Tag Archives: crisis response

Spin is Dead. Long Live Crisis PR.

I must heap praise on my colleagues at Ketchum’s Global Corporate Practice for their insights made available through the 2013 Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor.  Apparently, there are nearly 70,000 books available on leadership.  Yet, their work supplies much-needed data on the role of communications in leadership.

The Monitor covers much ground, but here I will stick to my knitting and probe its crisis management implications.


 KLCM:  Leaders are continuing to underperform on the very behaviors viewed as the most important to effective leadership – open, transparent communication, leading by example, admitting mistakes and handling controversial issues calmly.

J.D.:  In other words – spin doesn’t work.  As the findings suggest, good crisis PR usually applies a healthy dose of openness, leadership, humility and confidence.


Continue reading Spin is Dead. Long Live Crisis PR.

Who Owns Crisis Management?

I hope this is an obvious point — reputation management is just one facet of broader strategic crisis management.

Communications pros play an important part in the broader system, along with those in business continuity planning (BCP, which is a focus on minimizing business disruption), risk management (often a combination of insurance, legal, regulatory and fiduciary risk), and incident/security management (typically a focus on environmental, health, safety and security risks).

Which discipline should supersede and own this process?   Well, none.

A company’s senior leadership is ultimately responsible for a crisis – they own the system, whether they like it or not.  Sadly, far too many of these leaders adopt crisis management systems that cover only one or some of these disciplines. Continue reading Who Owns Crisis Management?

Online Crises: Only Six Social Solutions?

There is a lot involved in the decision-making process to determine how to manage a social media threat.   But for all of the required complexity, there’s typically only six solutions to choose from:  delete it, ignore it, monitor it, redirect it, respond to it or engage deeply on it.  

For a deeper perspective on this, check out my article placed in the Fall edition of The Public Relations Strategist, the quarterly publication of PRSA. Continue reading Online Crises: Only Six Social Solutions?

Superstorm Sandy: Immediate Approaches to Consider

Sandy photo, NASACorporate communicators may be wondering how to support either emergency communications to employees/customers, or humanitarian efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Here’s a quick list of top approaches to consider:


Continue reading Superstorm Sandy: Immediate Approaches to Consider

Headwinds: Correcting the Record on Broadcast News

“First, admit you’ve made a mistake.”

This is one of the axioms that crisis management hawks, magpies, peacocks and parrots typically offer when capitalizing on the latest crisis du jour.   Often, these pundits flock to broadcast media to provide requisite talking-head “expert opinion” that helps to legitimize a common media storyline – that a company is bungling its crisis management response by resisting a public apology and acknowledging a mistake.

The irony here is thick, because much of broadcast media itself does not live up to that axiom.

Check out this excellent article in The New York Times, where David Carr deftly draws a distinction between correction approaches of print vs. broadcast media that distort or misreport a story.  Although print media does a slightly better job of correcting the record, his report acknowledges significantly heavier headwinds when broadcast media misrepresents the facts during a crisis situation.

Why?  Here’s a key callout:


Continue reading Headwinds: Correcting the Record on Broadcast News