CRISISA crisis is a situation that hasreached a critical phase.A crisis could be caused by: Natural disaster Technological crises Confrontation Malevolence Organizational Misdeeds Workplace Violence Rumours Terrorist attacks/man-madedisasters
COMMON FEATURES OF ACRISIS The situation materialises unexpectedly Decisions are required urgently There is sense of loss of control Pressures build over time Reputation suffers Communications are increasingly difficult to manage
CRISIS COMMUNICATION Part of a larger process called Crisis Management. Sub-specialty of Public Relation Profession. Designed to protect in any situation that could threaten toharm people or property, interrupt business, damagereputation or negatively impact the share value of anorganisation.
WHY CRISISCOMMUNICATION?……. because every organization is vulnerable to crisis andthe days of playing ostrich are gone.
Organizations that do not communicate quicklymake it worse for themselves The crisis response itself changes the crisis Buying bad news rarely works Reputation suffers Financial instability may occurCont..
CHALLENGES TO THEORGANISATION Investigation from a Govt. Agency Criminal allegation and lawsuits Media Enquiry leading to loss of reputation andcredibility Loss of legal, ethical and financial standing of entity Violation of environmental regulations Operational viability
CRISIS MANAGEMENTMODELAccording to Gonzalez-Herrero and Pratt threephases of Crisis Management are:Diagnose theimpending troubleChoose appropriateTurnaroundStrategyImplement thechange processand monitor it
The best defense against reputation damage atthe time of a crisis is an investment in planningand preparedness well before it hits. This minimizes the impact of a crisis defines roles and responsibilities among theleadership team ensures a coordinated response reducing the severity of a crisis.CONTINGENCY PLANNING
CRISIS TEAM A Crisis Team is composed of seniormanagement, communications staff, andothers appropriate to the situation at hand. The Crisis Team will gather information, decidea course of action, and manage the crisisresponse. The Crisis Team should designate an officialspokesperson, who will be the single pointperson for all communications with the newsmedia and other interested parties.
CRISIS IDENTIFICATION All managers and supervisors should be madeaware of what kinds of situations mayconstitute a crisis. Any employee whobecomes aware of a potential crisis shouldtake responsibility for quickly bringing theproblem to the attention of his or herimmediate supervisor. An incident report should be prepared with thefacts available. This should be done as quicklyas possible, so that facts and details arerecalled accurately.
CRISIS RESPONSEAs the Crisis Team begins to address thesituation, keep these points in mind: Take responsibility Show compassion Speak with one voice Be responsive to the media and track inquiries Seek resolution
An effective crisis communication strategy willtypically consider achieving most, if not all, of thefollowing objectives: Maintain connectivity Be readily accessible to the news media Show empathy for the people involved Allow distributed access Streamline communication processes Maintain information security Ensure uninterrupted audit trails Deliver high volume communications Support multi-channel communications Remove dependencies on paper based processes
COMMUNICATION PLANFor effective communication to take place,three questions need to be addressed whilepreparing the communication plan: WHO is the audience? WHAT is the message that needs to be put across? HOW is this message to be communicated?
WHO: THE AUDIENCEThe audience can be internal or external.Internal audience: Employees Shareholders Management Legal and mediarepresentativesExternal audience: Customers The media Government andauthorities Consumer rightslobbying groups, legalauthorities
INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONWhenever a critical situation arises, it is ofimportance that communication channels withinthe organization remain open and that clearcommunication is done with the internal audience. If the core issue is internal, effective internalcommunication can help to resolve it before itescalates The questions that the employees andstakeholders have are answered effectively It ensures that the faith of the employees andstakeholders in the company is not shaken
Everyone has a clear idea of the extent of thecrisis and what steps are being taken toresolve the problem Employees are able to provide feedback They may also have helpful suggestions forthe course of action to be taken The organization presents a united front to itsexternal audienceCont..
WHAT: THE MESSAGE A succinct explanation of what went wrong An expression of concern for the impact that thesituation has on customers, employees, the generalpublic, etc. A sincere apology, if warranted, and a sense that thecompany takes responsibilities for any missteps it mayhave made A commitment to identifying the underlying factors thatcaused this situation to happen and addressing them An expression of confidence that this situation does notreflect poorly on the company overall
HOW: COMMUNICATIONTECHNIQUE Speed is of importance, the message needs tobe put across as soon as possible The message should be accurate, easy tounderstand and should contain all relevantinformation. All media, written, verbal and social can andshould be used Put a spokesperson in front Comments should also come from the highestauthority
NEED FOR ASPOKESPERSON Spokesperson represents the organisation inthe media Gives the impression that the organisation isnot afraid to face the media and tackle thesituation head on If the spokesperson is a high level official, likea VP or CEO shows that leaders are not afraidof taking responsibility
THE IDEAL SPOKESPERSON Polite and patient Always available to respond to queries and comments Well-informed and authoritative Accurate and reliable Confident and articulate Trustworthy Does not panic easily Evidently committed to the process
CONCLUSION Effective communication in the event of a crisismay well help to keep the situation fromescalating beyond control Ineffective communication or lack ofcommunication on the other hand can escalatea small situation to large levels and have fatalrepercussions on the reputation and value ofthe company
“People don’t judge the good guys onwhether they have made mistakes,but on how they have fixed them”