Dealing with Issues, Risks, and Crises (a recap of chapter 10)

April 29, 2009 whitneychilds

In class we talked about what a crisis is, four types of crises, sparks of crisis, benefits of planning and the seven key elements in a crisis kit.

A crisis is a non routine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threatens “significant reputable damage”.

Kathleen Fearn-Banks, in her book Crisis Communications: A Casebook Approach, writes, “A crisis is a major occurrence with a potentially negative outcome affecting the organization, company, or industry, as well as its publics, products, services, or good name.”

Four types of Crises are:

1) Meteor- an example of this would be a hostage situation like the one in New York where fifteen people were left dead

2) Predator- someone else causes your crisis- for example if a company is being sneaky and someone else notifies the public

3) Breakdown- mortgage prices

4) Lingering- doesn’t really go away, example the Tylenol crisis that happened years ago is still fresh in many people’s mind

Sparks of a Crisis include:

– Environmental

– Technological

– Terroristic

– Criminal Misconduct

– Managerial

– Accidental

Benefits of Planning help to reduce stress, demonstrate goodwill, create a flow of communication, involves stakeholders and business continuity.

7 Key Elements in a Crisis Kit:

1) A list of the members of the crisis management team

2) Contact information for key officers, spokespeople and crisis management team members

3) Fact Sheets on the company, each division, each physical location and each product offered

4) Profiles and biographies for each key manager in your company

5) Copies of your company, division and product logos, your press release format and the scanned in signature of your CEO on disk

6) Pre-written scripts

7) Contact information

3 R’s of Crisis Communication


2) Response

3) Recovery

3 Communication Procedures

1) Platform

2) Priority

3) Policy


– Interest and Empathy

– Honesty and Authenticity

– Responsive and Proactive

– Open to Criticism


Entry Filed under: Class Discussions

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