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Education • Prior experience • Position in organization Proactive side of Crisis Management Involvement with TMT Existence of a Plan Improved Signal Detection Strategic Approach More effective preparation/ prevention Use of research-based information Learning Enhanced reputation Desired Stakeholder behavior Improved Organizational Performance
Broad Categories of Crises • Technological • Chernobyl, Bhopal • Confrontation • Boycott of products, Nestle • Crises of Malevolence • Terrorists, IRA bombs, • Management Failure • Kartongfabrikk, Ericcson • Other - f. eks. takeover bids, Nycomed
Examples • Fire and Explosion • Emission and Environmental Scandals • Layoffs • Bankruptcy • Strikes • Accidents • Sudden Resignations
Examples • Public perception: Johnson & Johnson (Tylenol) • Sudden Market Shift: Atari (computer games) • Product Failure: A. H. Robins (Dalkin Shield) • Management Succession: United Technologies • Cash Crisis: Chrysler Corporation • Industrial Relations Crisis: International Harvester • Hostile Takeover: Bendix/Martin Marietta • International Events: General Motors/OPEC • Regulation/Deregulation: Braniff
News Coverage of Crises Increasing • Business crisis events increased 13% first half of 1996 (worldwide) • Sexual harassment -- increased 192% -- fastest growing category • Class action suits, particularly against tobacco industry -- up 83% • Automotive industry -- most crisis prone industry -- Banking #2 • Commercial airlines close behind
What is Crisis Communication? • It is spontaneous. • It is dependent on the size and nature of crisis. • It is a ‘happening’. • It needs other demands from management than ‘normal’ routines. • It will normally affect many different stakeholders than planned communications.
When an accident, crisis or catastrophe happens, it is too late to develop a crisis information plan. A media plan and mental readiness must be in place before an accident, not developed during the accident. E. R. Sjøberg
Two Key Words • Speed • Confidence • Two Strategies • Information -- one-way spreading of facts and information • Communications -- two-way method of giving out information
Information Strategy • Internal • External • Crisis
Crisis Information Strategy • Who is contact person, first and reserve. Who should do what? • List of everyone who has responsibility for notifying people. • Switch board, security personnel, safety people • Alternative places for press center.
Crisis Information Strategy • Cooperation plans with company, police, fire department. • General rules on who can/can not make statements. • Information on other relationships with company, such as communications network
Most Important Elements • Make sure responsibilities are clear and these people have full responsibility. • Make sure they are prepared mentally -- practice, drill, etc. • Make plans as simple as possible.
Most Important Elements • Spokesperson must have ability to answer questions. • Spokesperson should not be given any other responsibilities. • Decide how to handle press.
Media (TV, radio, papers) Employees Relatives Government Agencies Customers Police Suppliers Local Community Owners, Shareholders, Board of Directors Which Stakeholders Need Informing?
INFORMATION PLAN Groups Should Inform By Whom No Yes Employees Family Customers Suppliers Neighbors Police SFT Local Media Nat’l. Media Board Other
Objectives • Provide accurate, timely information to all targeted internal and external audiences • Demonstrate concern for safety of lives • Safeguard organizational facilities and assets • Maintain a positive image of the organization as a good corporate or community citizen
Major action areas • PR Headquarters • Media Information Center
PR Headquarters • Responsible for notification of all internal and external emergency audiences • Preparing material for the media • Exercise principles of ‘one voice’ and full-disclosure • Establishing a public information center to answer questions and control rumors
Media Information Center • Away from PR headquarters • Telephone that can not be shut off or used by other personnel • Assign people to escort media • Room equipped with technology needed by media • Spokesperson - never PR person
Avoid These Mistakes Before a Crisis Occurs • Define the PR Function and Recognize its Importance • Put PR in the Right Organizational Box • Don’t Forget the World is a Small Place • Have Clear PR Goals and Ongoing Programs • Have Crisis Planning/Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Avoid These Mistakes Before a Crisis Occurs • Avoid Bad Advice and Don’t Ignore Good Advice • Keep Up with Technology • Don’t Forget Internal Audiences • Don’t Blame the Media • Don’t Kill the Messenger
Questions • What can go wrong? • Are the facilities vulnerable to fire, explosion or other crisis? • Is dangerous equipment on the premises? • What are potential trouble spots?