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10 Tips for Effective Crisis Management - Sterling Communications
Prepare for business-related crises. Public Relations Journal 49, This article emphasize the need for a message strategy during crisis communication. Developing and sharing a strategy helps an organization to speak with one voice during the crisis. Cohen, J. Advising clients to apologize. This article examines expressions of concern and full apologies from a legal perspective. He notes that California, Massachusetts, and Florida have laws that prevent expressions of concern from being used as evidence against someone in a court case.
The evidence from court cases suggests that expressions of concern are helpful because they help to reduce the amount of damages sought and the number of claims filed. Coombs, W. Management Communication Quarterly, 8, This article is the foundation for Situational Crisis Communication Theory. It uses a decision tree to guide the selection of crisis response strategies. The guidelines are based on matching the response to nature of the crisis situation. A number of studies have tested the guidelines in the decision tree and found them to be reliable.
Impact of past crises on current crisis communications: Insights from situational crisis communication theory. Journal of Business Communication, 41, This article documents that past crises intensify the reputational threat to a current crisis. Since the news media reminds people of past crises, it is common for organizations in crisis to face past crises as well.
Crisis managers need to adjust their reputation repair strategies if there are past crises-crisis managers will need to use more accommodative strategies than they normally would. Accidents are a good example. Past accidents indicate a pattern of problems so people will view the organization as much more responsible for the crisis than if the accident were isolated. Greater responsibility means the crisis is more of a threat to the reputation and the organization must focus the response more on addressing victim concerns.
Structuring crisis discourse knowledge: The West Pharmaceutics case. Public Relations Review, 30, This article is a case analysis of the West Pharmaceutical explosion at its Kinston, NC facility.
The case documents the extensive use of the Internet to keep employees and other stakeholders informed. It also develops a list of crisis communication standards based on SCCT. The crisis communication standards offer suggestions for how crisis managers can match their crisis response to the nature of the crisis situation. Code red in the boardroom: Crisis management as organizational DNA.
Westport, CN: Praeger. This is a book written for a practitioner audience. There are also detailed discussions of how crisis management plans must be a living document pp. This book is designed to teach students and managers about the crisis management process. There is a detailed discussion of spokesperson training pp. The book emphasizes the value of follow-up information and updates pp. There is also a discussion of the utility of mass notification systems during a crisis pp. Protecting organization reputations during a crisis:The development and application of situational crisis communication theory.
Corporate Reputation Review, 10, The article includes a discussion how the research can go beyond reputation to include behavioral intentions such as purchase intention and negative word-of-mouth. The information in the article is based on experimental studies rather than case studies. Communication and attributions in a crisis: An experimental study of crisis communication. Journal of Public Relations Research, 8 4 , The research also establishes that the type of reputation repair strategies managers use does make a difference on perceptions of the organization.
An extended examination of the crisis situation: A fusion of the relational management and symbolic approaches. Journal of Public Relations Research, 13, This study reports on an experiment designed to test how prior reputation influenced the attributions of crisis responsibility. The study found that an unfavorable prior reputation had the biggest effect.
A crisis situation abroad
People rated an organization as having much greater responsibility for a crisis when the prior reputation was negative than if the prior reputation was neutral or positive. Similar results were found for the effects of prior reputation on the post-crisis reputation. Helping crisis managers protect reputational assets: Initial tests of the situational crisis communication theory. Management Communication Quarterly, 16, This article begins to map how stakeholders respond to some very common crises. The article recommends different crisis response strategies depending upon the attributions of crisis responsibility.
Journal of Communication Management, 10 2 , This article examines if and when a favorable pre-crisis reputation can protect an organization with a halo effect. The halo effect says that strong positive feelings will allow people to overlook a negative event-it can shield an organization from reputational damage during a crisis. The study found that only in a very specific situation does a halo effect occur. In most crises, the reputation is damaged suggesting reputational capital is a better way to view a strong, positive pre-crisis reputation.
An organization accumulates reputational capital by positively engaging publics.
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A crisis causes an organization to loss some reputational capital. The more pre-crisis reputational capital, the stronger the reputation will be after the crisis and the easier it should be to repair. Corporate Leadership Council. Crisis management strategies. The topics include the value and elements of a crisis management plan pp , structure of a crisis management team pp. The file is an excellent overview to key elements of crisis management with an emphasis on using new technology. Dean, D. This article reports an experimental study that included a comparison how people reacted to expressions of concern verses no expression of concern.
Post-crisis reputations were stronger when an organization provided an expression of concern. Dilenschneider, R. The corporate communications bible: Everything you need to know to become a public relations expert. Beverly Hills: New Millennium. This book has a strong chapter of crisis communication pp. Downing, J. The article also comments on the use of employee assistance programs after a traumatic event.
Fearn-Banks, K. Crisis communications: A casebook approach 2nd ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
This book is more a textbook for students using case studies. Chapter 2 pp. Chapter 4 has some tips on media relations pp. Hearit, K. Apologies and public relations crises at Chrysler, Toshiba, and Volvo.
Public Relations Review, 20 2 , This article provides a strong rationale for the value of quick but accurate crisis response. The focus is on how a quick response helps an organization to control the crisis situation.