Public Relations: Media Crisis Communication
Do you want to know the main principles of crisis communication? Are you looking to devise your own media crisis communication method?
If so, this course is perfect for you. You will learn exactly how to manage crisis communication in an effective manner, keeping everyone informed and preventing the spread of confidential information and false information.
Uncertainty is commonplace within all industries, especially in this ever-changing world. No matter what type of business you manage, you need to be immune to all forms of crisis. As well as a divisive strategy that will resolve the crisis in due course, you also need to have a good crisis communication plan.
You will learn some basic principles of general communication too, arming you with the ability to receive criticism in a positive way and deliver messages that are clear, informative and useful to all that are listening.
Whilst crisis communication is the main topic of the course, you will also learn some general crisis concepts too. The introductory lectures will advise you on what a crisis looks like, the different types you may encounter, and how you can plan to resolve them quickly and efficiently. Such plans also require a bespoke skillset, so this course will run you through the traits that every leader should have when it comes to crisis management.
This course’s content is tailored for business leaders, but it can be used by anyone looking to improve their leadership skills in general. Being a good leader means embracing uncertainty, whilst also having an effective plan to tackle uncertainty in all its forms. Whether you’re looking to create a crisis communication strategy, understand why crisis communication is important, or are hoping to boost your communication skills as a leader, this course has something for everyone.
“Alan, most of the time it is hard to get honest replies from people about the content of my communication, and how I can become better at what I do. Thank you very much for your professional advice and help – I really appreciate it.” – Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, The UK’s most successful Paralympic athlete.
In this introductory lecture, Alan begins by telling us what it is that defines a 'crisis'. We learn that it is anything that is widely disruptive or damaging to us, our business or our reputation.
In this lecture Alan goes into detail about the two different types of crisis that we can be confronted with: Sudden and Gradual.
The first place on which we usually hear about breaking crises is, of course, social media. It is important to understand the dynamics of social media in order to know what to believe and what actions to take.
We can learn a lot about crises by studying case studies of ones in which things did not go so well. In this case study we hear about how the CEO of BP dealt with the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989.
In this case study we hear about a crisis that Japanese car manufacturer Toyota went through regarding failing brake pads on their cars. We hear how important it is to speak to the media from the outset, because if you don't control the information being spread about you, then someone else will.
In this case study we hear how a company dealt with a disaster in a more successful way. The Grayrigg Rail Disaster was a tragic incident in which many were injured and one lost their life. Richard Branson took control of the situation at an early stage and helped to show that, whilst this was undoubtedly a heartbreaking event, his company, Virgin Trains, had in fact gone beyond what was required in regards to train safety.
After a tragic hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia, Bill Marriott, the company founder made himself the center of information as the tragedy unfolded. He did this by writing a blog post containing information such as help lines, up to date facts, and anything else relevant to the unfolding tragedy.
Preparation and Planning
In this lecture Alan discusses how important it can be to think about potential crises that might occur to your organization. By brainstorming these 'what if' scenarios, you can begin to better plan for their eventualities.
The second part to properly planning for crises is not just know what might happen, but then to also put in place the procedures and processes that will be undertaken should each crisis actually happen.
As well as planning for what each person in the organisation should 'do; during a crisis, it's also important to have key statements prepared so that everyone knows what to 'say', as both an individual and on behalf of the organization.
Finally, should a crisis occur, it is paramount that everyone within the organisation has a clear understanding of what their own role and responsibilities are, specific to that crisis.
You need to be alert and aware of everything that might be going on during a crisis. You need to gather all the information you can in order to deal with it in the best way possible. This is especially true if you are making a statement to the media or being questioned about it, as you will not want to be caught out on things of which you were unaware.
In this important lecture Alan discusses important how communication is within a crisis. He goes into detail about the four areas which need to be addressed when communicating:
Focus: Being specific about the information you are giving
Accuracy: Ensuring that you have checked your information for accuracy, ideally from multiple sources.
Speed: Making sure that you are quick to react and doing so in a relevant way.
Honesty: Always ensuring that what you are saying is true.
Once a crisis is over it is important to evaluate how you and your organisation dealt with it. It is only from collecting this data and analysing it that you can make a decision as to the efficacy of your approach and how it might be improved in the future.
To tie things up, Alan summarises the key topics that we have discussed and gives you some tips on how to implement them in your own organisations.