Crisis communication is a field that is constantly growing due to the controlled and uncontrolled crises that happen in today’s world. It is important for organizations to be prepared for crises and come out on top. Here are some important factors to keep in mind!
1. Have a plan ready to go
Make a list of all the possible crises your organization could have including controlled and uncontrolled. Assign authority and responsibility beforehand. Identify all possible publics to the situation. Determine where and how you will set up information centers to reach them. Create a chain of information and notification system. Practice the plan once or twice a year with a different crisis each time.
2. Responsibility to the victims and families
Always remember the families and victims are the ones who are suffering, and it is important to acknowledge them and send the organization’s best regards to their families.
3. Take responsibility
Always acknowledge the issue when it is first brought to your attention. Take responsibility and start working on a resolution.
4. Acknowledge social media
Use social media as a tool when dealing with a crisis. It is a way to keep the public informed on the steps the organization is taking and for the public to express their concerns to the organization.
5. Do not hide behind your desk
It is important for the public to see the company at the scene of the incident to show they are involved, trying to resolve the issue and that they care.
6. Speak with one voice
It is important to have a clear and consistent message. Have one spokesperson to speak on behalf of the organization.
Be sure to monitor all traditional media along with social media. Correct any statements that are incorrect immediately and take credit when applicable.
8. Be transparent
The truth will always come out in the end so it is best to face it when it happens rather than waiting for it to leak out. People will be able to respect the organization for owning up to their faults.
9. Be professional but show emotion
A terrible act has happened and it is important to acknowledge and show the public you are suffering and hurting with them.
10. Work with law enforcement
When applicable, always cooperate with law enforcement and never interfere with their investigation.
11. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know
It is ok to tell the public you do not know the answer to their question or are unable to disclose it at the time. Never say “no comment.” Always explain why you are unable to answer their question.
12. Stay on schedule
It is important for the public to know when they will be able to hear from you, but it is just as important that you stay on schedule. Being consistent and on time will help build trustwith your audience.
For further information on how to prepare your organization for a crisis, click here.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 Christalyn Solomon
PR professionals and journalists have a complicated relationship to say the least. They gripe and bicker like an old married couple, yet you can’t separate them. PR professionals must interact with journalists because they still have a lot of influence in swaying public opinion. Their content attracts millions of people who trust and depend on them for their day-to-day news and information.
However, working with journalists isn’t always a walk in the park. Many PR practitioners often complain that journalists don’t return calls or respond to emails in a timely manner. Other PR pros say that journalists don’t cooperate or understand the pressure they’re under when a client wants a story published.
In contrast, journalists say that PR pros often send a story without researching first what that specific reporter writes about. They also get pretty irritated when PR pros promise an interview with a client but never deliver or follow up. One of the biggest pet peeves journalists have is when PR practitioners aren’t sensitive to their demanding deadlines.
Though these problems exist, journalists and PR professionals acknowledge that they need each other. PR pros will always find information, interviews and content when journalists need to produce a story. And journalists can provide great stories and influence public perception and opinion about a client.
PR pros should always remember to be courteous and ask if a journalist is on deadline. Always know which journalists cover the story you want published or aired. Know some background information about your clients business or cause. Take time to study what you are pitching. And lastly, never promise an interview that you know you can’t produce.
How long should a blog post actually be? Maybe 500 words. Never a thousand words, right? Everyone has a different opinion. But in the end, most agree that it better not be long.
The CAHOOTS website, which discusses social media tips, claims a blog post should be over 300 words for SEO purposes but no more than 500 words. After breaching 500 words, the blogger may be giving the reader too much to digest at one time.
Do NOT be repetitive! We live in this technological world where everyone is seeking information as quickly as possible, so get to the point. In order to help the reader process the information fast, the blogger must write in a simple manner. Wordy sentences only hinder the minds attempt to process information.
Why not break a large piece up into multiple posts? If your blog post exceeds 500 words, think about breaking the piece up into a series of posts. By creating a routine and posting about a certain topic over a certain period of time, it may attract readers to come back.
The most important tip to remember is that quality trumps all. If a reader comes to your blog seeking specific information and they come across a poorly written post, none of these other details explained above will matter.
Ultimately, a blog post must please the reader so much that they want to return to your website later to read more. If you would like to read more of this article from the CAHOOTS website, click here.
With my graduation rapidly approaching, tensions are running high. Not just for me, but for my entire graduating class. There is a buzz, an understood stressor, for most of this class.
How do we get jobs?
It’s the one oppressive question on everyone’s minds, the one aspect that may mark an undergraduate career “successful” or “unsuccessful.”
Fear not, class of 2013! The statistics are in our favor: CBS News reports that less than six percent of college graduates in their 20s are unemployed. While that still means thousands of us will find ourselves without employment as we walk across the stage, there are some things soon-to-be grads can do to improve their chances of getting a job soon after graduation.
Step 1: While you are still a student, take advantage of student services. Most colleges have a career center staffed with great people willing to help you find a job, revise your cover letters and resume and offer general advice and support.
Step 2: Network, network, network. Reach out to everyone you think may know someone who knows someone. You never know whom others know, and this may lead to a connection for a job or a paid internship. Email your parents’ friends, the alumni association for your college, past bosses, professors you think will give a good recommendation, your friends and family members. Say that you are graduating soon and are in search of a job or an internship. Attach your resume, a list of references and cover letter so your contacts know the experience you have, or at least know for sure what you majored in.
Step 3: If you haven’t completed at least one internship during your undergraduate career, take the summer and complete one in the field you want to work in. Now, more than ever, employers are looking for experience. Experience doesn’t have to be paid, but it does have to be valuable. Who knows? That internship may turn into a full-time gig for you in the future!
And, for those in the communications field…
- Maintain a positive, professional social media presence. Here at Tricom, we’ve discussed the importance of social media many times. Maintaining a good web presence shows employers you have a mastery of social media without you having to spell it out.
- Try reaching out in creative ways. The trend on Twitter is to construct a “twesume:” a 140-character representation of yourself, possibly with a link to your online resume, blog or LinkedIn.
- Brush up on basic writing skill sets, such as grammar, blogging, press release writing or other types of writing you are likely to do in the communications field.
- Update and maintain your portfolio to keep work samples in one location. This can be helpful to show employers examples of your work when they ask. Keeping a portfolio can demonstrate the ability to organize, multi-task and think critically without having to directly say so in a cover letter or interview. Portfolios can be digital or paper, but they always need to be up to date.
Getting a job post-graduation doesn’t have to be scary. Just keep a positive attitude and proactively search for positions you may be interested in. Something will come through.