Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

When Bad News Happens: tips for crisis communications Dr. Joe Brennan, APR Associate Vice President for University Communications University at Buffalo.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "When Bad News Happens: tips for crisis communications Dr. Joe Brennan, APR Associate Vice President for University Communications University at Buffalo."— Presentation transcript:

1 When Bad News Happens: tips for crisis communications Dr. Joe Brennan, APR Associate Vice President for University Communications University at Buffalo June 2009

2 What is a “Crisis”? Any non-routine event that… Causes serious harm to people or property Significantly disrupts operations Threatens viability Or poses a serious risk of the above

3

4 Crisis Management is a Process 1. Prepare 2. Respond 3. Recover

5 Stage 1: Prepare Build good relationships. Get ready to respond. Pay attention to warning signals.

6 Prepare: building good relationships Six dimensions of org-public relationships 1. Control mutuality 2. Trust* 3. Satisfaction** 4. Commitment** 5. Exchange relationship 6. Communal relationship Source: L. Grunig, J. Grunig, & D. Dozier, Excellence in public relations and communication management., 1992.

7 Two-way models 3. Asymmetrical 4. Symmetrical Prepare: building good relationships One-way models flow of info 1. Press agentry/publicity 2. Public information Source: J. Grunig & T. Hunt, Managing Public Relations, 1984.

8 Prepare: getting ready Write a crisis plan 1. Identifies risks and responses. 2. Establishes crisis team and sets roles. 3. Spells out values and principles that will guide response and communications. 4. Outlines general approaches and techniques. 5. Provides authority to act and to communicate.

9 Prepare: getting ready Train your people NIMS/ICS courses (online) Crisis drills (tabletop, field) Risk communications Media interviews

10 Prepare: watching for warning signals Horizon scanning Internal factors External forces What to watch Rumor mill Traditional media Social media Personal networks Enforcers (police, internal auditors)

11 Stage 2: Respond Operational response NIMS/ICS Communications response 1. Identify affected publics. 2. Develop core messages. 3. Select spokesperson. 4. Communicate – and keep communicating.

12 The ICS Structure The public information officer is a member of the command staff, responsible for developing and communicating all external messages.

13 Respond: identify affected audiences 1.Victims – and others directly affected. 2.Employees, customers and suppliers. 3.Other stakeholders – indirectly affected. 4.The news media.

14 Respond: develop core messages First, ask four key questions: 1. What happened? 2. How are we fixing it? 3. Why did it happen? 4. How is it affecting our ability to provide services?

15 Respond: develop core messages Then add three statements 1. We are sorry about the effect it’s having. 2. We are working closely with the authorities – and with those who are directly affected. 3. We’re committed to seeing that this never happens again.

16 Respond: selecting spokesperson Pop Quiz! The best spokesperson is (choose one): A. Highly competent technical expert. B. Strongly dedicated, committed senior official. C. Professional communicator, honest and open. D. Empathetic and caring individual.

17 Respond: selecting the spokesperson 50% 20% 15% Source: Columbia University Center for Risk Communication Four factors determine perception of spokesperson’s trustworthiness:

18 Respond: choosing the channels Direct methods (“push”) Text messaging Public address systems Signs and posters Face-to-face visits Phone calls Controlled methods (“pull”) Web sites Bulletin boards Social media you manage Uncontrolled methods (“pray”) Rumor mill News media Social media you don’t manage

19 Respond: surviving the first 48 hours The first two days set the tone for all the rest. Day 1: what happened a)Notifying key audiences. b)Establishing the facts. c)Supporting victims and other affected audiences Day 2: why it happened a)Reinforcing facts, correcting misperceptions. b)Giving an expanded view of organization’s response. c)Reinforcing relationships with audiences and allies.

20 Respond: 5 Commandments 1.Communicate quickly and directly with those who are most affected. 2.Be the first one to tell your story. 3.All the bad news must come out at once. 4.Speak with one clear voice. 5.Keep on communicating.

21 Respond: working with reporters

22 Respond: the story triangle Villain Victim Vindicator

23  Secret # 1  News reporters don’t write “articles” – they write “stories.”  Secret # 2  News is what reporters and editors say it is.  Secret # 3  It’s much better to talk to reporters than to avoid them.  Secret # 4  Interviews are not normal conversations.  Secret # 5: You can’t whitewash a pile of manure.  Secret # 6: The news media are less powerful now.

24 Responding: case study University of Houston Faculty Drinking on Students’ Dime? May 6, 2009 I:\documents\My Videos\RealPlayer Downloads\UH faculty drinking on students' dime Video abc13.com.flv Source:

25 Responding: Univ. of Houston Reporter President Students

26 Responding: Univ. of Houston University tells employees it is enforcing travel rules – in response to Ch. 13’s investigation. President Khator responds to reporter’s questions - by

27 Responding: Univ. of Houston Source: University of Houston Makes Changes After Investigation May 12, \My Videos\RealPlayer Downloads\University of Houston makes changes after 13 Undercover investigation Houston News - abc13.com.flv

28 Responding: citizen journalists

29 Hostile Blogs When to respond? When to ignore?

30 Responding: Social media “Speaking is silver, listening is gold.” - Turkish proverb Social media let you LISTEN and BUILD RELATIONSHIPS Blogs Wikis Twitter Social networking sites

31 Stage 3: Recovery Rebuilding trust Learning from the experience

32 Recovery: rebuilding trust Seven steps are necessary. 1. Candor 2. Explanation 3. Declaration 4. Contrition 5. Consultation 6. Commitment 7. Resolution Source: Jim Lukaszewski, Public Relations Quarterly, Fall 1997.

33 Recovery: learning the lessons Five variables to evaluate: 1. Effectiveness of spokespersons 2. Communication of key messages 3. Containment of negative messages 4. Impact on customers 5. Impact on employees Source: Katie Payne, PR News, Aug. 18, 2003

34 Final thought: managing expectations Realistic expectation for crisis communications: Your college gets the benefit of the doubt. You’re not cast in role of villain. You’re seen as honest, caring, competent. Unrealistic expectations: Your college can avoid anger and scrutiny. You will fully control the message. You can unilaterally decide what, when and how to communicate.

35 Crisis Management is a Process 1. Prepare 2. Respond 3. Recover


Download ppt "When Bad News Happens: tips for crisis communications Dr. Joe Brennan, APR Associate Vice President for University Communications University at Buffalo."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google