Join Deirdre Breakenridge for an in-depth discussion in this video Issues management vs. crisis management, part of Public Relations Foundations (2014).
- When you're in PR you want to make sure you understand the difference between Issues that need to be managed and a Crisis situation which has the potential to damage your company's reputation as well as your bottom line. However, with the speed of the internet and social media you cannot afford to underestimate an issue which can turn into crisis instantly. Let's clearly define both. In PR we deal with Issues Management by having to understand, mobilize, coordinate, and direct all policy planning with the public.
Our job is to identify any potential issues as a result of policies, programs, and communication with various stakeholders, and quickly figuring out the impact each issue may have. The goal in Issues Management is to Determine your strategic options and how to move forward with a communications approach that will influence a groups perception in a much more favorable way. Of course, measuring the result of the communication and the favor-ability is the key to showing the success of your management process.
In many cases issues that are dealt with properly end up as positive opportunities for the company, building stronger relations and advocacy with key groups. Crisis Management on the other hand is different, because crisis is a situation that, number one, Can damage the company's reputation, and number two, directly affect the bottom line. The question is, How do you know if the situation is a crisis? Or escalating toward crisis proportions? There are several warning signs that you should be able to recognize immediately.
If you've never managed a crisis before these signals will let you know that you are right smack in the middle of one. Number one, Crisis takes you by Surprise, and is very Unexpected, it's not a situation you know or you're familiar with. Number two, the media, bloggers, customers, and other stakeholders are demanding information. Everyone wants a statement from you. Number three, you see blogs and online outlets come alive furiously with wild stories.
Number four, at which point you learn that your company's stock is falling as the rumors continue to run rampant. Number five, you experience this sense of loss of control as continued unfortunate events expand in scope and more smoking guns surface. Number six, the media outlets and journalists that don't normally want to speak with you are suddenly interested in what you have to say. Number seven, you're unable to communicate with enough speed to actually get in front of the story.
And number eight, there is Panic in your organization, and even so, it's difficult to convince management that immediate action is necessary. Knowing the difference between an Issue and a Crisis is critical to your company's well being. Both are situations that need to be handled swiftly, yet differently. Go back and proactively review what issues may surface for your company with the public, but then also commit the crisis warning signs to what I call "muscle memory".
This approach may help you to maneuver your company's issues more easily and possibly minimize the potential risk and damage prior to a crisis escalating any further.
Learn today's public relations techniques and best practices with PR expert Deirdre Breakenridge. In this detailed course, she explains how social media has revolutionized public relations, and offers an effective eight-step workflow you can use to ensure you're sharing the right message with the right audience. Learn how to build a PR plan, develop and optimize messaging, and engage everyone in the media, from reporters to bloggers and influencers. Next, see how to manage relationships and your organization's reputation; amplify awareness with the aid of internal and external "champions"; and plan for, and gracefully navigate, crises. Finally, explore the differences between a news release and a social media release, check out effective visual storytelling techniques for new media, and see how to measure and share PR outcomes.
- Explain two ways to raise credibility.
- Define research.
- Identify the steps to take when auditing social media communication.
- Describe the thinking process PR professionals should use when developing messages and optimizing content.
- Recognize three strategies for becoming a trusted source for journalists and bloggers.
- Differentiate between issue management and crisis management.
- Explain how to create effective infographics.
- Identify the important of understanding data and analytics.