Managing Communications in a Crisis

Managing Communications in a Crisis

Managing Communications in a Crisis

Managing Communications in a Crisis

Synopsis

The difference between a drama and a crisis is down to good management - or more specifically, good communication. How you communicate with everyone: shareholders, other business partners, employees, the press, and so on, in the hours and days following a potential business crisis is critical. Get it right and the crisis may even strengthen your corporate reputation. Get it wrong and you can imagine the consequences for yourself. Managing Communications in a Crisis details how crisis situations can be identified and dealt with, ensuring the risk to the organisation's financial well-being and reputation is minimised. The book deals with all aspects of communication management in a crisis. Part I considers definitions of a crisis and the theory behind dealing with crisis communications, both externally and internally. Part II explores the practicalities of crisis management communications, the identification of audiences and how each should be dealt with and by whom. The third part of the book contains valuable checklists and succinct supporting information for the key aspects and roles of the communication process. The combination of these three approaches will help you to develop your own crisis strategy, tailor-made for your organization. The text is supported by a wide range of case histories. Some of these you will recognise and others, perhaps through good management, never entered your radar. The authors are highly experienced advisors to companies of all sizes in the demands of crisis management communications. Their company, The Aziz Corporation, is the UK's leading executive communications consultancy, specialising in presentation skills, media handling and crisis management.

Excerpt

Thanks to the burgeoning information revolution in the latter part of the twentieth century and the start of the new millenium, corporate affairs has come of age. Once known simplistically as ‘public relations’, it is now a vital and growing discipline within all major companies and organizations.

This book is designed as a three-part guide on how to deal with one key aspect of corporate affairs – crisis management communications. We hope that it will help you develop and tailor your own crisis strategy for your business.

To give some idea how rapidly corporate affairs has developed in recent years, it’s worth recalling that, in 1994, a major survey of senior managers in the top UK companies indicated that about 58 per cent of them regarded public relations as worthy of attention. Two years later a similar exercise showed that the figure had risen to 84 per cent and was on an upward path. Today it would be hard to find a senior executive who doesn’t have a strong desire to know exactly how his or her organization is communicating and how effectively it is doing so.

The ultimate test of an organization’s communication skill is how it deals with a corporate or organizational crisis. It’s not difficult to see why: there is an expanding media which is tough on what it regards as management incompetence; shareholders and customers are becoming more demanding; legislation and regulation is being strengthened; and there is greater commercial competition. Thanks to computer networking the communications environment has speeded up and there is now in place the ultimate marketplace for trade and information, the Internet. E-commerce is rapidly changing the way in which business is done.

It varies from one organization to another, but some specialists have estimated that ‘reputation’ and ‘goodwill’ can represent as much as 80 per cent of a business’s value. Anything that damages these two ‘goods’ will be very costly indeed.

How do you protect yourself when faced with attacks on your reputation and competence? This book is designed to help you prepare in advance to spot a . . .

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