Career Boosting Newsletter

Sign up now to receive your free subscription to the Cutting Edge PR e-News newsletter, packed with cutting-edge news and information specifically for PR people. You can unsubscribe at any time.




* = required

Current Newsletter

To view the current issue of Cutting Edge PR e-News, click here.

Free Articles

A great resource for learning more about key areas of public relations practice, which will help your career path. You can read about the following topics:
PR plans
PR and the internet
PR ethics
Employee communication
Change communication
Employee recognition
Crisis communication
PR management
Media relations
Event management
Corporate reputation
Core PR skills
Marketing communication
Communication measurement
Speeches and presentation
Investor relations
Visual communication

Browse free articles


"Kim, just wanted to say thanks for a fantastically informative site."

Paula Hanson


Read our testimonials

Learn how to prepare a crisis communication plan like a top professional!

You can understand how to use the key components of a crisis communication plan to help your organization survive and even create opportunities from a crisis.

Kim Harrison

From: Kim Harrison
Nov 21, 2017

Crises are rare events, but their impact is so great that astute organizations prepare plans to counter their effects. US research showed that 53% of all businesses hit by a crisis will not survive if they don’t have an adequate recovery plan in place.

Have you ever been in an organizational crisis? Do you understand the goals of crisis communication? Do you need to prepare a crisis communication plan?

Senior management often think of the damage caused by operational emergencies, but don’t consider the greater potential dangers caused by poor communication.

You may be expected to develop a communication plan as part of your organization’s overall emergency preparedness. But what is the best way to go about this?

You may be struggling to find practical guidelines and advice on putting a crisis communication plan together. It is specialized work and you may not have enough experience or knowledge to put it together. Being a PR practitioner can be a lonely experience because often there is no one else in the organization to turn to.

Unfortunately, most PR textbooks say little about crisis communication. I know, because I’ve read them. They are written by academics who have never experienced the real thing. They don’t know how crisis communication works in organizations.

Crisis communication is different from other forms of communication. A crisis creates extreme pressure. It overwhelms you!

You don’t have time to think in a crisis!

Crises don’t give you any time. You don’t have time to prepare. You don’t have the time to buy new toner when it runs out (and it will at the worst moment!). You don’t have the time to wait for a photocopier to be fixed.

It all happens immediately. Everyone wants to know all at once what is happening. You feel you are being overwhelmed with demands from media and other stakeholders. You don’t even have a chance to brief your own staff properly so they can speak sensibly to the media.

Unless you are faced with a slow burning crisis that takes place over a period of time, like a takeover, the crisis will give you no time to get your staff back from vacation, from sick leave or from conferences.

I learned the hard way about crises!

I remember my first crisis vividly. I was Corporate Affairs Manager at a power utility. Dozens of media calls suddenly banked up out of nowhere one afternoon. I knew the callers were waiting, but I didn’t know why they were ringing. My senior media officer was so swamped with calls he didn’t have a moment to tell me what had struck. I had to find out from my secretary what was happening.

A cyclone had forced the shutdown of the offshore production platforms that supplied natural gas through a 2,000-mile pipeline for generating 40% of the State’s electricity. Hundreds of thousands of customers were hit by a power blackout.

I started to sweat. It was turning into a nightmare. Each media call in these situations takes some time. They want to know the background to the crisis – and radio news reporters especially want to interview you for their news broadcasts. You can’t take shortcuts through these types of interviews. The thought kept running through my mind: would I get fired if the media turned nasty?

I got a couple of other PR staff together and had to push my senior media officer away from the calls so we could all get together for a minute to synchronize our messages to media. After three hours we were catching up with the backlog, but it had been a huge fright!

Fortunately, senior management must have thought I knew what I was doing because they asked me to conduct an emergency and crisis management review. I examined the emergency management policies and procedures and recommended sweeping improvements.

If we didn’t sort out this out fast, the company would go bust!

Another crisis happened to me when the large construction company where I was Corporate Affairs Manager was building the $200 million Great Southern Stand at the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, venue for the 1956 Olympic Games. The huge new stand would hold 40,000 spectators, but first we had to demolish the old stand, which contained acres of asbestos roofing.

Suddenly an activist organization tried to shut down the project because they said our employees weren’t handling the asbestos removal safely. The activists telephoned us, telling us to stop until our work practices were acceptable to them.

We ignored them, so they went to the media. It was the lead story on television that night and in the daily newspaper next morning!

Government inspectors arrived and we had to stop while they checked our work. We were running behind on the contract, which was subject to a $1.5 million per day penalty clause for any delays in completion. It took quick thinking to solve that problem. We called in a medical professor, who had dealt for 30 years with asbestos-related disease (known as mesothelioma), to inspect the site – and he declared it was safe.

During those times I wished I had a manual or reference book to help guide me on crisis communication. Instead, I had to learn the one essential lesson in crisis communication the hard way.

In the 10 years since then I have researched the international literature for best-practice crisis communication principles and procedures. Why? I have always been a bit of an educator at heart, and could learn and pass on this information to others:

  • I was lecturing in public relations at a university and needed to prepare a lecture on the latest methods of crisis communication.
  • I was writing a chapter on crisis communication in my 627-page book, Strategic Public Relations, which is used as textbook in 9 universities and has been purchased by thousands of public relations professionals, so the material had to be good.
  • During the past 4 years I have been responsible for conducting the professional development program for the State PR institute where I live, and I wanted to evaluate the topic for a possible workshop on crisis communication in organizations.

And so I came to write this ebook.

But don’t just listen to me!

Here is some feedback from readers about this ebook on crisis communication and how it works in organizations:

“I enjoyed the text and believe it should be required reading for people who have had a few years experience and need a no-nonsense guide to help them broaden their thinking and tap into the management and strategic levels.”
- Dr Gae Synnott, FPRIA, academic, consultant and former senior PR manager.

“It is very relevant…and practical. The complexity of some areas of practice in crisis communications is simply illustrated and discussed…”
- Lea Kingdon, internal change consultant

Through his free flowing and engaging presentational style and use of case studies and detailed check lists, Kim Harrison has succeeded in providing both a philosophical framework and an invaluable hands-on guide.”
- Keith Kessell, General Manager Public Affairs

“The ebook really is a great resource, and one that I always recommend.”
- Iwona Polski, Communications Advisor

“This is just a note of congratulations on your EXCELLENT ebook! …Very impressed with it.”
- Brenda Gale, MBA student and former Operations Manager

The results are here in this ebook –

A wealth of practical tips and guidelines!

  • This ebook is written from my own hard-won experience –I’ve personally worked through two organizational crises – and so I know this information will work in the real world for you.
  • Expert knowledge. I’ve spent more than 10,000 hours researching online over the past 8 years for my ebook series and I have consulted the experts. You can rely on this cutting-edge knowledge.
  • Convenient information at your fingertips – you can print it as hard copy instantly.
  • Instantly downloadable - You can start applying the information right away.
  • Concise – no waffle or jargon. The text gets straight to the point so you make the best use of your time.
  • Easy to read and understand. You know exactly what to do – it’s been tried and tested for you.
  • Value for money – affordable practical knowledge.
  • Easy to pay online through WorldPay and Marketer's Choice Shopping Cart - you can use Visa card, MasterCard or American Express to make your payment.
  • Secure – all payments are processed by WorldPay, which is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the fifth largest bank in the world. Security of your funds is protected by maximum-strength encryption.

Crisis communication is specialized work. There’s not much practical information available in the marketplace. What information is around isn’t cheap. A crisis communication manual published by an international PR association sells for US$230.

What I give you here can’t easily be found elsewhere. In this ebook I give you the technique to analyze the importance of specific stakeholders in a crisis. With this technique you can pinpoint which matters are important to you and how particular stakeholders rank on those matters compared with other stakeholders.

When you conduct this analysis and report to senior management they will be most impressed at your expertise!

In this ebook you benefit from my experience gained during actual crises, from the good things and the errors, and from my painstaking research. You don’t have to do the hard work. I have done it for you. You can instantly take advantage of all this at a special low cost.

Here’s what you get in this ebook:

  • What is crisis communication? Crisis communication defined. What the main characteristics of a crisis are. What the typical impact of a crisis is.
  • Exploding the big myths about crises – the hard truth you need to know about the main causes of crises. You will be surprised to learn these people are the two main sources of information that news teams seek out during crises.
  • Find out the 7 main types of crises – and 90 individual causes.
  • Understand how you can judge the 4 levels of severity of a crisis.
  • Good crisis management plans contain these 5 vital steps.
  • Find out how crisis communication fits in to the total crisis management response.
  • Learn the secrets of devising a good crisis communication plan.
  • Ensure these 8 essential elements are the core of your crisis communication plan.
  • Guidelines on the best ways to prepare for communicating during a crisis. Find out how audiences perceive messages in a crisis. Learn why you should write messages in advance.
  • Crises are about influencing stakeholders. These are the most common 31 types of stakeholders. Find out how you can determine exactly who your top-priority stakeholders are. Learn how to assess the strategic value of each stakeholder. How you can avoid these 5 mistakes. Tips on how to best work with government and emergency response partners during a crisis.
  • Discover the 8 fundamental principles of crisis communication that you need to keep in mind when dealing with the media. Surprise research findings. The crucial role of the spokesperson. Be prepared for these 11 likely media questions. Here are 17 tips for talking to the media. Seven pitfalls to avoid. Tactics for each media interview. How to distribute messages when there is a power blackout.
  • How to use the Internet to help solve a crisis. Twenty-five tactics for responding to activists and pressure groups. Learn the 4 stages of attacks over the Internet. Here’s a strategy for responding to the threats from activists and pressure groups. Three ways to respond to rumors and hoaxes. Five ways to tackle hackers, and parody and attack sites.
  • Why crisis plans don’t guarantee success. Here are the 4 important steps you can take to improve your chances of success.
  • Seven ways you can find opportunities in a crisis.
  • How to measure the success of crisis communication. Seven steps to measure crises.
  • Advice on how to resource the crisis communication team. Follow the nine points in this checklist to ensure you get sufficient space and staff available. What to expect of the crisis communication team. Coping with the stress. Crisis resource materials you will need – 18 types of equipment and 22 types of stationery supplies.

And that’s not all!

When you sign up for my ebook on Innovative Strategies for Crisis Communication you also get six special templates that help you prepare professionally for any crisis:

  1. The core messages you should write beforehand so you are telling everyone a consistent message even under pressure.
  2. Worksheet on how to evaluate the importance of different stakeholders.
  3. Summary of key scripted responses to enquiries – one for telephone statements and one for face-to-face statements.
  4. Record of responses to telephone calls to ensure while under pressure you have not overlooked anyone.
  5. Record of media requests so you know exactly what they want before you call them back.
  6. A 12-month training schedule for crisis communication planning – to keep things moving along.

You get all this for only US$19.50!

Why is this such a great value?

Well, this ebook gives you an insider’s understanding of how to prepare for crises and how to minimize their impact. You can use this knowledge straight away – instantly! The templates enable you to start working on crisis preparation immediately!

I have based this information on my own practical knowledge gained over 27 years including three actual crisis situations PLUS my extensive research of the communication literature in the past 8 years.

This ebook stays on the point. I don’t waffle. I keep your practical application of this information in my mind the whole way.

When you compare prices, you can see this provides great value. A crisis communication manual from one of the largest PR associations costs $230 and doesn’t contain any more practical information than this ebook.

There are costly workshops held on risk and crisis management, but few on crisis communication.

There are some books on crisis management available, but they don’t focus on crisis communication – this is a specialized area that few people know much about.

This ebook therefore fills a gap in the marketplace about knowledge of crisis communication. If you use the principles, guidelines and examples in this ebook, you will be able to justify the importance of crisis communication in any with any crisis management situation.

This will be great for your career and a big plus for your organization!

You get a 100% money-back guarantee!

You have this genuine 12-month guarantee:

If you are not fully satisfied with this ebook for any reason, just request your money back at any time within 12 months of purchase and I will return your purchase price in full – no questions asked. Well…actually I would very politely enquire why, to help improve the future content.

Why would I take such a risk and possibly let people take advantage of me?

Well, I go by the experience with my book, Strategic Public Relations. People thought my book provided great value for money! From the thousands of sales of my book over the past five years, I have had no requests for refunds – only a couple of requests for credits when books were damaged in the mail!

These special bonuses give you even more value!

You get three free bonuses that enable you to swing into crisis preparation straight away!

As a consultant, my time isn’t cheap. I charge $100 per hour. If you were my client, I would charge you $400 for these bonuses, based on the amount of time it has taken to plan, research, write and edit them, but I’m making them available to you for free as a special offer when you buy my ebook on crisis communication!

Free checklist! Detailed crisis communication planning checklist of 65 important points.


Twenty-two sample crisis preparedness questions you can ask senior management, which makes you look extremely professional.


Sample pre-prepared statement to issue in response to fears of terrorist attack. It tells you exactly what you say when you are confronted with everyone’s worst nightmare – when you are asked if the event has been caused by a terrorist attack.

Remember, these bonuses are worth $400. When you apply them you will look like a real professional!

When you buy this ebook for US$19.50 you get all the essential information you need on crisis communication as well as $400 worth of bonuses for free!

All this is available to you for just US$19.50.

Act now!

If you act immediately you will receive these bonuses, which you can use to prepare for a crisis. These will make you look really professional.

It’s easy to order!


Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison
Principal, Cutting Edge PR

PS I believe this offer provides great value and will help you to shine in the eyes of your management.

PPS Other great ebooks are also available here. Just click here to find out the range of other topics in this Cutting Edge PR series.

Note: Australian customers - your purchase price includes 10% GST