Hello Headz! Sorry for the late post!
This week blog will be covering chapter 11 on
“Risk, Uncertainty, and Crisis: How to Identify and Manage Them”
Well, as we all understand, risk is something every of us expose to ourselves in everyday of our life. For example, when you drive a motor vehicle, you’ll be risking the events that your car would crash, hit the trees, or worse, falls off the bridge. But please don’t stop driving. So far, nothing has happened. Why? Because you know that if you fasten your seatbelt, drive with care, follow the rule, you will reduce the risks of all those mentioned.
Now, the same thing happens in PR. When we begin a media relations campaign, we expose our client to potential injury and potential loss. Our duty is therefore to minimize those risks to a manageable level, or if possible, to avoid them.
According to the reading, there are four stages of risk and uncertainty in beginning the media relations campaign.
First risk would be when we deliver a campaign proposal to a client who we considered as the most important stakeholder in media relations. A client, who is more attuned to the risk associated with their business, would not want to engage the proposal that has a high level risk to his career. Such as, if he knows that the material we send may have a great possibility for the journalist to dig further and write a negative story, he might end up rejecting the proposal. In this case, we should be able to apply the persuasion theory and ensure him that the risk is manageable.
Second risk, which is related to Nur’s previous post, would be the item we deliver to the media. In this case, we take the risk that our item would be rejected together with 70 percent others. Journalists receive more than 50000 pieces of information that could be labeled ‘news releases’ a day. How is that not possible to see ours tossed in the bin? To reduce that risk, we should be able to come up with interesting story, catchy headline, and promising story angle to draw their attentions in the first place.
The other risk would be when there is a knowledge gap. Sometimes, what we write may not be something the reporters have knowledge about. In this case, it might lead them to a free shot, and worse, would lead them to use the material in a way we did not expect. What we should do to reduce this risk is to frame a story that the journalists have knowledge and are familiar about (this requires you to research about their profile with direct consequences for a client). The other thing is to apply the knowledge gap theory. This theory assumes us to communicate in a way that could reduce the knowledge gap between what the individual has already known and what is received.
So, by reducing risk and uncertainty, it can reduce the probability of an event to turn into a crisis.
However, this does not mean there will be no crisis. A nature of political, cultural, economic events, relationships to individual behaviors and attitudes will always cause a crisis in an organization to rise.
And therefore, lead us, as a PR practitioner to find way to identify, manage, and overcome this disaster.
In media relations, crisis is most often linked to reputation. One critical thing we should note in managing the crisis of an organization is to protect and maintain its image and reputation.
So, according to the book, there is a five-stage lifecycle in dealing a crisis,
detection- preparation- containment- recovery- and evaluation.
I will briefly explain how it works by giving the example of action films.
Imagine the genre set was the American west with cowboys and herds. There are robberies firing pistols to the air causing the steers frightened to run. Brave cowboys would get hold of it and turn the dangerous path to a calm walk before rounding the herds up.
Detection – hearing the gunshots
Preparation – staying in the saddle
Containment – Turning point
Recovery – when the herd slowed to walk
Evaluation – when the dust is settled (where the boss counts number of dead cowboys and examines the damages)
So, basically those are what i covered for this week posts.
I hope you find it informative enough!
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