Managing responding accurately as quickly as possible. Crises

communications in a crisis


Crisis management is a critical function within an organisation;
it is defined as the process by which a business or other organization deals
with a sudden emergency situation (according to Oxford Dictionaries). An unexpected
event involving either an organisation or individuals within the organisation
may have the potential to develop into a crisis. This may have the ability to
create long term or short term effects on a company.  It’s vital for an organisation to have a
contingency plan in place to control a crisis so that they can respond as
effectively and as quickly as possible so that as little damage as possible
occurs. Crisis management is normally is divided into three phrases;

Pre-crisis: The pre-crisis stage involves
preparing to reduce risks that could become a crisis. Preparation involves many
factors such as putting a crisis management team in place; the common members
that are selected for this team are public relations, legal, security, operations
and human resource personal. They are usually challenged with creating a prevention
and preparation procedure. Crisis response: Crisis response is how an organisation
responds to a crisis. Crisis response guidelines focus on three points, be
quick and efficient, be accurate and be consistent. It consists of assessing
the situation and responding accurately as quickly as possible. Crises have the
ability to create threats such as a threat to public safety, financial loss and
reputation loss.Post-crisis:  As an organisation starts to return to normal
the crisis may no longer be the main priority within an organisation but may
still require some concentration. Post-crisis looks at modifying or improving
contingency plans to address crisis as they may arise in a more effective and
efficient manner.

According to Seeger, Sellnow and Ulmer (2003, as cited in
Heath & Vasquez, 2004, p.

54) an unexpected event can then transform into a crisis when its
“overwhelmingly negative significance carries a high level of risk, harm and
opportunity for further loss”.  The
soccer industry is an example of an organisation where being efficient in
managing communication in a crisis is of utmost importance as the industry has
faced a challenging few years.  FIFA (the
body responsible for the running of world soccer organisation) faced the
biggest crisis in 111 years. A corruption scandal came to light in 2015 with
two ex officials being found guilty of multiple charges of corruption including
bribery, fraud and money laundering over several decades which resulted in a
minimum of €150 million in bribes.  FIFA
approached this crisis in a peculiar manner by re-electing FIFA boss Sepp
Blatter, who was at the front of the corruption scandal. Due to the amount of negative attention FIFA received over decisions they
made, major sponsors such as Castrol, Sony, Johnson & Johnson removed their
support of FIFA to show that they do not support corruption while some sponsors
such as Budweiser, Visa and Coca-Cola stood by FIFA . The PR teams
behind the brands that stood by FIFA all implemented a similar crisis plan
during the scandal (according to lotus823):

Public recognition of the scandal and its wrong doing
Insistence that the scandal does not represent brand
Consistent communication that the brand has put pressure on FIFA to
make drastic changes
Utilization of all channels (traditional and digital) to listen and
engage with media and fans