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CRISIS

COMMUNICATION

which are the main components of the crisis concept: • An unexpected event • That poses a threat or a challenge • Which is potentially hazardous • Which requires immediate. rapid action • Over which management has limited control • Which may have unpredictable effects and consequences • And which is something that will arouse interest by the general public and media .The crisis from different perspectives It is important to recognize and prepare for the following.

• the way authorities and organisations handle the crisis. • and the crisis image. and groups. organisations. • The recipients rate the authority’s credibility on the basis of four fundamental dimensions: • degree of openness and honesty • the organisation’s competence • the fairness of their actions • the empathy displayed . during and after a crisis. media and interested individuals. • There are three important dimensions during a crisis: • the actual crisis. before.Crisis communication • Crisis communication can be defined as the exchange of information that occurs within and between authorities.

The crisis team should discuss the following issues: ➤What is the nature of the ➤What are the time constraints? crisis? ➤Where can we get help? ➤Who is affected? ➤What happens after the acute ➤What implication? stage? ➤Will there be other effects that ➤What should the focus of our emerge over time? information be? ➤What is the worst-case ➤Can the emergency be limited? scenario? ➤Who can influence us? ➤What is at stake? ➤Who else should be contacted? ➤Who else is involved? ➤What will the media/general public think/do/demand? .

understanding how stakeholders will respond to the crisis informs the post-crisis communication. Timothy Coombs is a theory in the field of crisis communication (2007): crisis managers should match strategic crisis responses to the level of crisis responsibility and reputational threat posed by a crisis SCCT can be applied in an organization's crisis management. Crisis management and communications. 2007 . Situational Crisis Communication Theory • SCCT of W.” Coombs. W. In turn. • “SCCT identifies how key facets of the crisis situation influence attributions about the crisis and the reputations held by stakeholders. T.

accident crisis). and for crises with strong attributions of crisis responsibility (preventable crises). no history of similar crises and a neutral or positive prior relationship reputation.response for workplace violence. and a neutral or positive prior relationship reputation. The deny posture . natural disasters and rumors. product tampering. Victimage . coupled with a history of similar crises and/or negative prior relationship reputation. or coupled with a history of similar crises and/or negative prior relationship reputation. which have no history of similar crises. Maintain consistency in crisis response strategies! . Rebuild crisis response strategies should be used for crises with low attributions of crisis responsibility (accident crises).SCCT crisis response strategy guidelines Informing and adjusting information alone can be enough when crises have minimal attributions of crisis responsibility (victim crises). when possible.for crises with minimal or low attributions of crisis responsibility (victim crises.for rumor and challenge crises. Diminish crisis .

SCCT crisis response strategies Primary Secondary Deny crisis response strategies Bolstering • Attack the accuser (support) crisis • Denial (Crisis manager asserts there is no response crisis) strategies • Scapegoat (outside of the organization) • Reminder: past good Diminish crisis response strategies works of the • Excuse (denying intent to do harm) organization. . • Justification (minimizes the perceived • Ingratiation: damage) Crisis manager Rebuild crisis response strategies praises • Compensation (money or other gifts to stakeholders victims) • Victimage: the • Apology (the organization takes full organization is responsibility for the crisis and asks a victim of the stakeholders for forgiveness) crisis too.

• Due to continuous demands by President Obama. It is one of the world’s foremost oil and gas companies. Transocean and few other companies.S Coast Guard. By mid-2011. Mississippi and Florida were polluted. By June 2010. National Response Team. 1. Communication Strategies used by British Petroleum (BP) • BP was founded in 1908.9 million barrels of oil were spilled in the Gulf of Mexico and a dozen people were killed in the explosion. Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies were actively involved in the cleanup efforts and the costs amounting to billions of dollars were billed to BP. 2010. 4. U. They deal with transportation fuel. BP set up a compensation fund of $20 billion for the affected parties. . exploded and collapsed. the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon which was owned by Transocean and leased by British Petroleum (BP). energy for heat and light and petrochemical products. BP had lost almost 25% of its market value.100 miles of shoreline in Lousiana. The slick produced as a result of the oil leaked affected an area of thousands of square miles in the Gulf of Mexico. • On April 20.

The only question is we do not know when. "The first thing to say is I'm sorry. I guarantee it. CEO Tony Hayward • 3 May. run by their people and their processes. but we are absolutely responsible for the oil. […] The drilling rig was a Transocean drilling rig.” • May 14 The Guardian : “We will fix it." . very modest" • May 31 Hayward told reporters. in response to his handling of the poor press. it wasn't our accident. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume. It's the same for the oil industry. NBC "Well. "Neither did the Air France plane last year coming out of Brazil [which mysteriously crashed] stop the world airline industry flying people around the world." he said." • "Apollo 13 [the unsuccessful third mission to the moon in 1970] did not stop the space race. "I'm a Brit.” "the Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean." • June 4 In his first interview with investors and analysts since the spill. I would like my life back. he said. It was their rig and their equipment that failed. for cleaning it up. There's no one who wants this over more than I do. […] We're sorry for the massive disruption it's caused their lives. I can take it. and that's what we intend to do." • May 18 "I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very.

and Flickr accounts to communicate BP’s commitment to cleaning up the spill. • BP television advertisements featured Tony Hayward apologizing using the BP Slogan for the Deepwater Horizon explosion “We will get this done. and Wall Street Journal. and Florida. and the economic recovery of those affected by the oil spill. We will make this right. Twitter. Alabama. the health and safety of wildlife. . New York Times. Mississippi. • it’s own YouTube channel to show BP’s commitment to the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico.” • created Facebook. It also allowed people to interact with and comment on the current state of the Gulf of Mexico. • placed advertisements in Washington Post. • + Financial strategies: $20 billion fund to cover the costs of claims from residents. Louisiana. USA Today. a $500 million Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative etc. The good • created 4 websites dedicated to the four states most impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

• BP has initially underestimated the magnitude of the oil leak. • Poor collaboration with the media (BP tried to censure. while it would express concern for the victims and take its responsibility and reassure all the stakeholders . .Blame before moving to action fast. • Focus on how the crisis is effecting them/the CEO personally. to limit and/or to delay the flow of informations to the public) • The company's attempts to win over consumers (vast public relations campaign) using social media and paying for ads that ask consumers to 'Friend BP on YouTube'.serious lack of understanding. The bad • Their website had insufficient information on this situation with only minimal links to Facebook and Twitter. • Arrogance and insensitivity. • Offering potential plaintiffs $5000 not to issue lawsuits . • BP has not prepared a crisis communication plan. • Blamed third parties and abdicated responsibility. • Spokesperson identification and preparation: The CEO Tony Hayward was the primary spokesperson.

Legitimation strategies of communication .

. trapping passengers for up to 11 hours. • -> negative word of mouth spread across the Internet and news media • -> angry customers .000 cancelled flights in just five days. leading to 1. JetBlue's operational breakdown (2007) • The crisis: JetBlue's operations collapsed after an ice storm hit the East Coast of the U. Its planes were snowbound at gates or stuck on runways.S.

rebooking opportunities were scarce and hold times at 1-800- JETBLUE were unacceptably long or not even available. and other major inconveniences. frustration and inconvenience that we caused. We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all. With the busy President’s Day weekend upon us. more importantly. disrupted the movement of JetBlue’s pilot and inflight crewmembers who were depending on those planes to get them to the airports where they were scheduled to serve you. we are deeply sorry. Following the severe winter ice storm in the Northeast.Dear JetBlue Customers. lost baggage. and. This is especially saddening because JetBlue was founded on the promise of bringing humanity back to air travel and making the experience of flying happier and easier for everyone who chooses to fly with us. Last week was the worst operational week in JetBlue’s seven year history. Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the anxiety. . we subjected our customers to unacceptable delays. flight cancellations. further hindering our recovery efforts. We know we failed to deliver on this promise last week. The storm disrupted the movement of aircraft.

our valued customers. David Neeleman Founder and CEO JetBlue Airways . that JetBlue will emerge as a more reliable and even more customer responsive airline than ever before. as a result of these actions. I have a video message to share with you about this industry leading action. and are taking immediate corrective steps to regain your confidence in us. We are confident. Nothing is more important than regaining your trust and all of us here hope you will give us the opportunity to welcome you onboard again soon and provide you the positive JetBlue Experience you have come to expect from us. more tools and resources for our crewmembers and improved procedures for handling operational difficulties in the future.We are committed to you. Most importantly. You deserved better—a lot better—from us last week. we have published the JetBlue Airways Customer Bill of Rights—our official commitment to you of how we will handle operational interruptions going forward—including details of compensation. Sincerely. We have begun putting a comprehensive plan in place to provide better and more timely information to you.

Recovering from a Crisis • Listen to their customers. wrote a public letter of apology to JetBlue customers (rebuild strategy) • Commit to making significant changes to improve customer service • introduced a customer's bill of rights (rebuild strategy) • take advantage of the media spotlight by recommitting to lead industry in customer service (rebuild strategy) • Back up their promises with real results • public decision to replace their Chief Operating Officer . in the hope the weather would improve • showing sincere remorse . admit their mistakes and show sincere remorse • CEO David Neeleman never blamed the weather (victimage strategy) • quickly admitted waiting too long to call for help in getting stranded passengers off the planes.restore customer and investor confidence (scapegoating ???) • presented a detailed list of compensations –including monetary compensation (rebuild strategy) • “We’re going to offer something that no other airline will offer customers”: a $30 million investment for handling disruptions in service (rebuild strategy) .

Content Analysis of British Petroleum and Tokyo Electric Power Company's Crisis Communication Messages. 10(3).bazaarvoice.northwestern.). 2007. Journal of Aviation Management and Education. 2007. Vol. • Daniel De Wolf. and responding (2nd ed.org/crisis-management-and-communications/ . Issue 2.2. Grand Valley State University. • Timothy Coombs.au/3-pr-disasters-that-were-handled- brilliantly-by-management/ • http://moneymavens.com. Crisis communication failures: The BP Case Study. Crisis Management: Lessons Learnt from the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill Oil. 2011. SEMA's Educational Series 2003 • Mohamed MEJRI . No. Trouble in the Sky . 48-56. 4. 2. • Viktoryia Abramenka. Vol. Comparative Analysis of Crisis Communication Strategies. 2013. • Crisis Communication Handbook. pp. 163-177.edu/2010/08/crisis-communications- how-to-avoid-bps-mistakes/ • Michael Brizek.Sources: • http://blog. Managing. JetBlue Airways. Business Management and Strategy .com/2007/03/14/how-jetblue-is-turning-negative-word- of-mouth-into-positive/ • https://ashtonmanufacturing. Corporate Reputation Review. Protecting Organization Reputations During a Crisis: The Development and Application of Situational Crisis Communication Theory.instituteforpr. Ongoing crisis communication: Planning. Mohamed Mejri. • http://www. 2013. International Journal of Advances in Management and Economics . Los Angeles: Sage Publications.medill. 2013 • Timothy Coombs.