Characteristics of Personal Messages vs. Staff-Written Messages

Friend, colleague and fellow professional communicator Chris Evanson sent me a note the other day with the suggestion for this piece – the importance of sometimes fighting the urge to use a staff-written statement to communicate with highly concerned people during times of crisis or emergency. Whether it’s delivered in writing, via media interview or […]

Public Information Officer Hurricane Response Lessons Learned

A couple of months ago Thomas McKenzie – friend, colleague and frequent contributor here – and I were kicking around ideas for adding a podcast element to this blog. Days later he was deployed to Houston, then Corpus Christi for about three weeks of Hurricane Harvey incident response work. During and after that deployment we […]

Preparation Accounts for 90 Percent of Crisis Communication Success*

When Paul and I worked federal government communicator jobs, we had to be very careful not to endorse (or condemn!) organizations and products. Drilled into us. Became habit not to do so. Objectivity at all times, no opinion – just the facts – with our public-facing spokesmen personas. We’re not federal communicators anymore, so we’re […]

Communicating Care and Commitment: First Steps in Averting Crisis

I’d never heard of Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, before watching this video almost two weeks ago, but I can say this now – if he handles every potential (or real) crisis like he handled this one at the academy, he’s one of my new heroes. Just go ahead […]

Vigilance Vital for Established Crisis Comm Plans, Reputation

“A rat doesn’t care who you are or how nice your house is – if he wants to get in, he’s gonna get in,” my new friend, Mike, said to me the other day. Mike was being literal, not figurative. Mike gets rats – and squirrels and raccoons and who knows what else – out […]