Issues and crises

Defining the problem is the important first step in planning

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

Some communication problems seem simple to solve, and certainly can be addressed at that level. But many problems or issues need greater depth of thought. They may contain deeper or more complex factors that need resolving – and defining. One way to cut to the core of the problem or issue is to clearly define it as a problem statement. The problem statement should refer to the main likely impact on your organization, including ...

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Government is the most important crisis news source

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

  US research has found, surprisingly, that the most important sources of news during a crisis came from government – either politicians or employees of regulatory agencies. This finding points to the need to brief government stakeholders as a pressing priority during a crisis, preferably as part of ongoing communication programs. Government at various levels, including regulatory bodies, becomes involved with crises. It is therefore essential that preparation is conducted ahead of any crisis ...

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How to respond to a social media attack

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises, Social media

Social media has become much more volatile thanks to the Tweeter-in-Chief. This is especially true politically, but it's also true in marketing, communication, and the wider business world. People have become more polarized politically, and are quick to criticize on impulse. What's the best way to respond to such attacks? I'm a big fan of US linguistics expert George Lakoff, who has developed an effective formula for dealing with social media attacks. He says ...

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Abrupt executive departures cause communication problems

01 Jun, 2020 Internal communication, Issues and crises, Leadership and managerial communication

Abrupt departures by senior executives can be a real headache for communicators because the rumor mill will often go into a frenzy about the event. And rumors are usually worse than the truth. Fill the vacuum of information When a sudden departure has occurred, the CEO should act immediately to fill the vacuum of information. If they don’t act quickly, the rumors will start flying. It is your job as communicator to advise the ...

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Develop positive partner relationships before a crisis

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

A partner is any organization with a role in aiding a crisis response. Partner relationships should be developed ahead of any crises so there is a solid foundation for well-coordinated work through each crisis. Employees are the most important stakeholders of all, but are a separate subject to discuss. Typical partners for your organization may be the police and fire and ambulance emergency service units, State emergency services, utilities, and health and medical authorities. ...

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Causes of organizational crises are so predictable

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

  More than two thirds of organizational crises are predictable – because they are largely created by management’s own actions or inactions. Over the past decade, this consistent fact has been revealed by the Institute for Crisis Management’s crisis monitoring. Mismanagement is the biggest cause of crises, accounting for around 25-30% of cases of smoldering issues that have erupted into full-blown crises. These crises comprised professional malpractice, misappropriation of resources, misconduct, negligence, collusion and ...

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When saying sorry is the right thing for your organization to communicate

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises, PR ethics

"I’m sorry you were offended"..."I’m sorry you feel that way." What's wrong with these two apologies? They are not real apologies at all, just a slippery way of dodging responsibility for the problem they caused. Instead, the 'apologies' should have been along the lines of "I’m sorry my behavior offended you" and "I'm sorry I made you feel that way." These apologies show you are taking responsibility for the matter. It's a big difference. Taking ...

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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. Experience shows if you don’t plan for crises, the consequences are much worse when a crisis strikes. 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 that can ...

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Communicating during a crisis

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

  When you believe your organization is confronted by a crisis, you need to firstly confirm you are dealing with a genuine crisis as opposed to some sensationalist news coverage or a passing social media storm. From a communication perspective, you then need to consider who is most important to reach and what to say to them. These days more than 70% of organizational crises are predictable – because they are largely created by ...

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How to prevent situations from becoming crises

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises

By René A. Henry Author René Henry (www.renehenry.com) kindly granted permission to publish this excerpt from his book, Communicating in a Crisis: A Guide for Management. There are 10 steps a company, organization or institution needs to take or have in place to hopefully prevent a crisis, quickly close the crisis, or to meet the crisis as a challenge and create a positive opportunity. Anticipate and have a plan Anticipate every possible crisis and ...

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