Situational Crisis Communication Theory

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Explanation of Situational Crisis Communication Theory and how it can be applied in crisis management.

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Situational Crisis Communication Theory

  1. 1. Situational Crisis Communication Theory Why is it needed? What is it? How is it used?
  2. 2. Why is SCCT needed? <ul><li>High stakes of managing crises. </li></ul><ul><li>Too much case study research. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to “test” recommendations. </li></ul><ul><li>Need for integration of findings. </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence based management. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Roots of SCCT <ul><li>Rhetorical approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Response strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Attribution theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attribute blame for negative events </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Focus <ul><li>Match selection of crisis response to needs of the situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsibility for crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking responsibility for the crisis </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Three Types Responses <ul><li>Instructing information </li></ul><ul><li>Adjusting information </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation repair </li></ul>
  6. 6. Instructing Information <ul><li>Help people cope physically with the crisis. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to protect themselves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First concern </li></ul>
  7. 7. Adjusting Information <ul><li>Help people cope psychologically with a crisis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concern/sympathy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correctives </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Reputation Repair <ul><li>Match to situation </li></ul><ul><li>Level of reputation threat </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily a function of crisis responsibility </li></ul>
  9. 9. Reputation Threat <ul><li>Base is the crisis type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Victim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accidental </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intentional </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intensifiers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior reputation/relationship history </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Match <ul><li>Greater threat to the reputation </li></ul><ul><li>More response must be perceived to take responsibility </li></ul>
  11. 11. No Default to Apology <ul><li>Overreaction can cause stakeholder concern. </li></ul><ul><li>Overreaction is expensive. </li></ul><ul><li>Overreaction does not increase protection/repair of the reputation. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Strongest Response <ul><li>Apology or compensation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewed equally for taking responsibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need for intentional crises. </li></ul><ul><li>Need for accidental crises with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative crisis history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative prior reputation </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Other Responses <ul><li>Instructing and adjusting go a long way to protect/repair reputations. </li></ul><ul><li>Excuse and justification can help with accidental crises. (Reinforces) </li></ul><ul><li>Victimage for victim crises. </li></ul><ul><li>Fight back against rumors and some challenges. </li></ul><ul><li>Bolstering is supplemental. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid scapegoating. </li></ul>
  14. 14. SCCT <ul><li>Can integrate with other crisis research based on attribution theory. </li></ul><ul><li>Is predictive and prescriptive. </li></ul><ul><li>Can valid recommendation—moves beyond speculation. </li></ul><ul><li>Works as evidence based management. </li></ul>

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