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Report
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
Crisis Communication

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