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Crisis Communications Networks of Centres of Excellence Annual Meeting December 5, 2011 Chateau Laurier.

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Presentation on theme: "Crisis Communications Networks of Centres of Excellence Annual Meeting December 5, 2011 Chateau Laurier."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crisis Communications Networks of Centres of Excellence Annual Meeting December 5, 2011 Chateau Laurier

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3 3 Overview  Difference between an issue and a crisis  Assessing the situation  When a Crisis strikes  Delivery Do’s and Don’t’s  Learning from others  Writing a plan BEFORE a crisis hits

4 4 What is an Issue?  An issue is an incident or situation that involves a degree of sensitivity and urgency that may have a negative impact on your organization’s reputation

5 5 What is a Crisis? An occurrence:  that is linked to your organization and opposes its core values, programs and activities; or  that is linked to your organization and will cause embarrassment to your president, your board or your community; or  that damages the integrity of your organization  that has the potential to disrupt your day-to-day operations

6 6 Assessing the Impact  on your ability to deliver your organization’s mandate, programs, etc.  on the board and its members  on your Stakeholders  on level of potential embarrassment  on reputation  Public or political prominence  local vs. National  on the Minister and/or our Government

7 7 NOT ignoring Issues  Embarrassment often stems because the organization was aware but did not take action  Experts say 56% of crisis situations were “issues” senior management were aware of beforehand  The truth is usually revealed in time  Public perception of a cover-up has more legs than a proactive response  You don’t hear about the organizations that handled the issue or crisis well…not newsworthy  The quicker you react and take responsibility the quicker it goes away


9 9 When a Crisis Strikes  Convene Crisis Team  Generate overview of issue, perceptions  Scan media and social media  Generate action plan options and assess  Take action  Connect with stakeholders (internal and external )  Connect with media to lead the discussion

10 10 Communications To Stakeholders and Media

11 11 Communication is Key  Acknowledge the problem do not underplay impact  BE TRANSPARENT AND FACTUAL  Articulate clearly what steps are being taken to fix the problem  Focus on the long term interest of the stakeholders

12 12 Communication is Key  Each interaction is an opportunity to enhance trust and rapport  Be genuine, show your concern and passion for the organization and for correcting the problem  Display a strong understanding of the situation

13 13 Communicate, but DO NOT:  Speculate on causes  Discuss liability or responsibility  Use “regret” not “apologize”  Make overly optimistic statements regarding remediation  Minimize extent of problems  Let the media inform your community

14 14 Please remember…  People understand organizations make mistakes  People will forgive an honest mistake  People will not forgive dishonesty or a cover-up  Stonewalling only gets you into more trouble  In most cases all damage cannot be erased  The goal is to decrease damage Best Practice: Maple LeafMaple Leaf

15 Preparing a crisis communications plan  It must address the following four questions: –Who does what? –How do we do it? –Who is the spokesperson? –What do we say?

16 Where do you start?  Think of all the things that could pose a threat to your organization  What is the worst thing that can happen to your organization? –How will you deal with it? –If there is even a slight chance that it could happen, assume that it will and write it into your plan.

17 Next steps  Identify the crisis team –Management and communications  Identify the roles and responsibilities  Establish the process  Prepare samples messages –Media advisory –Key messages –Message to staff, stakeholders  Any other products or lists that could be useful

18 18 Practice makes perfect (almost)  Create MOCK Crisis Situation  Have participants go through crisis communications steps  Decide on crisis team  Illustrate situation and perceptions  Create action plan options  Discuss and Assess

19 Questions

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