Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"A Word with Your Boss, Please..." from Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication


“A Word with Your Boss, Please...”

If I could speak to the chief executive of your company or organization about the importance of communications in your preparation for crisis or emergency, we would discuss just a few career preserving subjects, and the conversation would take only a few minutes. In short, we would discuss:

1. How responding quickly in the first 60-120 minutes of an emergency or disaster can save assets, markets, and reputations - and avoid or delay career-defining moments, his or hers.

2. How managing victims immediately, humanely, with compassion will deescalate the visibility that poorly handled victims always causes.

3. The reputational toxicity of silence.

4. How well-handled and perfectly managed crises that are poorly communicated will always be remembered as poorly handled crises.

5. If you fail to manage your own destiny from the start, there is always someone out there waiting and willing to do it for you.

6. Speed beats smart every time. Waiting to execute the perfect response will cost you your reputation, and likely your job, and you will still fail.

7. Bad news always ripens badly. Bad news brings bad stories. Mistakes will be made and the media will make things up. Fifty percent of your energy and 25% of your resources will go to fixing yesterday’s mistakes, yours and the media’s.

8. Effective crisis communication involves simple, sensible, sincere, constructive, positive, and ethical approaches applied from the start.

9. How to overcome the abusive, intrusive, and coercive behavior of new media bloviators, bellyachers, back-bench bitchers, activists, and critics (and the media).

The unplanned visibility that a crisis creates builds expectations of your honorable behavior among your most critical audiences and stakeholders including your own employees, the community, the government, and the victims. Are you ready?


Copyright (c) 2013, James E. Lukaszewski. All rights reserved.

"A Word with Your Boss, Please..." appears in Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication: What Your CEO Needs to Know About Reputation Risk and Crisis Management, page V. You can own your own copy of Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication buy purchasing a copy at Amazon.com. For further information, visit www.e911.com. For reproduction permission, contact the copyright holder at jel@e911.com.

By James E. Lukaszewski

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