I keep hearing communication colleagues pining for set of rules for social media like those in legacy journalism i.e. critical thinking skills, validated sources of information and quotes, insertion of editorial judgment steps, off the record conventions and ethical principles.
According to Booz & Company, the problem is “coherence”… the new buzz word. They have even developed a Coherence Test which yields a score designed to help business leaders determine, apparently, just how incoherent their businesses are strategically.
Strategy is a crucial driving force in any business or organization. It’s the intellectual force that helps organize, prioritize, and energize what organizations do.
The issue of if and when to send the boss during a crisis is one of the most strategic decisions made during the response process. The first responsibility of bosses is to oversee the management of victims.
Victims rarely sue because they are angry… Generally, victims sue because their situation is not acknowledged and their feelings are ignored, belittled, discredited, or trivialized.
What is it about the American news media and their love for criminals, unethical people, bad news, and murderers? In February, PBS launched a boat-load of special programs on mass murder including a profile, complete with childhood photos and video, of the origins of the murderer of the 26 killed in Newtown. They had lots of media company that week promoting the same kinds of coverage. One has to ask, “Why?” – Aside from ratings, of course.
If I could speak to the chief executive of your company or organization about the importance of communications in your preparation for crisis or emergency, we would discuss just a few career preserving subjects, and the conversation would take only a few minutes.
There’s a wonderful old Swedish wife’s tale saying that fish and relatives begin to smell after being around for five days. We can now say that the same is true of the news media in Newtown, now well beyond five days.
The most volatile component of all crisis response is victim management. Failure to promptly, humanely, and empathetically see that victims’ needs are met will eclipse an organization’s response, and even a flawless response will be remembered for its angry survivors, relatives, public officials, sometimes competitors, but almost always the critics.
This is one of my favorite tools for discussing serious problems with management. It is simply a side-by-side comparison of the assumptions we make about a given situation, and the realities of that situation in the words of victims, employees, those indirectly affected, and critics.