Chapter 19: Crisis Management

Posted: April 25, 2011 in COMM 306, Reading Notes, Uncategorized

When there is a crisis we know what is up. The use of the internet and social media allows us to communicate anything and news like a crisis spreads extremely fast. The problem is that the word of the crisis spreads so fast and to many that there need to be a force that mends the damage. This is where public relations professionals come in.

PR professionals are hired to give advice to handle the public so the reputation of the one in the crisis is not harmed or less harmed. The media must be handled with proper care because they have the opportunity, in a crisis, to ruin a company’s/person’s reputation. There are 10 general principles:

  1. Speak first and often.
  2. Don’t speculate.
  3. Go off the record at your own peril.
  4. Stay with the facts.
  5. Be open and concerned,  not defensive.
  6. Make your point and repeat it.
  7. Don’t wage war with the media.
  8. Establish yourself as the most authoritative source.
  9. Stay Calm and be truthful and cooperative.
  10. Never lie.

(Pg. 423)

I think the most important of those rules are number 1 and number 10. Number one because by speaking first and often there are less rumors and speculation of the crisis. Number 10 because, like the essential rule of PR, lying will lead to disaster.

Tiger Woods for instance I’m sure could have handled his crisis better. First of all, he lied and told the press that the incident of crashing his car infront of his house was a complete accident. He also breached rule 4 of staying with the facts because he changed his facts a few times. He tried to deny anything he did at first. Like how he first started by saying he had an affair with one girl, but later admitted to having sexual relations with multiple girls. Once, a well respected golfer by much of the world, now he is just starting to earn some respect back after losing much of it. Below is a video of his appology speach.


Seitel, Fraser P. The Practice of Public Relations. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2011. Print.


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