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Comm427 Midterm ReviewFoundations for Crisis CommunicationFive Truths About Crisis Communication1. Crises are inevitable- inevitably all companies can and will experience crises - all organizations should take proactive steps to prepare for these inevitable crises - planning for a crisis can affect the quality of communication during the crisis 2. Transparent and honest communication is key to effective communication- dishonesty in the form of deliberate omission, deceptions, and strategic ambiguity are inappropriate from ethical standpoint, also undermine. not support, crisis communication- many companies/people’s first reaction to crisis was attempt to deny, cover up, lie- short-term positive effects, but have long-term negative effects3. When in doubt follow a golden-rule approach- do to others as you would like done to you- when communicating with audiences, ask yourself these questions:o What would you want to know?o What would you need to know?o How would you want the messages communicated to you?o What channels would need to be available to you if you had further questions or comments about the crisis?4. An organization’s culture can determine crisis communication success- organizations culture is an organizations DNA- creating and nurturing a culture that is conducive to effective crisis communication is first step when planning for a crisis 5. Crisis communication requires training and skill sets that people don’t naturally possess- effective crisis communication requires skill, training, practice, and simulation- just because you have the best info./knowledge doesn’t mean you know how to communicate it- learn to communicate crises properlySTICKS- Skill in crisis communicationT- TransparencyI- Inevitability of crises and therefore pre-crisis preparation imperative C- Culture of an organization that will not undermine the crisis planK- Knowledge of the value of the gold rule principle Defining Crisis Communication Crisis- an anomalous event that may negatively affect an organization that requires efficient organizational communication to reduce the damage related to the event- atypical events that may be predictable but not expected - can damage organization or individuals within organizations - compels organizations to communicate with various audiences Issue/Incident Risk Crisis & DisasterIncident/issue- minor, localized disruption; isolated event; only disruptive to a small part of an organization- isolated - minor- only disruptive to part of an organizationRisk- has the potential to become a crisis if not handled in correct way, presents possible issue/crisis/disaster, but gives leeway in preventing it from happening Crisis- definition above; disrupts/affect an entire organization and can result in negative or undesirable outcomes, it is not isolated incident, organization must all stop and rebuild/respond- not isolated- affects entire organization- organization based- major- crisis cannot become a disaster Disaster- more large-scale than a crisis, it affects a community, is not preventable- community based- major- disaster can become a crisis if not handled properlyTypes of Crises- Natural Disastero ex: hurricane, flood- Management/Employee Misconducto ex: WorldCom executives accused of deliberately presenting inaccurate data about company- Product Tamperingo ex: Chinese police arrested two brothers accused of adding dangerous chemical to milk they sold to a company that produced infant formula—babies become ill, 2 die- Mega Damageo ex: Exxon Valdez crashes, the oil spill as a result into clean waters - Rumoro ex: Widow on Larry King claims cell phone cause her husbands death, Motorola’s sock drops precipitously - Technical Breakdown/ Accidento ex: computers storing information about applicants at a university crash losing all information, university doesn’t know who was admitted and who was not - Technical Breakdown/ Not Entirely Accidentalo ex. Intel computers recalled because had program that did not calculate number correctly, problem aggravated when revealed that Intel knew of this problem and did not immediately recall flawed products - Challengeo ex: Wal-Mart confronted by consumer group that argues there is “high price for low cost”, produces a movie about it and shows at various locations- Human Erroro ex: car tires are defective, driving accidents attributed to this problem - Workplace Violence o ex: worker murders co-workersWhat crises communicators do:- conceive, create, and disseminate messages to these internal and external receivers, and prepare to receive and respond to feedback from these audiences - Prepare for crises o develop relationships with internal and external audiences o anticipate potential criseso consider ahead of time how to address types of crises that can be anticipated - Identify audiences o consider who needs to receive information from the organization during times of crisiso will be internal and external- Conceive and construct messages o identify units of information that company wishes to relay to identified audiences o create message that are composites of these units - Select media/medium for communication o evaluate methods for communicating, select best method- Respond to feedbacko be prepared to respond to feedback (questions/reactions) from internal and external audiences- Evaluate success o after initial crisis has passed, asses the effort, discuss how they could be more effective, record plans for activity if faced with similar crisis in future- Crisis communication Skills:o Speak well under pressureo Respond well to questionso write wello conduct meetings with crisis communication teams and members of stakeholder groupso use new technologies to complement traditional communication strategies and channels Crisis Communication Myths- Crisis communication is only reactiveo successful crisis communicator prepares for crises with proactive planningo preparatory steps enable an organizations to communicate effectively during crisis - Crisis communication= media relationso mass media is beneficial because it can communicate messages to mass audiences quickly and can sometimes assist with crisis communication effort, but are not synonymous for two reasons: if crisis communication and media relations are synonymous means organization will be ignoring other key audiences (ex. Virginia Tech shooting, was more important to get in touch with important audiences other than the media—students, faculty,

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UMD COMM 427 - Midterm Review

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