Crisis Communication. Maj. John W. Fuld , Ph.D. Objective. Explain the public affairs role in crisis operations. Overview. Define issue, emergency and crisis Define the three types of crises How to recognize a communication crisis Preparing for a crisis and reputation management
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Crisis Communication Maj. John W. Fuld, Ph.D.
Objective • Explain the public affairs role in crisis operations
Overview • Define issue, emergency and crisis • Define the three types of crises • How to recognize a communication crisis • Preparing for a crisis and reputation management • PA role in crisis communication
Define Issue, Emergency and Crisis • Issue: • Matter in dispute, meaning there are two or more conflicting points of view on the subject • Most develop over time • Generally see them coming, giving time to prepare • Precise beginning or ending is difficult
Define Issue, Emergency and Crisis • Emergency • Sudden, usually unexpected occurrence • Requires prompt action and communication • Most have a well-defined starting time and date
Define Issue, Emergency and Crisis • Crisis: • Stage at which the reaction to an issue or incident determines the future of a person or organization • Major turning point in the life of an organization • Tough recognizing the point you have a crisis
Define the three types of crises • Types of crises: 1. Immediate - Fort Hood, Hurricane Katrina 2. Emerging – military academy sexual harassment 3. Sustained – common in corporate world, Proctor & Gamble logo
How to recognize a communication crisis • Is your organization's reputation in danger? • Are many “publics” or groups seeking information? • Are you losing control of information flow? • Has your organization adopted a siege mentality?
How to recognize a communication crises • Seven common mistakes: • Hesitation: Delay due to uncertainty of mind or fear. • Obfuscation: To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand • Retaliation:Act of retaliating; return of like for like • Prevarication or equivocation:Speak falsely or misleadingly; lie. • Pontification:Express opinions in a dogmatic way • Confrontation: Discord or clash of opinions • Litigation: To engage in legal proceedings.
Preparing for a crisis and reputation management • Planning: • Identify things that can go wrong; assess vulnerabilities. • Draft questions, answers, and resolutions for each potential crisis scenario. • Focus on what to do and what to say. • Develop a strategy to contain and counteract. • Put your plan on paper.
Preparing for a crisis and reputation management • Training • Exercise high-risk activities • Brief likely scenarios during training • Share plan with media • Review plan
PA role in crisis communication • Three primary objectives : 1. Retain public confidence in our organization. 2. Preserve good media and community relations. 3. Protect and promote the welfare of C.A.P.
PA role in crisis communication • Basic steps to achieve your objectives: • Get the facts • Get them straight • Get the facts to higher headquarters • Know who will speak on behalf of the organization • Anticipate the media will be there • Treat media fairly • Communicate with your internal audience
PA role in crisis communication • Basic steps to achieve your objectives: (cont.) • Get it out • Use your plan for using your website • Release of names and other information was covered in the guidelines for release class • Questions to expect
PA role in crisis communication • Immediate considerations • Secure information as needed • Release information • Provide media access to the scene • Safety of news media representatives • Security of the scene • Understanding of civilian or military jurisdiction • Restricting media access to a site