Home > Reading Notes - COMM 2322 > How To Handle A Crisis

How To Handle A Crisis

Reading Notes #11 – COMM 2322

Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics dedicates chapter 10 to the process of dealing with a crisis and conflict management. This takes up a great portion of a Public Relations professional, even though it is not all they are responsible for.

Managing the amount of issues for your client, the better in some cases.

Strategic Conflict Management

  • Strategic – To achieve a specific goal.
  • Management – Dilibretely done in order to recieve an answer
  • Competition – Working for the same object, position, prize, as others
  • Conflict – sharp disagreements or opposition resulting in a direct overt threat of attack from another entity.

Internal Variables

  • general corporate characteristics
  • characteristics of public relations department
  • top management characteristics
  • internal threats

External Variables

  • external threats
  • industry-specific environment
  • general political/social environment
  • external public characteristics

The Conflict Management Life Cycle

  • Proactive Phase – the way people prevent conflicts from arising.
  • Strategic Phase – An emerging issue in the background that is identified as needing concerted action by the public relations professional.
  • Reactive Phase – An issue is unfolding currently and the public relation professional has to react and respond.
  • Recovery Phase – the aftermath of the crisis and the organization repairs its reputation in the eyes of key publics.

Crisis Management applies to natural disasters, accidents and terror attacks, along with other situations.

Important to handle the situation with poise and professionalism for the sake of the company or client.

  • Need to communicate to the public first
  • Take the responsibility for solving the problem
  • Be honest and do not obscure the facts
  • Never say, “No Comment.” Looks as if there is something the organization is hiding
  • Be accessible
  • Communicate with key publics
  • Provide a constant flow of information. When information is withheld the cover up becomes the story.
  • Designate a single spokesperson


Drea ! xoxo

  1. November 19, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    I accidentally did the same topic of the week for comm 4333. After reading your blog, I have learned that I really knew ablsolutley nothing about communication crisis. Your post is extremely informative, especially the points you make about life cycle of communication crisis. You have a very organized way of posting your blog. It is very easy to read and understand. I think you really summed the chapter up well though. It is difficult to take all of that information and put it into one.

  1. November 19, 2010 at 11:13 PM

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