Denying Your Organization’s Issues Can Lead to Crisis

Paul wrote about the difference between issues and emergencies in one part of our Crisis Comms 101 series, and he defined issues because they’re, “… a ‘base element’ (which are) the fertile ground from which crises grow.” If your organization has unresolved issues that are the source of concern, confusion or anger amongst your stakeholders, one of […]

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, […]

Katrina’s Environmental Catastrophe (That You Probably Never Heard Of)

Note: This piece is the last of four we’ve put together for the 10-year anniversary of Katrina. Paul and I reported to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Public Information Assist Team the summer of 2005. Our team was in the disaster zone from Aug. 28, the day before landfall, until Feb. 8.  It’s difficult to celebrate any kind of “anniversary” for the recovery phase […]

6 Reasons People Say Bad Things About You

“Yeah, Well, You Know, That’s Just, Like, Your Opinion, Man.” * The American news media has always been about recording, contextualizing and transmitting opinions to readers, listeners and viewers. It’s nothing new. The thirst for opinion is so real, that many organizations stress to their spokespeople to “just stick to the facts” when giving interviews. […]

21 Lessons Learned from SM SNAFUs

Last year I wrote about 10 things to consider when using SM (ok, it was mostly about Twitter) as a staple in your communication toolkit. I would consider this a companion post. Actually it was part of the “10 things post” but my buddy and post-partner, Paul, likes to break the goodness into smaller chunks 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. […]