Magazine article Communication World

Communicate with Power 2000

Magazine article Communication World

Communicate with Power 2000

Article excerpt

by Barry McLoughlin

McLoughlin Multimedia Publishing, Ltd. U.S. $55

This boxed set of three spiral bound "Communicate with Power" pocketsize reference booklets contains several-fold the information found in texts more than twice their size. The three topics covered, risk communication, presentations skills, and media relations, are a solid representation of the skills needed by today's professional communicator and business executive.

The first, "Overcoming Panic and Fear: Risk and Crisis Communication," does an excellent job of distinguishing between managing and communicating risk (actual, perceived or potential) and crisis communication, "responding to an event, revelation or set of circumstances which threatens the integrity, reputation, or survival of an individual or organization."

McLoughlin discusses the public penchant of overestimating the frequency and danger of rare risks (i.e. airline accidents) and underestimating the frequency and danger of common, everyday risks (i.e. automobile accidents).

The author provides a useful strategic template for risk communication: analyze the environment, analyze the issue, establish goals, identify stakeholders, develop messages, select strategic initiatives (tools and techniques), create a communication plan, manage the implementation, and monitor and evaluate.

This 148-page book includes sections on crisis response, how to respond to employees, the public, and the media during a crisis, as well as a concise step-by-step guide to developing a crisis communication plan. There's also an excellent section on the value and need for public consultation.

The second, "Getting Your Ideas Across: Making Effective Presentations," is my favorite of the three, principally because I've read so many other books and articles on this subject, but none have achieved the elegance of format and topic accessibility that McLoughlin's work has accomplished.

Unlike most other books on presentation techniques, McLoughlin's 143-page book includes useful information on committee appearances, active listening, how to answer difficult questions, and debate strategies. There's some really good stuff here.

McLoughlin also includes tips on difficult to find topics such as how to conduct a successful demonstration, how to propose (and respond to) a toast, and how to be an effective panel member.

The section on committees includes a rather nifty set of 15 tips that can be used at such venues as legislative hearings, public inquiry sessions, regulatory commissions and judicial inquiries. …

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