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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Crisis Communication 1 of 3

A crisis can strike your client with no advanced notice. Some companies will react well, like the well documented case of Tylenol, some will react by the book but in a non-personal, uninspiring way, such as Skype during their recent coverage outage and some will fail miserably,Jack in the Box, anyone?

Tylenol recovered from their crisis in better shape than before. They were able to communicate to the public what their values were and having that crisis gave them a wider audience to communicate with. You want to set your clients up to respond in this manner.

How do you make sure that your clients are prepared for a crisis and how do you make sure that in the event of a crisis it is handled in the best possible way?
I have spoken to several local PR practitioners and I have done quite a bit of research to put together this “Dummy’s Guide” to crisis communication. I will link a lot of resources at the conclusion of this series.

1) In a crisis time is of the essence, plan ahead

I could write the whole article on the importance of preparation. Have contact information for these people and this information in your easily accessible crisis tool kit

a. Crisis Management Team
b. Spokesperson-not the CEO
c. Legal Council
d. Mission and Values of the organization or person
e. Key media contacts

I will post the next installment next week. For even more information on Crisis Communication check out PRSA's Training.

PRSA’s October Core Training Breakfast Session

Communicating During a Crisis: The 35W Bridge Collapse

Thursday, October 18 at the Metropolitan Ballroom
Registration and continental breakfast: 7:30 am
Program: 8:00 – 9:30 am

Guest Panelists:
· Ted Canova, Chief Communications and Development Officer, Twin Cities Area Chapter of the American Red Cross

· Kathryn Janicek, PIO, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
· Member(s) of the media TBD

Join our panel in a discussion regarding the ultimate in crisis communications—what works, what does notand how to effectively work with the media to keep the public informed when it really counts. Our panelists were all instrumental in the communication and media coverage during the 35W bridge collapse and will share their experiences with attendees. Take away best practices for your own crisis communications plan—including planning and preparing for a crisis, media needs and policies, establishing protocols and channels for information release, and more.

Please also note a time change for this October meeting. Member survey results indicated that many PRSA members were interested in breakfast training sessions. So, to meet that request, we are trying our first breakfast training, with registration and breakfast starting at 7:30 and the program running from 8:00-9:30 am.
The October training is sponsored by Metro Dentalcare.