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Effectively Managing Crisis Communication Aug. 17, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Effectively Managing Crisis Communication Aug. 17, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effectively Managing Crisis Communication Aug. 17, 2012

2 What is a Crisis?  Emergency/out-of-the-ordinary situation  Human error/inappropriate behavior  Brief or extended  Can involve other organizations  Good thing (award/achievement)

3 Yes, you CAN prevent many crises  Make sure policies are written, publicized and practiced  Encourage consistency  Be fair and honest  Listen to your stakeholders

4 Crisis Team  Leadership team/decision maker(s)  Content expert(s)/operations  Public Relations professional(s)  Risk management  Devil’s advocate  Scribe

5 Planning  Consider potential crises  Assemble key team members  Discuss possible responses  Put processes in writing  Test them  Adjust response plan accordingly  Test again  Commit to memory!!!

6 Things to have ON PAPER  24/7 contact information for everyone  Instructions for posting to your Web site  Instructions for changing voicemail messages  Templates for “likely” emergencies

7 Spotting a Crisis  Milestone events  “Celebrity” employees/stakeholders  Disgruntled employees  Passionate stakeholders  Initiatives going/gone wrong  Units with little supervision  Industry/national environment  Current events  Leaders who think rules don’t apply to them

8 Process (in place in advance of a crisis)  Have a designated meeting place  Assign one person to gather information  Consider what types of things should be in writing  Determine information flow

9 Information Flow  Who handles incoming calls, emails, etc.?  Who has the power to mitigate the crisis?  Who has the power to make it worse?  Who is paying the bills?  Who are the customers?

10 Process: This is NOT a Test  Call your dean/supervisor  Call Public Affairs  Determine what you know  Determine what you don’t know  Think about your audience(s) for this crisis  Build your message  Share it – in a timely fashion – with your audience(s)

11 Building Relationships  What media “cover” your organization?  What are their deadlines?  Are there special sections/segments that match your organization’s expertise and offerings?  Who are the specific reporters assigned to your organization?

12 The Call  Never talk without prepping  Never allow your boss to talk without prepping  You never have to talk to reporters  Think about the message  Do the reporter’s work for him/her

13 The Interview  Look and act professionally  Speak clearly  Use your bullets in EVERY answer possible

14 The Number One Rule  Tell the truth!!!!!!

15 Example: Penn State University  PSU was a national football powerhouse  Longtime PSU assistant coach was accused of child sexual abuse  Instead of telling the truth, high-level officials lied to protect the school’s brand  Victims went public with their stories  Lies were revealed  Coach, president, others lost their jobs  PSU will pay millions in damages  PSU brand is badly tarnished

16 Special Situations  Off the record  Not for attribution  No comment

17 Getting the Story Right  Summarize your points  Provide supporting documents in simple form  Offer to answer questions during writing process  Be available!!  Read/watch/listen to the story  When necessary, set the record straight

18 Crisis Communications 101 Anne Mulcahy (former Xerox head):  Get the cow out of the ditch  Figure out how the cow got in the ditch  Create a plan to make sure the cow doesn’t end up back in the ditch

19 Media Relations Points to Remember  Establish relationships BEFORE a crisis  When interviewing, be prepared  Make 1-2 points…stick to them  If it’s written or recorded, it could end up on the news.  Tell the truth!!!!!

20 Questions?

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