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Communicating in crisis summer 2011


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Communicating in Crisis.

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Communicating in crisis summer 2011

  2. 2. WORDS TO REMEMBER “We need to get people to understand that in our society, it’s not a question of if a crisis will occur during your career, it’s when”Dr. Alan FriedmanPsychologist
  3. 3. BUILD IT BEFORE THE CRISIS “Crisis management in organizations should involve all departments that touch the public”Laurence Barton
  4. 4. PHASES OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT Pre-crisis Crisis response Post-crisis
  5. 5. PRE-CRISIS ACTIVITIES Select and train the crisis management team Seek to identify and reduce known risks Create the crisis management plan Conduct simulations Update plan often
  6. 6. SELECTING AND TRAINING THE CRISISMANAGEMENT TEAM Representatives from a cross section of the organization and should  Include managerial and technical skills  Understand every aspect of the organization  Have the support of senior management  Include member(s) of the board of directors
  7. 7. DEVELOPING YOUR CRISIS TEAM Start with the CEO Make sure all departments that touch the public are represented on the crisis team including the board of directors
  8. 8. MEMBERS OF THE TEAM CEO CFO Board Chair & Legal Counsel Senior Management  Public Relations/Public Affairs/Advertising/Investor Relations/Government Relations/Consumer Affairs  Human Resources
  9. 9. EXPERTS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION Technical Operations  What you do (product lines)  Where you do it (locations & facilities)
  10. 10. PUBLIC RELATIONS Serves as central coordinator for all proactive and reactive communications with all internal and external audiences
  11. 11. HUMAN RESOURCES Guides team in all issues regarding personnel Often serves as spokesperson to internal audiences May serve as liaison with labor unions
  12. 12. CONDUCT RISK ASSESSMENT department by department
  13. 13. IDENTIFY DANGERSMake a list of all the dangers the organization may face that could: Disrupt normal operations Cause financial harm to the organizations Damage the organizations reputation Hurt relationships with key stakeholders Place employees, stakeholders, clients at risk “Organizational skeletons in the closet”
  14. 14. CRISIS PLOTTING GRIDLow impact High impactHigh probability High probabilityLow impact High impactLow probability Low probability
  16. 16. DETERMINE WHAT POTENTIAL DANGERS CANBE ELIMINATED Develop action plans to eliminate dangers before they become problems.  Independent audit  Board oversight  Computer backup  Alternate location for staff to conduct business  Pay attention to “smoldering issues”
  17. 17. SWOT ANALYSISUnderstanding Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,and Threats
  18. 18. 4 ELEMENTS OF SWOT Strengths:  What strengths does the company have if this risk occurs? Weaknesses:  What are things that will make the situation worse?
  19. 19. ELEMENTS Opportunities  What external advantages do we have? Threats  What external disadvantages do we have?
  20. 20. HOW TO USE A SWOT ANALYSIS Label a flip chart for each category Advise participants to use the rules of brainstorming as a guide to their discussion Set a time limit (usually 20-30 minutes) per category
  21. 21. HOW TO USE A SWOT ANALYSISCONTINUED Review each list for each category before moving on to the next category Prioritize: this is the point at which you can discuss and make decisions about which entries are the most important Select and record the prioritized entries from each category
  22. 22. QUESTIONS TO HELP GUIDE THEDISCUSSION Strengths:  what advantages do we have,  what do we do well,  what resources do we have access to that will help  what do other people see as our strengths
  23. 23. QUESTIONS TO HELP GUIDE THEDISCUSSION Weaknesses:  what could we improve  what do we do badly  what should we avoid  what disadvantages to we have  what resources do we lack
  24. 24. QUESTIONS TO HELP GUIDE THEDISCUSSION Opportunities:  what is happening in the world around us that we can take advantage of  what trends might work for us  what is going on around us that we can build on  how can this benefit us in the near and long term  what ripple effect is possible
  25. 25. QUESTIONS TO HELP GUIDE THEDISCUSSION Threats:  what obstacles do we face  what is the competition doing  can any of our weaknesses seriously threaten us (cash flow, staffing)  what is changing in the world around us that could hurt us and make our crisis worse
  26. 26. DEPARTMENTAL WORK Eliminate risk Minimize impact
  28. 28. ELEMENTS Contact information for CMT Blueprints for key facilities Media contacts 24/7 responder numbers Crisis centers
  29. 29. CONDUCT SIMULATIONS Test team Test plan Uncover potential crisis
  30. 30. CRISIS PHASE How to communicate during a crisis Tools to use  Communications Plan  Media Relations  Social Media
  31. 31. ELEMENTS FOR CONSIDERATION Audience (s) Goal Messages & Messengers Vehicle Spokesperson Support and Opposition Feedback
  32. 32. AUDIENCESCOVER ALL THE BASES how best to reach them, what to say, who should say it, who else they are listening to (opinion leaders) and how to get honest feedback about how you did and what else needs to be done to reestablish the good name of your organization.
  33. 33. GOALS Set a goal for each audience Goals must be  Measurable  Doable  Clearly defined
  34. 34. MESSENGER(S) Who is the most appropriate contact? for first contact for follow up contact
  35. 35. MESSENGER Must be credible Must be available Must be interested and interesting People listen to people
  36. 36. VEHICLE(S) Questions to ask:  Is it efficient  Is it effective  Is it sensitive and respectful  Is it available  Will it help me reach my audience in time
  38. 38. POSITION Be honest Report on only what you know to be true Be prepared to support your position with facts View the crisis from the eye of the public
  39. 39. CONTENT Fact Opinion Speculation
  40. 40. TONE AND CONTENT What tone do you want to use?  Urgent  Angry  Apologetic  Confident  Upbeat 
  41. 41. MESSAGE(S) What happened? How did it happen? What are we going to do about it? What are we doing to make sure it will never happen again?
  42. 42. MESSAGE BOX Value Vision Misconception Message Message Ask
  43. 43. ABOVE ALL Tell the truth and tell it quickly. Apologize and make amends. If you are right say so and prove it.
  44. 44. SUPPORT AND OPPOSITION Know the lay of the land.  Who will most likely support you?  Who will be opposed to you and why?  Who will run and hide?  Who are your friends in the media?
  45. 45. GUIDELINES FOR CRISIS RESPONSE Be quick and try to have initial response within the first hour. Be accurate by carefully checking all facts. Be consistent by keeping spokespeople informed of crisis events and key message points. Make public safety the number one priority.
  46. 46. GUIDELINES CONTINUED Use all of the available communication channels including the Internet, Intranet, and mass notification systems. Provide some expression of concern/sympathy for victims Remember to include employees in the initial response. Be ready to provide stress and trauma counseling to victims of the crisis and their families, including employees.
  47. 47. MEDIA RELATIONS As an audience  Fill the information vacuum As a vehicle  Tell your side of the story
  48. 48. TOOLS TO USE Media Release Statements Position (White) Papers Media Kits Media Conferences One on one interviews & exclusives Web casting Blogs Newsletters
  49. 49. SPOKESPERSON (S) How to decide on the best spokesperson  What is the severity of the crisis  Who has the most accurate and up to date information  Who is media trained  Who is available  Who is emotionally capable
  50. 50. MEDIA INTERVIEWS What is a good interview?  Positive exchange of information  Be prepared  Be cool  Be conversational  Be yourself
  51. 51. QUESTIONS TO ASK What are we talking about? What is my role? When is your deadline? How much do you know about me? Who is in charge?
  52. 52. BEFORE SAYING YES, ASK YOURSELF Who is the intended audience? Is this my audience? Is this a media I want to be associated with? Who is the best person? What are the benefits? What happens if I say no? What will make me comfortable?
  53. 53. GETTING READY Arrive early Plant ideas Only three messages Use clear, concise language Be emphatic Don’t bluff Use real people and real stories
  54. 54. CONCEPTS & PRINCIPLES Sound bites Bridging Don’t be a slave to the question Listen Connect with the interviewer Language
  55. 55. ON THE OFFENSIVESupport Messages and Premises Examples Statistics Analogies Expert Opinion Quotes From Another Personal Experience
  56. 56. KEY STRATEGIES Rule of Three’s Be Prepared If Past Go Future If General Go Specific If Specific Go General Silence is Your Friend
  57. 57. FOR TELEVISION INTERVIEWS Know what to expect Look directly at the interviewer Be expressive Wear bright colors Be conservative on jewelry Don’t be a wash out If you need glasses, wear them
  58. 58. AFTER THE INTERVIEW Ask for a critique Listen and learn Send thank you note Stay in touch Educate rather than blame Give your work legs
  59. 59. FEEDBACK Go back and ask: Did we identify every audience? Where our goals clearly stated? Did we achieve our goals? Did our message reflect our goals? Was our tone correct?
  60. 60. FEEDBACK CONTINUED Did we use the most efficient and effective vehicles for each audience? Did we know all of the players? Did we seek support and were we aware of opposition? Are we asking the right questions? And most important, how did we as a team function ?
  61. 61. KEY TO SUCCESS Be accurate, be honest, be timely, be thorough, and above all don’t take it personally.