Crisis media relations presentation

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Information about Crisis media relations presentation

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: Makacha



A presentation on on how to respond to a crisis

Crisis Media Relations David Makacha

Articles Reviewed 1. A Seven-Step Formula For Crisis Management by Bruce Butterfield, APR, CAE , The Forbes Group 2. Crisis Management and Communications By W. Timothy Coombs, Ph.D. Institute For Public Relations

What is a Crisis A crisis is a “non-routine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threatens significant damage” like:  Reputation loss  Financial loss  Lawsuits  Public Safety (Doorley and Garcia 2007: 328)

How to Deal With a Crisis ?  There is no blue-print of what every company should do in a crisis  Each crisis might require a different approach basing on its nature, level of crisis and context.  However, there are basic principles generally followed

1 Get ready Before the Crisis Hits  “Prevention is better than Cure”  stay prepared, plan ahead, put a trained crisis communication team in place,  Pre-assign tasks to the crisis team members  Communication plans should address online media where the crisis usually breaks first.  You can design scenario statements or key messages ready to be activated (Templates)

2 What To Do when Crisis Hits  Define the scope of the crisis- Is it local, regional or international ?  Identify affected stakeholders  You may also research for what others have done in such situations  The basic principles to response are: (1) be quick (2) be accurate, and (3) be consistent.

Step 2: Establish Unified Response  Appoint one person authorized to clear statements to the media and the public (this should be done prior to crisis)  “Develop and maintain a unified position and supporting messages”  Develop simple, clear and consistent messages  Adapt messages to suite various stakeholders  Appoint one official spokesperson and one alternate  Let everyone know who the spokespersons are and how they can be contacted.

3 Create a central information service  Set up a media headquarters. It can be near or away from the site of crisis.  All organizational staff and volunteers should refer questions to the central authorized source.  “request for Stakeholders’ cooperation”  Make sure emergency numbers e.g. police. Ambulance, safety organizations are available  Have all requests and queries channeled and replied through the information central to avoid inconsistences.

4 Act Promptly  Gather your facts  Inform the media and cooperate with reporters  Tailor messages to the affected stakeholders and those who can effect messages  Release a simple statement showing “awareness of the situation, action being taken and willingness to inform media and public of details when they are known.”  Be open and honest in everything  Arrange for a press conference to be addressed by the spokesperson or company executives.

4 Take Action Promptly…….. continued  Use all available channels e.g. mass media, intranets, website (specifically for the crisis) to disseminate information.  Spokesperson must always be available for interviews, never say no comment  Console victims, show empathy, concern and reassure the affected, offer help  Use facts to dispel rumors  Keep stakeholders updated of new developments  Spokesperson must be comfortable on camera, avoiding nervous habits that people interpret as deception.

5 Establish Media Response Policy  Schedule regular media briefings to update the reporters & stakeholders  Where suitable arrange for access to disaster area by reporters and other officials  Do not provide information about victims until families have been notified  “Treat all media equally; no exclusives”  Be consistent- Stick to the facts and limit statements to the immediate problem  “Keep records of all replies (media, reporter name, date, time, respondent, summary of response, follow up requests)”  Set up media monitoring plan, e.g. google alerts

6 Document everything  Keep records of everything e.g.: • victims, financial loses, • dates and time of press conferences • Any other data related to the crisis Pic by

7 Conduct a post-crisis review  Appoint a post crisis assessment team  Ask questions like:  Did the crisis communicating work?  Where did it break down?  What should be added?  What was unnecessary and obsolete?  Who should be on the next crisis management team?  Intergrade lessons learnt into organizations crisis management team

References  Doorley, J. & Garcia, H.F. (2007). Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communications. New York, NY: Routledge  Butterfield, B. (2001, November). A Seven-Step Formula For Crisis Management. Retrieved from  Coombs, W. T. (October 30, 2007). Crisis Management and Communications. Retrieved from communications/

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