When You Flub Your Response in an Instant Crisis

 When a crisis occurs, how can we communicate in today’s instant world?

When Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic crashed, he immediately announced it on Twitter, and apologized in a news briefing thus getting in front of the story. crisi logoOn the other hand, Brian Williams’ exaggerated chopper story began on Facebook when someone on the actual chopper said Williams wasn’t on board. (So much for those who think they can hide bad news.) In either case, the stories spread swiftly through different channels soon after.

Branson’s response followed the basic rules of crisis management:

  • Get bad news out fast,
  • Don’t lie,
  • Acknowledge the problem,
  • Provide ongoing information and
  • Show sincere sympathy for those affected.

…Read more…

In a Crisis, Emotions Are as Important as the Words

Survival concept, business man with gas mask isolated on white When a crisis hits, people don’t actually hear the words of reassurance. They listen with their emotions. Health officials have repeatedly explained to the public that you can only become infected with the Ebola virus through direct contact with bodily fluids.

But polls reveal that a majority of Americans fear they can catch the virus through incidental contact and have little confidence in their government’s ability to manage the crisis. …Read more…

NBC News Creates a Communications Crisis in Firing David Gregory

BusinessmanWell, NBC has done it again. Network executives were underhanded and devious in the public firing of David Gregory as the host of Meet the Press just as they were in bouncing Ann Curry from the TODAY show.

Chuck Todd, another former NBC White House correspondent, will replace Gregory.

A Brewing Crisis

As you might expect, the media jumped on the news and pummeled NBC, turning the firing into a major …Read more…

Did the White House Blow its Crisis Communications Plan?

Crisis communications at the White House

Setting off a crisis

This hasn’t been a fun couple of weeks for President Obama. Republicans and even members of his own party are gunning for him over the IRS, AP phone records and Benghazi debacles.

Starting with the IRS, several mid-level career IRS employees in the Cincinnati office targeted conservative sounding groups like the Tea Party for extra scrutiny when considering their applications for tax-exempt status.

Apparently, their instructions for screening these requests weren’t clear – at least that’s the IRS’s defense. …Read more…