul>
  5. 5. Benefits of Planning <ul><li>Reduce Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates Goodwill </li></ul><ul><li>Flow of Information </li></ul><ul><li>Involves Stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Business Continuity </li></ul>
  6. 6. RESEARCH <ul><li>Relationship Building </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency Personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Notification Procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul>
  7. 7. Building Relationships with Stakeholders
  8. 8. Emergency Personnel Team <ul><li>Spokesperson (1-2) </li></ul><ul><li>Phone team </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher and writer </li></ul><ul><li>Business continuity </li></ul><ul><li>Decision maker </li></ul><ul><li>Legal council, if applicable </li></ul>
  9. 9. Notification Procedures <ul><li>Emergency Personnel Team </li></ul><ul><li>Board of Directors </li></ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul><ul><li>Members </li></ul><ul><li>Other Stakeholders </li></ul>
  10. 10. Communication Procedures <ul><li>Platform </li></ul><ul><li>Priority </li></ul><ul><li>Policy </li></ul>
  11. 11. Spokespersons <ul><li>Interest and Empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty and Authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>Responsive and Proactive </li></ul><ul><li>Open to Criticism </li></ul>
  12. 12. Bridging <ul><li>Don’t Know: I don’t know, but I can tell you… </li></ul><ul><li>Time: That may have been the case in the past. Now we are… </li></ul><ul><li>Importance: That once was important. What is most important now is… </li></ul><ul><li>Completing: I think you would have a more complete picture if you considered… </li></ul><ul><li>Yes and No: No, let me explain. Yes, and furthermore… </li></ul>
  13. 13. RESPONSE <ul><li>Emergency Notification </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering Information </li></ul><ul><li>Releasing Information </li></ul><ul><li>Stages of Crisis </li></ul>
  14. 14. Notification
  15. 15. Gathering Information
  16. 16. Releasing Information
  17. 17. 4 Stages of a Crisis From Communication Overtones
  18. 18. RECOVERY <ul><li>Follow up </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Solidify relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust plan </li></ul>
  19. 19. SITUATION <ul><li>Executive Director </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual Predator </li></ul><ul><li>Death of Child </li></ul><ul><li>Terroristic Incident </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Case Study: St. PJs Children’s Home </li></ul><ul><li>BJ Mamuzic, Executive Director </li></ul><ul><li>Children from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints compound in Texas became residents at the home. </li></ul><ul><li>Key Learnings: </li></ul><ul><li>Connect with like agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from experts </li></ul><ul><li>Give the board something to say </li></ul><ul><li>Designate who will communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t underestimate volume </li></ul><ul><li>Know players before crisis </li></ul>
  21. 21. Executive Director is Critically Injured in Rollover Accident with Kids You are in charge of communications for the Boys and Girls Club. You are working late and you get a call just before 9 p.m. on your cell phone from your Executive Director’s husband. He tells you he has gotten a call from the hospital that your Executive Director has been in a terrible car wreck. You head to the hospital right away and learn from family member that there has been a rollover crash with another SUV and that she was not alone in the car. Several children were also with her, but you still are not sure who they were. Taken from real incident in Simi Valley, Calif. this week
  22. 22. After-School Program Employee Charged with Sexual Assault of a Child An employee at the Boys and Girls Club was arrested today as he worked and charged with sexual assault and indecency with a child. The employee underwent a background check when hired and passed it. He has also never had any disciplinary problems. The child in the case was a 10-year-old girl who told her parents about the assault, which allegedly occurred a the center. Her parent then called the police. A few hours after the arrest, concerned parents, who have heard the initial reports through the grapevine start to arrive and angrily demand answers as to how this could have happened. Taken from an amalgamation of real incidents in schools
  23. 23. Child Dies in After School Program You are the executive director of a Girls and Boys Club. One of your kids who comes on a regular basis has some special needs but has never been disruptive. Today when he arrived after school, he seemed troubled and incoherent. He started to bang his head against the wall, and while you called 911 support, one of your male staff members held him down to keep him from hurting himself and others. While waiting for emergency personnel, the worker realized the boy was not breathing. He started to administer CPR and you called emergency services back to apprise them of the situation. Once EMTs arrived they continued acute care, but the child did not survive. The cause of death is unknown. Taken from real incident in San Antonio, SW Mental Health Center
  24. 24. Shooter Enters Boys and Girls Club, Kills 2 and Injures 5 A gunman has entered your building and killed one employee, one child and has injured two more employees and three students. The scene is chaos, and your office is being cordoned off by the police as a crime scene. You are not allowed to return to get anything. You are not injured, but two of your crisis team are, and you are already getting calls from media on your cell phone, which thankfully was on your person when the shootings began. You have no idea who the shooter was, but the police are starting to interview witnesses and staff.
  25. 25. RESOURCEs <ul><li>“Now is Too Late ,” by Gerald R Baron </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare at Work , American Red Cross </li></ul><ul><li>CrisisBlogger </li></ul><ul><li>7 Must-Have Elements for Crisis Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis Communication Articles </li></ul>
  26. 26. Download this Presentation <ul><li> </li></ul>Crisis Management: The Savvy Communicator
  27. 27. <ul><li>Kami Watson Huyse, APR </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: (713) 568-5750 </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: Communication Overtones </li></ul><ul><li>Web site: </li></ul>Copyright August 2008 © all rights reserved