27 Jun

Top 10 “TakeAways” from May 18 – A Necessary Evil: Social Media Pitfalls

Presenter – Michelle Davidson – Office of Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema AZ-09

1. Social media isn’t optional anymore
2. Social media fulfills its promise of getting your message out to the masses.
3. There is power in video
4. Use concise, active words, not passive
5. Check spelling and grammar
6. Don’t “feed the monster”
7. Create an external and internal social media policy
8. Beware of “trolls”
9. Don’t give them broccoli, give them cheese – Make it exciting/interesting
10. Respond as quickly as possible for your agency to comments

Thank you to Dana Terrazas of Child Crisis Arizona for her “TakeAways”.

27 Jun

Top TakeAways from Apr. 20th – Crisis Communications: It’s All About the Plan

Presenter:  Abbie S. Fink of HMA Public Relations with Renea Gentry & Connie Phillips

A crisis communications plan ensures that responsible members of your organization take appropriate actions in a timely manner when and if a crisis situation arises. If followed accordingly, this plan will also:

  • Keep confidence and satisfaction among your stakeholders
  • Protect financial resources and save management time
  • Avoid costly litigation

Crisis Plan Goals:

  • Provide general guidelines for decision-making prior to and following a crisis situation
  • Identify/clarify responsibilities & Ensure that time is used wisely
  • Minimize down time or business disruption
  • Ensure accurate, timely, consistent information to employees and media
  • Minimize confusion and rumors, protecting the organization’s reputation and brand
  • Maintain credible relationship with community, industry and the media to support rebuilding efforts

A small “Crisis Team,” consisting of select representatives of the organization, will have full authority to act rapidly on behalf of the organization in resolving a crisis. The team will be charged with the responsibility of mobilizing all available resources to resolve the crisis and to restore order, as needed.

The very nature of an emergency doesn’t always guarantee the full attendance of each member of the Crisis Team. Consequently, the duties and responsibilities are interchangeable and can be delegated to other trained personnel.

Post-Crisis is a very important part of the crisis plan. This is a chance for the Crisis Team to pull together and evaluate its performance.

Post-Crisis Evaluation Cycle:

  • Review media coverage; conduct content analysis- how was the crisis handled?
  • Have post-crisis visuals: assess the damage by crisis
  • Have a pool from the media come and view post-crisis conditions
  • Meet with response team to evaluate plan’s successes and failures
  • Keep all employees informed on all developments

Riding Out the Storm:

No matter what the nature of a crisis, whether it’s good news or bad news, no matter how carefully you’ve prepared and responded…some of your audiences are not going to react the way you want them to. This can be immensely frustrating. What do you do?

  • Take a deep breath
  • Take an objective look at the reaction(s) in question. Is it your fault, or their unique interpretation?
  • Decide if another communication to that audience is likely to change that impression for the better or make it worse.
  • Decide if making that additional communication is worth the effort.

Update Crisis Plan no less often than every three months or sooner if:

  • Crisis occurs
  • Changes are made to key team leaders or their contact information•

Abbie S. Fink afink@hmapr.com

07 Apr

Crisis Communication – Be Aware. Be Prepared. Be Proactive.

By Abbie S. Fink – Vice President/General Manager of HMA Public Relations

Your day starts like any other day.  Get to the office, say hello to the team, logon and check your email.  And within a matter of minutes, your entire to-do list for the day gets scrapped as you see email and after email about a situation occurring with one of your affiliate organizations across the country.  And sprinkled throughout the hundreds of emails are ones from your board chair, a big donor and a reporter at the local television station.

Yikes!

None of us ever wants to deal with a crisis situation.  But smart organizations are aware that a crisis can occur at any time and are prepared with a plan so that when if a crisis does occur, the team can be as proactive as possible.

If followed correctly, a crisis communications plan will:

  • Prevent long-term damage to the reputation of organization
  • Keep confidence and satisfaction among key constituents
  • Maintain successful employee morale
  • Protect financial resources and save management time
  • Avoid costly litigation
  • Ensure accurate, timely, consistent information is shared
  • Minimize confusion and rumors
  • Protect organization’s reputation and brand

No matter what the nature of a crisis, whether it’s good news or bad news, no matter how carefully you’ve prepared and responded…some of your audiences are not going to react the way you want them to. This can be immensely frustrating. What should you do?

  • Take a deep breath
  • Take an objective look at the reaction(s) in question. Is it your fault, or their unique interpretation?
  • Decide if another communication to that audience is likely to change that impression for the better or make it worse.
  • Decide if making that additional communication is worth the effort.

The basic steps of effective crisis communications are not difficult, but they require advance work in order to minimize damage. Organizations want to avoid negative media or public attention that will harm their reputation or brand. One effective way to minimize damage from a crisis is to have a crisis communications plan in place and be sure that all key players (Board, Staff and even volunteers perhaps) are aware of the plan. Managing the way an organization reacts to any crisis will help defuse the problem and get you back to doing what you do best.

To learn more about creating and sharing such a plan, register now for ONE’s April 20th program