A crisis is a situation that threatens the well-being of your people, organization, career, or future. The first report made by the media determines the outcome of a crisis management scene and sets the cornerstone of the entire crisis, which persists till one overcomes the crisis. Most organizations have crisis plans for fire, storm, floods, and other natural catastrophes, but lack media crisis plans. In a media-driven society, their effect can be felt more than those of natural hazards.
Crisis Management strategies
Create a crisis management team
In case of an emergency crisis, an organization should create a crisis management team, which collects all relevant information about the crisis. It should comprise of the people that are key to the organization i.e. the CEO (Mr. Michael Bennet), the Operations Manager (Cecilia Rojas), the human resource manager (Erick Johnson), security officer (Carlos Perez), a lawyer representing the organization (John Gordon), and anyone else who witnessed the crisis. From the group formed they should elect the team spokesperson to address the public, and the media, whereas the rest of the members are assigned tasks to find facts about the situation (Crandall and Parnell, 136).
The spokesperson, Madam Beatriz Giraldo, should be accessible to the media through the internal communications personnel who should facilitate a media interview. It is the duty of the elected spokesperson to protect the integrity and reputation of the organization by skillfully handling media, directing responses to other topics, identifying key issues, establishing credibility with the media, and confidence in the audience. They should be able to display adequate knowledge about the organization and the crisis at hand.
Though highly inquisitive, the media rarely give surprise questions. They are only interested in the basic questions affecting the individuals. The organization should be prepared in advance for the unknown, at times, the media is on the scene of the crisis which calls for preparation through media interview training, full updates, and consistency in communicating issues effectively within the organization (Mitroff, 5).
The team can apply a four-strategy framework to respond to media questioning. In the first strategy, the spokesperson opts to deny the organization responsibility in the crisis. That is they use a denial mechanism to exclude the organization from blame and put it on other factors.
- Media: Was you responsible for the fire outbreak?
- Spokesperson: No we weren’t. The fire resulted from sparks arising from the wielding bay.
In this case, the spokesperson denies organization responsibility for the fire outbreak.
The diminishing posture
The second strategy is the diminishing posture. It is meant to change the perception of the society on the crisis. The spokesperson uses a series of excuses, which seeks to portray the organization as having little or no control over the events leading to crisis.
- Media: Was it your organization fault? If it was, what is the organization doing about the situation?
- Spokesperson: No it wasn’t, I have been informed that the fire sparks from the wielding bay caught the fuel from leaking generator, which exploded, but the fire fighters as well as the ambulance came on time and everything is under control.
The rebuilding posture
The third strategy is rebuilding posture; the company focuses on rebuilding the organization reputation by expressing its responsibility for the crisis, which is then followed by the company pledges to take care of the victims of the crisis and seeks forgiveness from the stakeholders.
Finally, is bolstering of organizational posture. This is aimed at reviewing past success, complimenting the stakeholders and framing the organization as the victims of the crisis. Different organization may develop different modes of crisis management media strategy, but the above strategies ensure that a crisis is resolved within minimal time.
Table showing the organization’s leadership and contact information
|Organization leadership||Name||Office Phone||Cell Phone|
|Owner/CMT Leader||Michael Bennet||954-7751480||786-1468399||[email protected]|
|Operations Manager||Cecilia Rojas||954-7751471||786-5830205||[email protected]|
|Communications Manager||Beatriz Giraldo||954-7751473||786-2448603||[email protected]|
|Human Resources Manager||Erick Johnson||954-7751477||954-1537589||[email protected]|
|Legal Advisor||John Gordon||305-3445688||786-3980204||[email protected]|
|Security Officer||Carlos Perez||954-7751479||305-4988593||[email protected]|
Crandall, William and Parnell, John. Crisis Management in the New Strategy Landscape. Sage publishers, 2009. Print.
Mitroff, Ian. Crisis Leadership: Planning for the Unthinkable. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2004. Print.