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Crisis Communications Habitat for Humanity-Ohio November 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Crisis Communications Habitat for Humanity-Ohio November 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crisis Communications Habitat for Humanity-Ohio November 2014

2 Agenda Introductions – Review of Experience Part 1: The reality of media today Part 2: What constitutes a crisis? Part 3: Role of University Communications Part 4: Message Management and Delivery: The 4 P’s Requirements of Print/Broadcast/Online More Interview Examples Part 6: Interview/Playback and Critique Part 7: Questions/Answers

3 Why it all matters….. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” --Warren Buffett

4 And that’s the way……. “it was” There was a time when was “the most trusted man in America” was a journalist

5 This is “the way it is….”

6 Relentless stream of information…

7 Be a good scout…. Be prepared… “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” ---John F. Kennedy

8 What constitutes a crisis? Anything that threatens reputation or interrupts the normal flow of business What turns situations into crises? –24/7 news cycle –Global and viral –More opportunities for misinformation –Less objective news outlets –Not enough anticipatory planning –Ineffective responses

9 Crisis management It isn’t always a major event that requires effective communication…. –Client/customer issues –Re-branding –Financial crisis –Employee misconduct –Management or board change –Activist attack or hacker attack –Layoffs

10 Crisis management Reputation management is a proactive exercise –Individuals and companies must monitor multiple channels More than 1/3 of corporate communications officers report than their companies experienced a social-media-based reputation threat during the past 12 months. Just as many remain unprepared for handling such threats

11 Crisis management Crisis situations are inherently stressful –Confusion –Anger –Defensiveness –Hurt –Highly emotional reactions None of these are conducive to effective communication with the public

12 Crisis management Under pressure, people often say too much “No comment” is usually saying too little Stereotypes –Lawyers: reputation for saying “No” –Public relations: reputation for not thinking about all ramifications and saying too much Need balance: if you don’t give them some information, you’ll be in even less control of the situation

13 Crisis management - Trust

14 Crisis Management

15 Crisis management -- Strategy Have formal crisis plan for catastrophic events Define position and messages Keep control of the crisis Communicate and update frequently Keep it localized (as much as possible) Keep focus on what’s most important Don’t prolong the crisis unnecessarily Monitor and correct as appropriate – not every posting requires a response Bring closure when crisis is past Crises lose money – try to avoid them

16 Crisis management -- Trends It’s a multi-stakeholder world Quick response required – even if it’s only a holding statement You can’t stop people from talking about you The microphone is always on Photos and video can be uploaded in minutes Selective social media engagement Employees are spokespeople and ambassadors

17 Crisis management - Communicating BP CEO was strongly criticized –CEOs may be more tentative about speaking All spokespersons (including lawyers) need media training All spokespersons need practice before important interviews Maybe the CEO isn’t the best spokesperson; although should always be the overall manager of crisis response

18 Crisis management - Agility Responses can’t wait Holding statements are still valuable Scenario planning Have FAQs, Fact books, etc. on hand Anticipate who will be most Crises hit faster than ever affected and who will be most likely to react @BPglobalPR

19 Crisis management - Positioning Assess situation -- Know your position Act immediately to protest people, property, brand reputation Advise those involved first Examine all sides of the situation Anticipate questions, objections, attacks Identify advocates Select best spokesperson Set parameters for disclosure

20 Crisis management - Messaging Very important to get it right at the beginning – adjust as you go along “I’m sorry” is powerful, but don’t assume liability Messages should educate as well as inform Be as clear as possible – don’t try to “spin” – Never lie Messages should answer tough questions before they are asked Document messages and create FAQ Rule of thumb is three key messages

21 Crisis management - Audiences The media is not an audience; it’s a channel People directly affected Employees/associates Board of Directors or Trustees Customers Shareholders Donors Members Suppliers Partners Other specific audiences

22 Crisis management – Delivery channels Media (traditional mass media print and broadcast) Social media:FacebookYouTube TwitterSlideShare BloggersKey word searches Website and/or micro site Trade media Employees and other ambassadors – arm them with messages

23 Crisis management – Media prep Don’t talk to the media; talk to the media’s audience Talk the way reporters write –Headline followed by good quote followed by adding facts sparingly Have a message (or three) Stay in control – don’t do off-the-cuff interviews There is no such thing as “off the record” If you’re not going to comment, say so – but don’t say “no comment” Anticipate questions; develop answers; transition back to message Practice, practice, practice and role play

24 Crisis management – Social media “ Fight social media fire with social media water” Don’t wait too long to correct misperceptions Online messages live forever Evaluate how much energy you want to spend on social media Integrated social media – drive to website or micro site Create a social media policy for employees and others who want to speak for the company on their personal accounts The youngest person on staff isn’t always the best person to manage social media responses


26 Questions?

27 Crisis management - Monitoring Inclusion of accurate messages is a good media measurement metric Monitor traditional and social media Monitor websites of activists and other potential adversaries – won’t always be picked up in Google Alerts Determine how much energy you want to give to negative influencers –Sometimes they can be neutralized Control the timing of your news Monitor personal Twitter and Facebook accounts

28 What makes up the message? They are true and valued by you, making them memorable They present a common identity They increase credibility and confidence for your organization/self They are used on the job and away from the job They are used frequently They are used in ALL communications as well as reflected in your behavior They are limited to three to five messages

29 Sample messages As a community-based medical school, the Boonshoft School of Medicine is affiliated with seven major teaching hospitals and more than 20 health care institutions Nationally recognized for our commitment to community service, the Boonshoft School of Medicine is ranked fourth in the nation for its social mission

30 Prepare: Know The Media Research the reporter – Is this his/her usual topic or beat? What is the reporter’s background? – Have they covered your organization specifically? Was it a positive story or experience? – Who else have they or will they speak with in the industry? Research the publication/outlet – Who is the audience? Determine the appropriate spokesperson for the topic

31 Provide Feedback Evaluate the interview – Any errors to correct? Follow-up needed? Make corrections or clarifications immediately Log information about the reporter/interview in media contact list, contact database or files Discuss opportunities to maximize the exposure of the piece

32 Inverted Pyramid Traditional Story Telling – Broad, strong foundation – Build with background – Ends with main point/ present day Interviews – Starts with main point – Support with example(s) – Think like a reporter writes Package Your Message: How to Say It IN AN INTERVIEW…GET TO THE POINT!

33 Word choice is critical in helping to ensure your words don’t get misquoted or your thoughts misrepresented Avoid negatives, absolutes and statements that place blame Choose positive, more flexible words and statements Use power words that describe action or invoke emotion/feeling Do Not repeat a reporter’s negative word, term or phrase Package Your Message: Positive Language Avoid…Instead use… ProblemsSituation AlwaysOften NeverSeldom Should haveCould have BadUnwise FaultsDifferences MistakesValuable Lessons

34 Practice Your Response: Bridging Briefly answer the question, but quickly move to a message you’d like to share – Yes, but … – You know, I’m not sure about that. However what I can tell you is… Pose a new question and answer it yourself – The real question here is “what are we doing about the situation.” – The heart of the matter really is “what we are doing about this”

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