Communication and Crisis Essay

1319 Words Sep 15th, 2013 6 Pages
Communication and Crisis
Julie Maple
August 18, 2013
Teresa Shook

I am the director of the regional emergency management office. I am coming to you because I have been receiving official reports that our public water supplies of several towns in the area have become contaminated with a life threatening biological agent. Having a contaminated water supply is a very serious situation. There is no solid evidence to show how the water became contaminated, and people need to know what symptoms to look for. Symptoms to look for are nose bleeds, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, blurred vision, and abdominal pain. Contingency plans will be addressed within this organization, as well as with the public, without causing or creating
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An advantage would be that the people that I am working with are already well trained on what to do in a situation such as this one. A disadvantage would be that no one has been trained on what to do during a crisis, and no one knows exactly what to do. A challenge that may occur during this crisis would be the media. We need to keep the media involved, but we do not want them to set our agenda. Pisciotta (n.d), “respond in a timely fashion. The longer you wait, the more time a reporter has to get the information they are looking for from other sources; then you are stuck correcting things. In a similar vein, if you are in a public “fight”, try to get to the media first-that way you can frame the issue, not your opponent. Give the reporter a clearly written statement. Included should be the facts, your response plan and any “emotional” element (regret, apology, concern, etc.). Even though this statement may not be quoted from directly, it grounds the reporter in your position. If possible, provide a spokesperson. Though there are some situations in which putting the CEO in front of the firing squad doesn’t make sense, in most cases individuals respect leaders who are willing to take responsibility in difficult situations. If the CEO or other senior leader can’t be the spokesperson for legitimate reasons, consider deploying your communications person to respond to questions and provide a sense that the company is not afraid to

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