Virtuous Crisis Communications

Aristotle’s model of virtue ethics provides clear guidance on how professionals can best communicate with stakeholders during an emergency or disaster. Aristotle believed that the key to life was happiness, and that it was achieved by living virtuously – “all things in moderation,” basically, because in his treatise on the subject every virtue has TWO vices, […]

Tips for “Staying Frosty” During Crisis Response

Communication is a human function that requires empathy and sincerity in order to be effective, especially during an incident, disaster or any other event in which people feel threatened, scared and distrustful. I’ve found no amount of training, instruction or simulation can fully prepare the communicator for their own emotional reactions to the chaos that […]

What Honey, Sriracha Pastry Teaches Us About Social Media During Crisis

Last week my wife and I met up with several friends at our place and walked to the neighborhood craft brewery for conversation and beer sampling. A local food truck was stationed outside, and menus were placed here and there on the tables in the brewery tasting room – patrons could order high-end food from […]

Open Houses vs. Town Halls during Crises

The following may sound like a contentious view when you first read it, but I consider it a public service announcement when I write: if you have bad news or risk information to communicate to publics affected by your crisis, don’t ever (ever, ever, EVER) choose to hold a town hall meeting to do so. […]

Simple Communication Practices for Complex Incidents

At times, a simple incident – whether it be small or large – can become complex quickly, and require more from professional communicators than is the norm for mitigating disaster through their work with the community and media. What makes an incident complex? An increasing magnitude of the incident or larger scope of area and […]