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March 25, 2015
Crisis Communication Distilled – Nothing ’New’ About It
 
We looked for the “New Rules for Crisis Management in a Digital Era” and found nothing “new,” really, in the tried and true rules of good crisis communication that are listed there, except that we’re now, indeed, in a digital era. The thing is, folks often don’t take the requirements of effective crisis management seriously enough.

An organization needs to have a crisis management plan and to drill on it regularly. We’re from the nuclear power industry, but the same holds for other pursuits involving public sensitivity — more than you may realize.

“The new principles of crisis management,” said John Crean, National Managing Partner at NATIONAL Public Relations at a crisis seminar he led in Toronto, “can be counter-intuitive to the disciplined and business-savvy executive who puts a priority on full knowledge, thoughtful consideration of the options and who speaks only when they ave something to say.”

Balderdash. There is nothing “new” about the entirely appropriate principles Crean listed, except that they now include making provisions for communicating via social media and other digital means, virtually a discipline in itself.

We’re not making light of Crean’s post, just noting that if you think it’s new, you’ve got a lot of work to do on crisis communication and you’d better get started on it as though a crisis is at hand. And include digital outreach, too.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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