Crisis Communication Janine Sikes March 13, 2009 Director of Communications Integration What is a potentially reputation-damaging incident? Taser Incident Multiple computer privacy breaches Death of Sebastian Ferrero Closing of Shands AGH College of Medicine admissions controversy Budget cuts So what do you do when you face a situation that could portray not only your department or college in a negative light - but the entire university? CALL ME! 846-3903 Before you call me . . . Assemble the facts: What happened? Who did it impact? Why wasn’t this prevented? What are we doing about it? What are our strengths and weaknesses? Next . . . Generate some candidates for spokesman: In very high visibility instances, a single spokesman is the most effective to ensure the message is consistent The most obvious person for spokesman is not always the best choice. Next . . . Craftyour main message. Decide what you want people to remember Message needs to be clear Message needs to be concise And SHORT!!!!! 28 words or so If YOU are the one talking . . . Use common sense Don’t speculate. It’s fine to say, “I wish we knew more” or “We’re working to determine what happened.” Don’t feel compelled to give an interview just because a reporter calls. Also . . . Be empathetic and caring: 1. Remember to acknowledge others feelings 2. Use phrases such as “We’re sorry” or “We feel terrible.” Finally . . . Stay on message with phrases such as: “What’s important to remember…” “I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you…” “Before I forget, I want to tell your viewers…” “Let me put that in perspective…” And my favorite: “I wouldn’t characterize it that way - instead…” Questions?
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