Case Studies in Crisis Communication: International Perspectives on Hits and Misses

Case Studies in Crisis Communication: International Perspectives on Hits and Misses

Case Studies in Crisis Communication: International Perspectives on Hits and Misses

Case Studies in Crisis Communication: International Perspectives on Hits and Misses

Synopsis

Case Studies in Crisis Communication: International Perspectives on Hits and Misses was created to fill the gap for a much-needed textbook in case studies in crisis communication from international perspectives. The events of September 11, 2001, other major world crises, and the ongoing macroeconomic challenges of financial institutions, justify the need for this book. While existing textbooks on the subject focus on U.S. corporate cases, they may not appeal equally to students and practitioners in other countries, hence the need to analyze cases from the United States and from other world regions.

The variety and the international focus of the cases, be they environmental, health or management successes or failures, makes this book more appealing to a wider audience. These cases examine socio-cultural issues associated with responding to a variety of crises.

Excerpt

It is high time a book that examines the topic of crisis management from a global or multi-country perspective was written, so this volume should become a mandatory resident on the bookshelf of every public relations executive or student.

Not only are the many case studies rich in detail and full of lessons but they are also topical so will be fresh in the memory of most readers. They have also, for the most part, occurred in the era in which social media on the Internet have played a major role in shaping communication during a crisis and have, on occasion, been the launch pad for the crisis.

The book is especially valuable for the way in which it marries scholarly theory to the practice of crisis communication. It rightly argues that a stronger and better developed theory for crisis management should help communicators and managers adopt a more systematic approach when confronted with a crisis and decisions must be made quickly. It represents an important step on the way to the development of analytics and action templates for dealing with a variety of crises that will be of real practical value.

A review of the crises covered in this volume also shines the spotlight on certain important factors that can cause poor handling of a major crisis affecting any global organization. Two in particular stand out.

The first is the culture of the organization itself as well as its “home” country when the crisis itself might be centered primarily in another country. My own experience of a number of such situations suggests that there is invariably a clash of views on the crisis strategy and action plan between management at headquarters and the local management in the market concerned. The result is either too long a delay in the all-important initial response or too wrong or insensitive responses. Either can lead to more difficult and much longer phases of damage control and reputation recovery.

The second is the continued poor record of issues identification and management on the part of many organizations. I have always held the view that only on exceptional occasions can crises be a surprise. And among the cases in this book almost all could—and should—have been anticipated and the issue(s) should have been managed so that a crisis was averted. For example, Toyota was aware over a period of years that there had been reports . . .

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