After Dialing 911 ... Bank Robbery Is an Ugly Reality. One Way to Ease the Trauma of a Stickup Is to Ensure That Your Crisis Communication Plan Specifically Addresses What to Do Once the Bad Guys Make Their Getaway

By Beaird, A. H., Jr.; Ellis, Kristi Lamont | ABA Bank Marketing, March 2004 | Go to article overview

After Dialing 911 ... Bank Robbery Is an Ugly Reality. One Way to Ease the Trauma of a Stickup Is to Ensure That Your Crisis Communication Plan Specifically Addresses What to Do Once the Bad Guys Make Their Getaway


Beaird, A. H., Jr., Ellis, Kristi Lamont, ABA Bank Marketing


The romance of the bank robbery has long since gone the way of the stagecoach and Frank and Jesse James--if, indeed, it ever existed at all. The holdup is still around, however. But, as anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of one knows, there is nothing glamorous or romantic about it.

Even when the heist does not involve physical violence, it strikes a psychological blow that can leave employees feeling distressed; customers, apprehensive; and, the community at large, fearful. All this presents a special crisis communication challenge for banks.

Bank robbery currently is going through one of its cyclical upsurges--particularly in small towns and rural areas. For this reason, it's a good time for your organization's management team to create or update a crisis communications plan that specifically addresses robbery, outlining both internal and external needs. Below is a compilation of information as well as guidelines and tips that can help in performing this task.

The problem

The year 2003, with its lingering, slightly sour economy, saw a wave of small-town and meal holdups, according to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. While statistics for 2002 and 2003 have not yet been compiled, experts say bank robberies typically increase when the economy is sluggish. According to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program), the nation's Dank robberies hit a high of 11,876 incidents during the recession in 1993. After falling back, the figure began to climb again in 2001, reaching 10,150.

Those who rob banks today are often looking for quick money. Many are drug addicts. Though some of these bank robberies and related incidents parking lot purse snatches and ATM ambushes--are violent, most bank incidents, fortunately, are not.

Getting started

A handy rule of thumb to follow" when constructing any sort of communication plan, crisis or otherwise, is the old reporter's guide to getting the basics of a story--by answering the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And how?

Now let's translate this to our bank robbery crisis communication plan. We'll go through each category with basic explanations and some checkoff lists. To do so most effectively, we need to start with the reasons for communicating effectively in such a situation--the "whys."

Why? (Reasons for the plan)

Whether your audience is internal or external (and during and after a robbery it will be both), there are always some core reasons for crisis communication:

* To address people's concerns regarding their physical safety.

* To communicate the basic facts of a situation.

* To direct people to a (preferably) single source of further, accurate information.

* To address people's concerns regarding the safety of their material assets.

* To restart or continue business operations effectively and efficiently.

Who? (The plan's audience)

Now that we know why we are communicating (which will also help us later in crafting an appropriate message or messages), we need to know to whom we are talking--in other words, our audience. While some audiences will need immediate, one-time attention during any sort of crisis, others may have ongoing communication needs that must be addressed.

The second element of "who" is to maintain the confidentially of bank employees and other innocent people involved in the incident. This is important for their safety. When making a public statement, for example, you should refer to a "teller" or a "security guard," and not to Bette Davis, teller, or Harvey Wallbanger, security guard. Now let's cover the realm of audience possibilities connected to a bank robbery:

* Bank employees.

* On-premise customers.

* Off-premise customer.

* Law enforcement officials.

* Media. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

After Dialing 911 ... Bank Robbery Is an Ugly Reality. One Way to Ease the Trauma of a Stickup Is to Ensure That Your Crisis Communication Plan Specifically Addresses What to Do Once the Bad Guys Make Their Getaway
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.