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Managing a Crisis Using PR

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Crises have become a major phenomenon in daily living for many people and it is inevitable. The reactions to crisis situations is known to have direct effects upon the lives of the people involved that includes ourselves, friends, families and the whole organization in general. No organization irrespective of its nature, size or location is immune from crisis situations making it an important factor to be studied through crisis management. Managers and leaders of organizations should learn effective crisis management skills that requires them to be highly competent in group problem solving abilities and group dynamics that will enable them and the organization as a whole to spring back to ‘normal’ situation in the shortest time possible in case of emergencies that are known to bring damage to the organization and therefore reducing possible losses. Effective crisis management is a systematic and orderly way of responding to crisis situations in a process where an organization has pre-arranged a certain segment of the organization to deal with the arising crisis and utilizes any available organization’s resource in doing it while the major part of the organization continues to function normally.

Some managers of companies and organizations prefer to rebuke or appreciate their subordinates in public and others in private. Most managers like to appreciate their subordinates in public but rebuke them in private. Positive feedback mechanism would be appropriate in crisis management were a person is appreciated and rebuked for his or her actions through their performance publicly so that other subordinated in the team would learn effectively from this. Discriminating between these feedbacks mechanisms would make crisis management strategies not work effectively as the performance of an individual is not clear to their fellow colleagues as he or she is known for their positive aspects only and not the negative and hence forecasting an impending crisis becomes hard.

Proactive crisis management plan generally involves forecasting potential crises that can affect an organization and having a proper plan that includes the procedures of dealing with the crisis after its occurrence. Proactive management plan involves formation and training of crisis management team way before the occurrence of a crisis where teams are assigned responsibilities that require them to monitor early warning systems, maintenance of readiness and full coordination of responses in an event of crises. Creation of crisis portfolio is also involved and helps in analyses and spread risks. Signal detection is an important thing in proactive crisis management since most human sourced crisis send out early warning signals and if detected an impending crisis can be dealt with in its early stages. Public relations play a great role in proactive crisis management as it helps an organization to recover from any damage to its public image as a result of a crisis and helps assure all the stakeholders in such a coompany that recovery is underway. PR is also used in generation of goodwill from the stakeholders and communication of the positive aspects of the companies or organization operations to stakeholders. Proactive crisis management plan is therefore needed when an organization wants to protect itself from negative effects of potential crisis by planning effectively for it.

Reactive crisis management plan on the other hand involves response to an event that threatens the operation and success of an organization in a big way. It involves identification of the real nature of a current crisis, use of intervention to minimize possible damage to the organization and recovery from the crisis. Reactive management plan is used when a company is faced with a crisis that could be harmful to it. Delaying of such a plan could have adverse negative effects to the company. The PR in this situation will help in maintaining a good image of the company to the public as it will effectively handle the media and the general perception of the company by the public.

In conclusion, crisis management is an important part of an organization that is keen on growth and realization of its goals to the maximum. Averting crisis or having a proper plan for an impeding crisis can save an organization from great losses and helps it recover quickly to normal operations in case of crisis. Effective crisis management is therefore vital for an organization whether small or large.         

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