crisis communications

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The immediate actions taken by a company or organization to maintain its credibility and good reputation after a situation has occurred that may adversely affect the company and its reputation, increasingly a core activity of the corporate communications or public relations team. Often the failure of a company to communicate effectively in a crisis can cause immeasurable damage. The process, characterized by rapidity of response, involves: the fast identification of the problem; articulating the problem in a way that both addresses the problem and mitigates risk to the company or organization's reputation without altering or covering up the facts; identification of the right level of spokesperson; speech and message development for key spokespersons; the development of a full media briefing plan and interview; media explanations and articulation of a plan for future prevention or mitigation. Two extreme examples of crisis communications and how they were handled (badly in these cases) from the oil industry are how Exxon handled the Valdez incident in Alaska and how BP handled the sub sea oil leakage in the Gulf of Mexico. See also communication; public relations.

Subjects: Marketing.

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