Crisis Communication and Technology: Communicating with Colleagues

This course takes viewers through the process of preparing for a crisis, communicating with stakeholders during a crisis, and evaluating methods and effectiveness after a crisis has passed.
Course info
Rating
(107)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Oct 1, 2015
Duration
2h 43m
Table of contents
Topic Introduction and Course Overview
Anticipating and Preparing for a Crisis
Responding to a Crisis
Examples of Crisis Communication
Developing a Crisis Management Plan
The Ethics of Internal Crisis Communication
Course and Crisis Conclusion
Description
Course info
Rating
(107)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Oct 1, 2015
Duration
2h 43m
Description

Crisis communication is one of the most challenging communication types an organization or individual can face, bringing together emotional vulnerability, ethical challenges, and high-stakes decisions amplified by informational and persuasive goals. When managed well, this communication can neutralize and calm an evolving crisis. When managed poorly, though, crisis communication makes a situation worse. This course takes viewers through the most important parts of preparing for crisis communication, including understanding crisis types and strategies, preparing foundational documents, and how to create communication in the moment. By the end of the course, viewers will have a concrete understanding of how to manage crisis communication for their own organizations, providing invaluable insight and immediate benefit.

About the author
About the author

Alan Ackmann teaches business and technical writing in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Department at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Anticipating and Preparing for a Crisis
Hi there. I'm Alan Ackmann, and you're watching Anticipating and Preparing for a Crisis, part of the Pluralsight course on Communicating Internally in a Crisis. In this module, we'll go through some of the recommended steps and actions that crisis-competent organizations undertake before a crisis even occurs, and as we discussed in the last module, crises are an unavoidable part of any organization however large or small, so they're really recommended steps for all organizations. Here's a little bit more about the material we'll be covering in this module. First, we're going to talk about anticipating crisis types. There's several common categories of crises that might befall a business, so this clip will also guide you through ways to take stock of your own situation. Then we're going to discuss some of the most common kinds of crises, which are victim crises, accident crises, and preventable crises. We'll be spending a clip on each of those. Finally, we'll take a clip focusing on steps that competent businesses undertake when monitoring and neutralizing a crisis. From the point of view of an organization after all, the most successful crisis is the crisis that never happens, and there are several best practices that can minimize your risk. So let's get started.

Examples of Crisis Communication
Hi there. My name is Alan Ackmann, and you're watching Examples of Crisis Communication, part of the Pluralsight course on Communicating Internally in a Crisis. This module is going to take you through a few sample documents and examples of crisis communication and talk about how they operate in the context of terms and theories we've discussed so far. Now before we get too deep into things, I have a few caveats. First, in keeping with the identity of the course, we're going to focus on internal crisis communication sent between coworkers or partnering agencies or to private customers as opposed to communication sent from the organization to public stakeholders and designed for mass consumption. Things like press releases, press conferences, or interviews are perfectly viable examples of crisis communication of course, but they're also a domain for a different kind of course than the one you're watching right now. Second, the samples we're about to look at aren't really meant to be templates. They're not the kind of documents where you just fill in the blank with your own information. Crisis rhetoric doesn't really work like that. Crisis communication is incredibly contextual, so you should always calibrate your message to the moment. Having said all that, here's a bit more about what we'll be doing in this module in terms of specific clip breakdown. Our first clip will focus on convincing decision makers that a crisis actually exists, which is sometimes the first bit of communication you're actually going to have to do. Our first specific example is going to deal with a security breach. Our second specific example deals with technical failure and comes from the accident crisis cluster. And our final crisis example is going to be a letter explaining the dismissal of a popular long-term employee. Now let's take a look at some specific examples in action.

Developing a Crisis Management Plan
Hi there, I'm Alan Ackmann, and you're watching Developing a Crisis Management Plan, part of the larger course on Crisis Communication: Communicating with Colleagues. This specific module is going to talk about one of the most critical pieces of internal crisis communication, the crisis management plan. The first thing to mention is that when I use the term crisis management plan in this module, I'm not talking about a plan in the abstract, I'm talking about a physical, tangible, written document that may or may not be printed, but is certainly reproducible and able to be distributed or made available to all members of a Crisis Management Team. This is a really critical point because a lack of a plan causes chaos. A company's made up of a lot of individual people, and when a crisis occurs if there's no actual strategy, everyone just sort of moves around randomly trying to figure out where they're supposed to be and handling logistical problems. An existing plan, however, helps with organization. When a crisis occurs everybody goes and references the document and knows exactly what steps they need to take. So, what's in a crisis management plan? Well, this module is going to cover the main sections that should usually be included, though it isn't comprehensive, and you should feel free to enhance or expand the elements of the plan according to your specific situation, even the most bare-bones management plans usually have the following elements, a cover page, and introduction, a First Action page, a Risk Assessment section, an Incident Report section, a Communication Strategy section, a Business Continuity section, and a Post-Crisis Evaluation form. We're going to be discussing each of these in detail over the next several clips, so let's go ahead and get right to it.

Course and Crisis Conclusion
Hi there, I'm Alan Ackmann, and you're watching the final module in Crisis Communication: Communicating with Colleagues. This module is going to talk about the finishing touches of two things, first we'll discuss what steps to take after the immediate work of containing and resolving a crisis has passed because once the crisis is done your work really doesn't stop. Once we're done talking about crisis aftermath I'll give some final thoughts about the course itself, including where to go for more information if this subject matter really hits close to home with your concern. Here is a bit more about what you can expect from this module. First post-crisis concerns. There are several things that need to happen after a crisis has concluded, so the bulk of this brief module will talk a bit about what those might be. Basically there are three components to a post-crisis phase that should demand your concern, cooperating with any authorities, evaluating the effectiveness of the crisis response, and making any necessary adjustments to protocol or future responses. After that clip I'm going to discuss some additional resources that you might find helpful should you choose to pursue this line of interest further. Then we'll have a clip at the end of the module meant to draw this course to a close, and highlight some of the most mission-critical takeaway concepts. So without further ado, let's get started.