Any organization can find themselves the subject of a negative news story, whether in the traditional or social media. It is those organizations which have prepared for this day when something bad has happened (or is alleged) who will be able to not only survive, but even thrive. Preparation requires pre-planning for crises they hope will never happen. It also requires making sure that those who will speak with the media and other concerned/upset/hostile audiences have a clear knowledge of what they should do and...
Any organization can find themselves the subject of a negative news story, whether in the traditional or social media. It is those organizations which have prepared for this day when something bad has happened (or is alleged) who will be able to not only survive, but even thrive. Preparation requires pre-planning for crises they hope will never happen. It also requires making sure that those who will speak with the media and other concerned/upset/hostile audiences have a clear knowledge of what they should do and say in the opening 20 minutes of the crisis. Failure to do this well will result in the crisis getting traction, leaving the oranization running to play catch-up and risking damage to their personal and corporate reputations. These skills in how to deal with the media and other interested parties do not come naturally, even to good leaders. The good news is that they can be learned. The basic principles of what to do and say -- and NOT do and say -- are contained in this book. It is not a theoretical treatise; rather it is full of practical tips that can be put into action immediately. Numerous organizations(manufacturiing companies, banks, healthcare facilities, propane distributors, governmental bodies, not-for-profit agencies, colleges, etc.) have used the book to great advantage. It has also been adopted as a textbook by a number of universities for use in their courses in public relations, crisis communications, and emergency management.
"...an extremely timely how-to book directed toward companies and municipalities who may find themselves suddenly thrust before cameras and microphones and having to answer the media's pointed questions about a crisis involving them. The author systematically sets forth how to plan for and react to this contingency. Her information is well advised, well organized, and essential for any organization."
"...a practical, straightforward, "user friendly," and highly recommended manual of insight and instruction...on presenting messages to the media in the most effective manner....It is a truly excellent primer filled with tips, tricks, and techniques for anyone who has to or may have to talk to the press. If you are charged with the responsibility of public relations management for a business, organization, or governmental department, you need to carefully read this book.
"As a journalist who has covered numerous business crises over the years...I'd call this book a must read for any corporate executive who doesn't want to find him or herself on the wrong side of a "60 Minutes" interview anytime soon. It definitely covers the bases of crisis planning and crisis communications."
Judith C. Hoffman gained her knowledge of crisis communications while she was on the "hot seat" herself. As Manager of Public Affairs for a chemical manufacturing company that made one of the smelliest chemicals known to man, she frequently was called upon as the spokesperson for her organization. She handled TV/radio and newspaper interviews on things like an overturned railcar of a hazardous material, a fire on the site, the evacuation of a building, a serious injury to an employee, a bomb threat, a regulatory fine, the drawn-out remediation of a hazardous waste site on the company property, and an odorous release that caused the evacuation of 2,500 children from local schools. She learned a great deal the hard way about what to do and what not to do. Her company asked her to put together a workshop for their leadership so they could act effectively as a crisis management team. Corporate officers attended and asked her to conduct that workshop for their other subsidiaries. In 1995, she decided to start her own media training/crisis communications consulting business and has taken her workshop around the country to dozens of organizations. After six years of this, she was persuaded by her clients that she should write a book. Originally published in 2001, the book has been revised and updated four times because of the need to comment on crises that have gained national attention, especially since it is being used as a college text. Ms. Hoffman continues to travel extensively providing workshops and seminars and conference presentations on the subjects of (1) dealing with the media in a crisis and (2) handling angry people.