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February 19, 2013
Readiness for a Crisis That's Not Likely to Happen (and in a Changing World)
Crisis communication is a tricky discipline, because, fortunately, it is seldom confronted with the reality of an actual crisis. Thus, a well-intended plan can go stale and be out of synch should it be needed. Regular crisis drills can help with a situation like this, but continuing study and reflection on how crisis settings may be changing is highly advisable. You can use, for example, a "white paper" like Gerald Baron's "Why Crisis Communication Plans Fail".

Baron, CEO of Agincourt Strategies, is a veteran communicator. His "paper" is actually a Slideshare presentation best suited for full-screen viewing. But if you take the trouble to spend time with it, you'll get lots of insight into the pitfalls of static crisis "readiness."  Like "Last Event Plans," "Past World Plans," and "Too Many Plans Plans." 

Don't kid yourself. Staying prepared for something that's not likely to happen in a continually changing world is a highly challenging matter. 

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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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