What Were They Thinking? Crisis Communication – The Good, the Bad and the Totally Clueless.
By Steve Aduabto. (Part III)
In this blog I will give some of what Dr. Aduabto thinks are important guidelines for dealing with a crisis effectively.
Dr. A gives numerous case studies and guidelines gotten from those studies. Here are some of those guidelines, which Dr. A has suggested:
1. React as quickly as possible, before your problem becomes public and the situation gets “discovered.
2. Have lines of communication as open as possible with the people (stake holders) involved.
3. Tell the truth, if you don’t the consequences of lying only make the crisis worse
4. Take responsibility for your mistake and for the mistakes that others that are responsible to you have done. By trying to push responsibility to someone else, the outside world gets the impression that you don’t deserve any positive consideration because you are acting in a dishonorable way.
Dr. A gives the example of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, where upper management said that the problem wasn’t that bad, but that environmentalists and the media were making too big a deal of the problem.
It is hard to do the right thing and own your mistakes, and then deal with the fall out, but in the long run, if we are guided by our fear, the consequences will much worse when the smoke clears.
As we look at Dr. A’s suggestions, it would seem like they are common sense, but looking at what many large organizations and important people have done, it is clear that common sense is not so common.
In my last blog in this series I will talk about my rules for crisis communication.
To read about my ideas about crisis communication in relationships buy my “Relationship Rescue Manual”