Crisis management communications professional,food storage disaster preparedness calendar,emergency alert system radio stations,huracanes puerto rico - For Begninners

In the past several weeks, brands from Burger King and Penn State to Chick-fil-A and CelebBoutique have grappled with serious reputational threats.  These days, it’s almost routine for communications pros to be managing some kind of potential crisis situation along with proactive PR programs. We provide crisis preparedness plans, training and simulation exercises and are the go-to firm in any issue or crisis that requires calm, experienced communications and issues management counsel. Matters that we handle include enforcement actions, major litigation (especially intellectual property, competition, fraud and international disputes), natural and man-made disasters, environmental, health and safety issues, financial situations (M&A, bankruptcies and restructurings), board disputes, management changes, industrial action (including strikes, unionisation campaigns and plant closures), product recalls, product liability and market exits. In addition, our Communications and Media Training courses prepare spokespeople to handle tough questions not only from the media, but also in legislative committees, investor meetings, employee gatherings and other challenging situations. As an Australian-owned communications consulting firm, Holdfast delivers tangible outcomes to our clients.
Our professional communication consultants have extensive experience in public relations, crisis management, government relations and media training. We have a particular interest in communicating climate science.  As a climate communications consultant we have a long history in promoting renewable energy projects.
However, we also service a range of other clients across numerous sectors as part of our general communications consultancy.
About us Powerful communication demands clear objectives, historical and political knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of the environment you are operating in. Holdfast Communications is an independent Australian based consultancy providing expert and honest communications advice and solutions.
A crisis can be defined as an issue, situation or event that poses a significant risk for the organization and attracts widespread public and media attention. During its history, Miller Public Affairs Group has played a major role in directing and implementing effective crisis management for a number of its clients, resulting in minimized risk, as well as applying a positive a€?spina€? that mitigates negative exposure and promotes its clientsa€™ attributes in a professional, proactive manner. Be quick seems rather simple, provide a response in the first hour after the crisis occurs. Professional communicators warn against ignoring journalists in a crisis because they’ll write the story with or without you and because it can harm media relations for the future. In my experience media training is overrated, and, more importantly, it’s not often possible when a crisis is fresh. How it’s managed can determine whether major reputational damage is sustained or avoided.
When applicable, it is particularly important that such organizations be prepared to effectively and rapidly handle communications around potential crises.A The organization needs to be ready in these situations to protect its image, retain strong positive relationships with the media and other key constituencies, and ensure that its associates feel well informed and well instructed about how to handle the situation. Timothy Coombs, Ph.DOctober 30, 2007IntroductionCrisis management is a critical organizational function.
An organization may notwant to publicize the crisis by placing information about it on the web site.
Thatputs a great deal of pressure on crisis managers to have a message ready in a short period oftime. And while it deserves credit for the fast introduction of tamperproof packaging months later (under FDA mandate), and for an extraordinary reintroduction of the brand, the immediate response was a poor prescription for today’s damage control experts. In fact, most crises grow out of foreseeable ills, and many have happened before, or are simmering situations left untreated or concealed, like the Penn State scandal. Many negative situations are better handled by a corporate officer with enough seniority to be authoritative but not enough to jeopardize the CEO office or distract from other critical business.
No PR professional or crisis manager will negate the importance of a blueprint for damage control and response.
When such a crisis occurs, it demands special communications efforts well beyond normal public relations and communications techniques. Failure can result in serious harm tostakeholders, losses for an organization, or end its very existence.
Preparation involves creating the crisismanagement plan, selecting and training the crisis management team, and conductingexercises to test the crisis management plan and crisis management team. Lerbinger (1997), Feran-Banks(2001), and Coombs (2007a) devote considerable attention to media relations in a crisis.Media training should be provided before a crisis hits.
This assumes thecrisis is very small and that stakeholders are unlikely to hear about it from another source. For example, it took the company eight days to respond to the first signs of crisis, an eternity in today’s compressed media environment. A study by the Institute for Crisis Management showed that sixty-five percent of business crises from 1990 to 2009 were “smoldering” or slow-burn situations, as opposed to thirty-five percent that were sudden events.
We sometimes preach advance planning and preparation as if they can prevent or preempt the damage, but often these measures can only shorten the window of negative scrutiny or moderate the tone of the resulting media coverage and chatter, at best.
When you don’t have the proper information or cannot legally share it, it’s better not to engage at all. And where relevant, local market managers with community roots are nearly always preferable to home office execs. Our senior counsellors have the experience and leadership to help navigate the many complex and sensitive issues that accompany any crisis, while keeping reputation intact.Many organizations have institutionalized financial, operational and legal risk management.
Both Barton (2001)and Coombs (2006) document that organizations are better able to handle crises when they (1)have a crisis management plan that is updated at least annually, (2) have a designated crisismanagement team, (3) conduct exercises to test the plans and teams at least annually, and (4)pre-draft some crisis messages. Intoday’s traditional and online media environment, that is a misguided if not dangerousassumption.
The rationale behindbeing quick is the need for the organization to tell its side of the story. A random catastrophe like the Tylenol poisonings is truly rare, accounting for roughly seven to eight percent of crises as opposed to product defects, lawsuits, mismanagement, and other theoretically foreseeable happenings.

You’ll take the heat, but staying silent can avoid worsening the situation when the facts aren’t clear.
CEO involvement is usually best reserved for the most acute situations such as those involving loss of life.
We believe that reputational risk management and crisis communications planning is equally important.
So a set of best practices andlessons gleaned from our knowledge of crisis management would be a very useful resourcefor those in public relations.
Avoid the phrase ?no comment? because people think it means the organization is guiltyand trying to hide something2. Taylor and Kent (2007) and the Corporate Leadership Council emphasize that aweb site is another means for an organization to present its side of the story and not using itcreates a risk of losing how the crisis story is told. In reality, theorganization’s side of the story are the key points management wants to convey about thecrisis to its stakeholders.
We encourage and work with companies and organizations to develop communications protocols and prepare teams through exercises that test their skills.
Volumes have been written about crisis management by bothpractitioners and researchers from many different disciplines making it a challenge tosynthesize what we know about crisis management and public relations’ place in thatknowledge base. Theplanning and preparation allow crisis teams to react faster and to make more effectivedecisions. Our proprietary, web-based interactive crisis training tool, Flight School, simulates social media and media reaction to the crisis in real time, adding to the intensity and life-like experience of the exercise.Our team has handled environmental incidents, allegations of criminal and professional misconduct, product recalls, service disruptions, executive departures, strikes, facility closures, litigation and more. The best place to start this effort is by defining critical conceptsDefinitionsThere are plenty of definitions for a crisis.
Refer to Barton’s (2001) Crisis in Organizations II or Coombs’ (2006) Code Red inthe Boardroom for more information on these four lessons. Lack of clarity makespeople think the organization is purposefully being confusing in order to hide something.3. Intranet sites limit access, typically toemployees only though some will include suppliers and customers.
In many cases we are imbedded members of our clients’ crisis communications teams, working seamlessly with their in house resources and with their operational response teams.When the acute situation is resolved, we can assist with reputation recovery, developing long term plans to rebuild goodwill, demonstrate transparency, create coalitions of support and other activities. For this entry, the definition reflects key pointsfound in the various discussions of what constitutes a crisis. The news media willlead the charge to fill the information vacuum and be a key source of initial crisis information.(We will consider shortly the use of the Internet as well). A crisis is defined here as asignificant threat to operations that can have negative consequences if not handled properly.In crisis management, the threat is the potential damage a crisis can inflict on an organization,its stakeholders, and an industry.
Aspokesperson needs to have strong eye contact,limiteddisfluencies such as ?uhms? or ?uhs?,and avoid distracting nervous gestures such as fidgeting or pacing. With a mass notification system, contact information (phones numbers, e-mail, etc.) are programmed in prior to a crisis. If the organization having the crisisdoes not speak to the news media, other people will be happy to talk to the media.
A crisis can create three related threats: (1) public safety, (2)financial loss, and (3) reputation loss. Coombs (2007a) reportson research that documents how people will be perceived as deceptive if they lack eyecontact, have a lot of disfluencies,or display obvious nervous gestures.4. Contacts can be any group that can be affectedby the crisis including employees, customers, and community members living near a facility.Crisis managers can enter short messages into the system then tell the mass notificationsystem who should receive which messages and which channel or channels to use for thedelivery.
Thesepeople may have inaccurate information or may try to use the crisis as an opportunity toattack the organization.
Read More Social media fails: Not so tough to manage Pick any week in any month and you’ll likely see a company or organization facing an issue or crisis that has the social web as its battlefield. Some crises, such as industrial accidents and productharm, can result in injuries and even loss of lives. Brief all potential spokespersons on the latest crisis information and the key message pointsthe organization is trying to convey to stakeholders.Public relations can play a critical role in preparing spokespersons for handling questionsfrom the news media.
The mass notification system provides a mechanism for people to respond tomessages as well. Pre-draft select crisis management messages including content for dark web sites andtemplates for crisis statements. The media relations element of public relations is a highly valued skillin crisis management. The response feature is critical when crisis managers want to verify that thetarget has received the message.
An earlyresponse may not have much ?new? information but the organization positions itself as asource and begins to present its side of the story. Read More No, that’s not an apology Apologies are now the norm when it comes to social web screw ups.
As Dilenschneider (2000) noted in The CorporateCommunications Bible, all crises threaten to tarnish an organization’s reputation. Have the legal department review and pre-approve thesemessages.Crisis Management PlanA crisis management plan (CMP) is a reference tool, not a blueprint.
The public relations personnel can provide training and support becausein most cases they are not the spokesperson during the crisis.Pre-draft MessagesFinally, crisis managers can pre-draft messages that will be used during a crisis. Carney and Jorden (1993) note a quickresponse is active and shows an organization is in control.

A CMP provides lists ofkey contact information, reminders of what typically should be done in a crisis, and forms tobe used to document the crisis response. There are the good ones that will have the hoped-for effect: reputation protected, customers and regulators appeased.
Be prepared to use a unique web site or part of your current web site to address crisisconcerns.2. It lets others control the story and suggests the organization has yetto gain control of the situation. Injuries or deaths will result in financial and reputation losswhile reputations have a financial impact on organizations.Effective crisis management handles the threats sequentially. Barton (2001), Coombs (2007a), and Fearn-Banks (2001) have noted how a CMPsaves time during a crisis by pre-assigning some tasks, pre-collecting some information, andserving as a reference source. Both the Corporate LeadershipCouncil (2003) and the Business Roundtable (2002) strongly recommend the use of templates.The templates leave blank spots where key information is inserted once it is known. Be prepared to use the Intranet as one of the channels for reaching employees and any otherstakeholders than may have access to your Intranet.3. Arpan and Rosko-Ewoldsen (2005) conducted a study thatdocumented how a quick, early response allows an organization to generate greater credibilitythan a slow response. Be prepared to utilize a mass notification system for reaching employees and other keystakeholders during a crisisCrisis ResponseThe crisis response is what management does and says after the crisis hits.
Crisis preparation will make it easier for crisis managers to respondquickly.Obviously accuracy is important anytime an organization communicates with publics.
Public relationsplays a critical role in the crisis response by helping to develop the messages that are sent tovarious publics. Peoplewant accurate information about what happened and how that event might affect them.Because of the time pressure in a crisis, there is a risk of inaccurate information. Read More Flooded with preparedness The Calgary Zoo found itself under water when tragedy struck Southern Alberta with heavy rainfall and catastrophic flooding—the worst flood in Alberta’s history and most-costly natural disaster in all of Canada. For instance, information technology would be required if the crisisinvolved the computer system. Time is saved because the team has already decided on whowill do the basic tasks required in a crisis.
Taylor and Kent’s (2007) research finds that having a crisisweb sites is a best practice for using an Internet during a crisis.
The initial crisis response guidelines focus onthree points: (1) be quick, (2) be accurate, and (3) be consistent. The post-crisis phaselooks for ways to better prepare for the next crisis and fulfills commitments made during thecrisis phase including follow-up information.
Management does not know if or how well an untestedcrisis management plan with work or if the crisis team can perform to expectations. This requires the crisis team to anticipate the types of crises an organizationwill face and the types of information needed for the web site. The philosophy of speaking with one voice in a crisis is a way to maintainaccuracy.Speaking with one voice does not mean only one person speaks for the organization for theduration of the crisis.
Mitroff,Harrington, and Gia (1996) emphasize that training is needed so that team members canpractice making decisions in a crisis situation. As Barton (2001) notes, it is physically impossible to expect one personto speak for an organization if a crisis lasts for over a day. Crisismanagers should utilize some form of web-based response or risk appearing to be ineffective.A good example is Taco Bell’s E.
The news media want to ask questions ofexperts so they may need to talk to a person in operations or one from security.
Coombs (2007a)summaries the research and shows how practice improves a crisis team’s decision making andrelated task performance. The company was criticized in themedia for being slow to place crisis-related information on its web site. That is whyCoombs (2007a) emphasizes the public relations department plays more of a support rolerather than being ?the? crisis spokespersons. The crisis team needs to share information sothat different people can still convey a consistent message. The spokespersons should bebriefed on the same information and the key points the organization is trying to convey in themessages. Ideally, potential spokespersons are trained and practice media relations skillsprior to any crisis.
The focus during a crisis then should be on the key information to bedelivered rather than how to handle the media. Once more preparation helps by making surethe various spokespersons have the proper media relations training and skills.Quickness and accuracy play an important role in public safety. When public safety is aconcern, people need to know what they must do to protect themselves. For instance, people must know as soon as possible not to eatcontaminated foods or to shelter-in-place during a chemical release.

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