Crisis communications: a casebook approach, 3rd Edition
- Editorial: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
There are few times in life when proper communication is more critical to an organization than during a crisis. The right message, delivered accurately and to the right people, can ensure an organization’s survival and even enhance its reputation or market share. Conversely, the wrong response can ensure its doom.
Potential crisis scenarios, meanwhile, are endless. In addition to natural disasters, workplace violence, and product tampering, technology has brought us Web sites, blogs, e-mail, and hacking. Anyone with ill intent and access to the Internet can create a crisis aimed at damaging an organization’s reputation or its bottom line.
In Crisis Communications, author Kathleen Fearn-Banks explains how crisis survival is possible through exhaustive planning, training, rehearsal, and hard work. The book is rich in detail, practical examples, and academic theory. Fearn-Banks guides the reader through crisis management and communications theory planning and provides appendices containing excellent sample plans.
Readers may be familiar with some of the book’s case studies, such as the 1982 Tylenol murders, but the presentation is instructive. Fearn-Banks approaches each from the crisis communicator’s perspective: what happened, how information was communicated, what worked, and what didn’t.
Some of the lessons learned are particularly useful. In one case, crisis managers assigned employees to screen media reports for inaccurate information. Another lesson: proactively pitching stories to the media and lining up potential interviews to ensure sufficient grist for the media mill in an effort to guide coverage.
This book’s lessons would benefit an audience beyond just crisis communications professionals. A crisis manager who underfunds a communications team will likely see it fail when needed most. This book is an ideal way for a security professional with crisis management responsibilities to avoid such pitfalls.
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