What's a Crisis and Why Should I Care?

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  • Whats a Crisis & Why Should I Care?Presentation to NCSU PRSSA

    October 13, 2015

    Roger M. Friedensen, APRRay J. Hornak, APR

    forgecommunications.com | @forgecomm

    2015 Forge Communications, LLC | All Rights Reserved.

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    How often has this happened to you?

    Day One

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    Day Two

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    It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, youll do things differently.

    Warren Buffet

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    What do we mean by crisis?

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    Attributes Out of the ordinary Unpredictable, disruptive Potential to undermine confidence, damage

    reputation Affects or involves multiple audiences Draws attention of internal/external

    stakeholders, including media

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    And once it starts

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    Types of crises Natural disasters Accidents (mechanical,

    human error) Legal or financial issues Government actions Criminal activities Employee incidents Environment/health issues High-profile events Rumors Digital media attacks

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    But it can happen, and it will happen.

    Its not a question of if, its a matter of when

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    Not every crisis is like this

    (though it may feel like it)

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    Novozymes, Franklinton, N.C. | February 2006

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    Greensboro, N.C.June 13, 2010

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    The first rule

    You cant manage a crisis, but you can and you must

    manage your reaction.

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    Quite simply, this changed and is still changing everything.

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    And this is all happening at once in real time.

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    Some things have changed,but most things havent

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    Business hasnt changed

    Benefitsshouldbeconferredgradually;andinthatwaytheywilltastebetter.

    Itisbettertobefearedthanloved,ifyoucannotbeboth.

    Awiseruleroughtnevertokeepfaithwhenbydoingsoitwouldbeagainsthisinterests.

    Politicshavenorelationtomorals.

    Thenewrulermustdeterminealltheinjuriesthathewillneedtoinflict.Hemustinflictthemonceandforall.

    Intheend,you'remeasurednotbyhowmuchyouundertakebutbywhatyoufinallyaccomplish.

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    And politics certainly havent changed

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    Credibility

    Trust

    Expertise

    Dynamism

    +

    +

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    Tell me a story, pleeeeeeeeze

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    Tell me less about how it came to be and more what it means to me.

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    Feelings alter attitudes & behaviors Pleasure Pain Hope Fear Acceptance Rejection Pride Shame

    Andithappensoneindividualatatime...

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    Humans havent changed

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    Communication during and after a crisis is not about pulling strings behind the scenes to spin the

    public and media.

    Its about responding effectively to preserve and strengthen your credibility,

    reputation and ability to operate successfully

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    The Four Rs

    React Respond Recover Rebuild

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    Appeal to basic human instincts What happened? Are my family and I safe? Is this good or bad for me and

    my family? My friends? Is this good or bad for the

    environment? Who is responsible? Who should be rewarded or

    punished? How and when are things

    going to be fixed? What is the right thing to do?

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    Top 10 ways to trash a reputation10. Wait till the last minute: Why prepare now if it might never

    happen at all?9. Ignore your employees or members: Itll just distract em.8. Ignore the media: Heck, theyll just twist the truth anyway.7. Play by your rules and timetable: Why give a hoot about

    what anyone else wants?6. Never accept responsibility or apologize: My lawyer knows

    best! 6b. Dont engage in social channels: Its just too risky.

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    Top 10 ways to trash a reputation

    5. Ignore emotions: feelings are for wimps Facts Rule!4. Cooperate only when you have to: Keep your head

    down and your mouth shut. 3. Provide only the bare minimum: why invite confusion

    with details?2. Dazzle em with jargon: if a little is good, then a lot is

    even better!1. Ignore it and it will go away

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    A couple of closing thoughts

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    Its hard work

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    Excellence takes time

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    Sometimes theres a bumper crop

    and sometimes theres not

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    Sometimes the gods are with you, and sometimes theyre crazy (or just plain mean)

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    You can call me now, or you can call me later

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    (and may the Forge be with you)

    Ray J. Hornak, APRrhornak@forgecommunications.com

    Roger M. Friedensen, APRroger@forgecommunications.com

    @RogerFriedensen@ForgeComm

    Thank you!