Issues and crises

Panic seldom happens in real-world crises

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

Contrary to disaster movies, TV series and journalistic clichés, panic seldom exists in disaster situations. Panic is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as 'excessive feeling of alarm or fear...leading to extravagant or injudicious efforts to secure safety.' People stay surprisingly calm in the major storms of life. In examining 50 years of disaster situations, including the ‘9/11’ terrorism in the USA in 2001, scholars have concluded that people rarely panic. Even when people ...

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Prepare ahead for stakeholder communication during a crisis

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises, Reputation, trust, stakeholder relations

Success in crisis management depends largely on how quickly and accurately your organization communicates with its stakeholders. Stakeholders have something at risk, and therefore something to gain or lose as a result of your organization’s activity. By using their influence, stakeholders hold the key to the environment in which your organization operates and therefore its subsequent financial and operating performance. During a crisis your organization has to look at itself from your stakeholders’ perspective ...

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Simple early warning tools to identify potential issues and crises

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

Around 70% of corporate crises smolder – they should have been identified and precautions or responses planned well before they hit. Crises might be a surprise, but they don’t just strike without warning. Issues that could become crises can generally be identified easily. Several sensible techniques give early warning of possible issues that can lead to crises. What’s more, 80% of crises are caused internally – by actions or inactions of management (50%) or ...

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Communicating during a crisis

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

Organizations can withstand crises better if they have established sound, long-term relationships with stakeholders, the people and organizations who are at risk from the decisions and actions of the organization. Two thirds (67%) of all corporate crises have 'smoldered' beforehand, according to the Institute for Crisis Management. This means they have developed comparatively slowly and should be identified along the way. Most such crises (about 22% in 2018 ) are caused by mismanagement - ...

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How to deal with rumors on the grapevine

01 Jun, 2020 Internal communication, Issues and crises, Messaging

This article has been quoted in the New York Times. Regardless of how well an organization formally communicates to its employees, people’s socialization needs will always lead employees to engage in informal conversations. Rumors often are one of the outcomes of such conversations. And if managers and supervisors don’t attend to the communication needs of their employees, the informal avenue of internal rumors definitely grows. A rumor may be mostly true, such as aspects ...

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How to verify content from digital sources in a crisis

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises, PR and the internet

Corporate communicators and journalists can find it difficult to confirm the facts about an emergency or crisis. In these days of proliferating 'fake news' and wild claims made on social media, a 'crisis' report could merely be sensationalism or could even be completely untrue. Often communicators need to identify the source and truth of such claims so they can understand and communicate the facts. Verifying facts before publishing a news story is one of ...

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What will cause your next organizational crisis?

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

Crises are rare events. They are unexpected, unwanted and unpleasant. However, experience shows if you don’t plan for crises, the consequences are much worse when a crisis is triggered. Find out how your organization’s next crisis could be caused. International surveys show organizations are generally not prepared to deal with crises. But first we need to know what we are talking about: A crisis is any issue, problem or disruption triggering negative stakeholder reactions ...

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How to convince senior management of the importance of your crisis communication plan

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises, Proving PR value

It is not easy to get senior management to listen to communicators about the importance of crisis communication plans. Quite often, executives will perceive crises and emergencies only in terms of an operational response (“Put the fire out and return to full operations ASAP.”). This is an extremely frustrating attitude to encounter. Those executives will need to be convinced of the impact on the organization’s operations and therefore its profitability before they take full ...

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You can use VUCA analysis for better issue management

01 Jun, 2020 Annual communication plans, Issues and crises, PR planning, strategy, budgeting

VUCA analysis has become a trendy term in some management circles, especially in the finance sector. VUCA is an acronym standing for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, and is used to describe key characteristics of the external environment. It is another analytical tool that can be used in issue management. Some knowledge of VUCA factors is valuable to communicators. Apart from considering these factors in your own communication plans, you will impress senior management ...

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How vulnerable to a crisis are you?

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

Most organizational crises are predictable and preventable. About two thirds of crises have been smoldering for some time – their causes are apparent, but no action has been taken to prevent them or reduce their impact. Only about half of organizations around the world have a crisis plan in place. Yet only about 30-50% of organizations hit by a crisis manage to survive. Too often self-caused A survey by Burson-Marsteller/Penn Schoen Berland in 2011 ...

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