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 […]

“Run Hide Fight”: #SMEM During the Ohio State University Attack

When a then-unidentified man used his vehicle as a weapon on the campus of the Ohio State University Monday, then got out of it and attacked people with a knife, authorities acted quickly: both the first responders who stopped the violence within minutes and school officials responsible for ensuring the safety of students, faculty, staff […]

Recognizing a Crisis Before it Becomes a Crisis

It’s a well known (and accurate) adage among crisis managers that success in responding to crisis is 90 percent in the planning and preparation. I don’t know if I agree 100 percent with the 90 percent mark but it’s pretty close. What isn’t as commonly understood is that a considerable portion of that last 10 […]

Managing Negativity and Rumors During Crisis

A 9/11 researcher interviewed me the other day to ask questions about my personal and professional experience in Manhattan on that day. At one point, we talked a bit about the phenomenon of people coming up with alternate theories about the terrorist attacks. OK. I’ll just say it: He wanted to know what I think […]

A Process for Key Messaging During Disaster

I’ve written about the oft under-emphasized practice of assessing the characteristics of an effective message that stands out and increases the likelihood that what’s being said is also being heard. It’s a subject Brandon and I will cover with attendees of a workshop we’re hosting in April. For the rest of you communication ninjas, I […]

Crisis and Risk Communication and the Flint Water Crisis

I have to assume (from the fact that you’re reading this blog) that you, too, have been following the Flint, Mich., water crisis (#FlintWaterCrisis is a good place to start, if not). It has been changing every day and is a textbook example of a crisis and risk communication case study: a mid-sized, mostly poor, […]