Thursday, January 17, 2008

Accepting responsibility will result in an organisation losing lawsuits stemming from the crisis

Laissez faire and ‘spin’ do not have a place in crisis management

Be it a chemical leak, faulty batteries, or even an abrupt power cut, organisations today are increasingly delegating a hefty part of their responsibilities to crisis ‘communicators’ or ‘doctors’, who employ various methods and spins to save the day, leaving the public wondering if, in the process, safety has been compromised for financial gain.

“Such gains are short term and short sighted,” emphasises Dr W. Timothy Coombs, author of award-winning book Ongoing Crisis Communication ( ).
In an exclusive e-mail interaction with Business Line, Dr Coombs reveals how the most common measure of crisis response effectiveness is media coverage. The author, who has consulted companies in the petrochemical and healthcare industry, feels that while culture will always shape the crisis management process, no two situations can be similar for the true-blue crisis manager.

Excerpts from the interview:

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