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Crisis Management

I found a really great website article by Timothy Coombs about how to manage crisis in your organization:


I really like that he goes into detail about how to prepare for a crisis and that your team should know what the typical plan is and should practice it. It emphasizes that it is not a “blueprint,” but should include contact information and what should typically be done in a crisis situation.  He also discusses how to speak to the media without seeming “guilty” or having misinterpretations from your audience.  He then goes on to explain how to actually contact your stakeholders, whether it be on your website or a broadcast.

Below I have posted a direct list from the article on appropriate response techniques

  1. ” Be quick and try to have initial response within the first hour.
  2. Be accurate by carefully checking all facts.
  3. Be consistent by keeping spokespeople informed of crisis and key message points.
  4. Make public safety the number one priority.
  5. Use all of the available communication channels including the Internet, Intranet, and mass notification systems.
  6. Provide some expression of concern/sympathy for victims.
  7. Remember to include employees in the initial response.
  8. Be ready to provide stress and trauma counseling to victims of the crisis and their families, including employees.” 
    (Coombs 2007) Coombs, Timothy (2007). Crisis Management and Communication.  Institute for Public Relations. Retrieved 8/31/11 from http://www.instituteforpr.org/topics/crisis-management-and-communications/


At one point in the article, Coombs incorporated a table of types of crisis and organizational responsibility. This table could be helpful for an organization that is struggling with how much response they should have on the crisis and what they should do to make their stakeholders comfortable. Finally, he talks about the post crisis phase indicating that you should fulfill all promises made and keep everyone up to date. I think that this article would be helpful for any organization preparing for or going through a crisis. I feel like he hits all of the important points and phases of crisis management. I hope that you all enjoy this article and find it helpful in this class and in your future careers.

Categories: BLOG 1
  1. September 5, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Good. Interesting article and good discussion of it.

    Be sure to add the class category (“crisis communication”) to your posts (in addition to the blog category, which you have). And also add tags to each post, you can select pre-existing tags or add your own. Categories and tags will let people find your posts on the web.

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