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Crisis Communication: A crisis is a major event that has potentially negative results. It may significantly damage an organization and its employees, products, services, financial condition, and reputation. Crisis communication involves what an organization says to its employees, the media, the community, partners, and customers during and after a crisis. The goals of crisis communication are: (1) to protect affected publics and (2) restore/maintain the company’s image The difference between problems and crises Problems: commonplace; predictable; quickly resolved; and may go unnoticed. Crises: less predictable; time-consuming; costly; and bring unwanted public attention. The Risks and Opportunities of Crises Crises risks include: -escalating in intensity -falling under close scrutiny -interfering with operations -jeopardizing image -damaging the bottom line Crises opportunities: •Heroes are born •Change is accelerated •New strategies evolve •Early warning systems develop •New competitive edges appear Things Return to Normal... But Have We Learned Anything? (1) Risk Assessment (4) Recovery (2) Plan Development (3) Response Solving the crisis isn’t enough… organizations must communicate with important publics during crises Step One: Risk Assessment • • • • Involves identification of threats. Seeks to eliminate or minimize those threats. Is where values play an important role. Can be done by a consultant or a Crisis Planning Team. Typology of Crisis Communication Strategies Denial: Rejects that the crisis exists or that the group was involved -Simple denial -Shifting blame Evasion: Minimizes the group’s responsibility for the crisis -Provocation- performed in response to another wrongful act -Accident -Good intentions Reduce offensiveness: Tries to reduce the degree of harm -Bolstering- finding something positive -Minimizing -Transcendence- place crisis in a different context -Attack accuser Compensation Apology: Admit error and provide corrective action Step Two: Developing The Plan 123456- Develop a precise definition of what constitutes a crisis. Develop a Crisis Management Team (CMT). Identify the stakeholders. Identify the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Identify the Media Information Center (MIC). Train employees. Steps Three and Four: Response & Recovery Response: This is the stage in which the crisis plan is executed. Like any other plan, a crisis communications plan must be flexible. Recovery: • Were our actions consistent with our values? • What aspects of the crisis did we anticipate? • What aspects of the crisis did we fail to anticipate? • How well did our employees perform?