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 […]

The Better Way to Give Affected Masses Crisis Info

Here’s today’s public service announcement from me to you: if you have bad news or risk information to communicate to people affected by crisis, don’t ever (ever, ever, EVER) choose to hold a town hall meeting to do so. Some people look at me like I’m crazy when I say this – even veteran communicators – so […]

Crisis Planning: 6 Steps to Getting Buy-In from the Boss

I was contacted by a new colleague recently who was lamenting the lack of interest in crisis planning demonstrated by his C-suite managers. It’s true that of all the operations for which managers are responsible, assigning time, money, resources and “stress equity” to preparing for doomsday scenarios is an easy priority to put in the […]

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. […]

Disaster Response; the Public Info Officer’s Perspective (Part 3)

This is the third entry in a three-part series on what it’s like being deployed as a crisis incident public information officer. The first entry covered the preparatory phase of incident response operations, and the second covered what it’s like once on-scene at an incident. This entry focuses on lessons learned from the incident. What […]

Communicating When People Feel Threatened

I’ve been called on to communicate with people affected by oil spills, natural disasters and other critical incidents. What makes communicating to people affected by these sorts of events challenging is that they feel personally threatened by circumstances outside their control and by people they may not trust. This creates mental noise, which means information […]

Social Media Emergency Management Basics from Everyday Life

Recently 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 the truck […]