Learning from Crisis Communications
TODAY IRELAND FACES the music of international money markets, learning what leading analysts think of the plans to finally put a line under the massive meltdown of the Irish banking system. Some of the commentary coming from Ireland will be scripted crisis communications. We talked about seven mistakes that communicators should avoid when dealing with a crisis and I thought I'd list those thoughts on my blog since I intend to test this concept during a final exam in the Public Relations module that I teach. There are books worth reading in our campus library (some shown at right) and well-read practitioners will undoubtedly avoid wading into any of these seven mistakes that I've seen made during crisis communications.
Seven Mistakes to Avoid in Crisis Communications
Hesitation. This leads to public perception of confusion.
Obfuscation. This leas to the perception of dishonesty and insensitivity.
Retaliation. This increases tension and intensifies emotion rather than reducing them.
Pontification. This creates vulnerability by taking a high-handed approach without really dealing with the issue at hand.
Confrontation. This provides others visibility by keeping the issue alive, giving them a platform, and giving them more to respond to.
Litigation. This guarantees even greater visibility and may eliminate more reasonable solutions.
Prevarication or equivocation. This creates the biggest problem, because nothing substitutes for the truth.
Voices from the second year PR cohort. They also reviewed my crisis bookmarks.