Crisis Communications Management

By definition crisis communications is the effort taken by an organization, company or governmental entity to communicate with the public and stockholders when an unexpected event occurs that could have a negative impact on the company’s reputation. This can also refer to the efforts of business or governmental entities to inform employees or the public of a potential hazard such as an impending storm which could have a catastrophic impact. Crisis communication is designed to protect and defend an individual, company, or organization facing a public challenge to its reputation.

Communication scholars define crisis communication as “the perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders or the public at large and can seriously impact an organization’s performance and generate negative outcomes.”

Meaning is a socially constructed thing; because of this, the way that the stakeholders of an organization or the public view an event (positively, neutrally, or negatively) is a major contributing factor to whether the event will become a crisis. Additionally, it is important to separate a true crisis situation from an incident. The term crisis “should be reserved for serious events that require careful attention from management.”

Crisis management has been defined as “a set of factors designed to combat crises and to lessen the actual damages inflicted.” Crisis management should not merely be reactionary; it should also consist of preventative measures and preparation in anticipation of potential crises. Effective crisis management has the potential to greatly reduce the amount of damage the organization receives as a result of the crisis, and may even prevent an incident from ever developing into a crisis.

Brocato and Associates has years of experience dealing with crisis management and communications on all levels. Whether dealing with the management of a potential crisis, pre planning communications and management  templates for likely crisis issues, or working to get out in front of a rapidly changing crisis communications situation, we stand ready and prepared to assist your organization.