Crises Management

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Date Submitted: 11/17/2012 12:21 AM

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Crisis Communications

Defining Crises Communications

A crisis is a situation or emergency that poses a significant risk—or opportunity—for the organization and public trust, and attracts widespread public and media attention.

It may involve:

• Internal disaster (e.g. fire or accident)

• External disaster (e.g. natural disaster)

• Major media coverage

• Operational processes

• Personnel

• Business or organizational partners

• Vendors

• Clients or customers

Crises require special communication efforts because:

• The stakes are higher;

• A far greater quantity of communications is required;

• Of the attention they attract, actions during a crisis can affect an organization’s image and reputation years after the crisis occurs.

When a crisis occurs locally and has generated national media and public attention, the situation should be considered a national crisis. When a local crisis has the potential to become national in scope:

• Immediately notify designated contacts with your national headquarters, associations and other agencies that may be affected or receive media attention.

• Remember that a crisis can be a positive or negative situation that invokes the need for communications action and notification for these agencies.

Your Crisis Communications Team

Ensure a team is in place to anticipate and manage a crisis. Responsibilities include:

• Gathering information

• Assessing the situation

• Establishing communications objectives, strategies and messages

• Determining equipment and communications needs, including but not limited to news releases, media statements, fact sheets, fax or Internet/electronic communications capabilities, telephone lines and cell phones

• Liaison with organizational leaders and board members, employees, media and other designated contacts

• Handling switchboard/telephone calls, pages, e-mails and all forms of...