Crisis Management 2
Public Relations 3
The Relationship between Crisis Management and Public Relations 5
The term crisis can be defined in many forms but in a core management jargon, crisis can be termed as a potential threat to the business’s various factors which can lead to harm. The level of the potential threat defines the level of crisis that arises through certain events. As (Coombs, 2014) suggests, a crisis harms the three key elements of business which are the organization itself, it stakeholders and the industry. A crisis has the capability to cause harm in three ways which are financial loss, public safety and loss of reputation and all of which are highly harmful for the business operations and they should be averted at any cost through crisis management. A crisis affects an organization’s reputation and tarnishes its image in a derogatory manner. (Boin, 2008)
Crisis management can be termed as sequential efforts of planning, communication of strategies which will result in the prevention, aversion or decrement of the crisis that impacts the company and its reputation. (Fink, 1986)Crisis management works in a sequential manner to tackle the threats that occur in an organization. The type of crisis is the principle concern of an organization has to be public safety which cannot be ignored or postponed at any level and it can lead to loss of life and after that to an ill reputation for the company which demonstrates the intensification occurring due to a crisis.
Crisis management is tool used to avoid or minimize the damage being inflicted on the company. The execution of a Crisis Management is done in three stages namely, 1) the pre-crisis stage, 2) The response to the crisis, and 3) the post-crisis stage.
The Pre-crisis software deals with aspects to be concentrated on as a security measure to be taken care of in a regular basis in case a crisis occurs. According to (Mitroff, 2000), It is an effective policy not to wait for a crisis to occur so that the company can initiate attempts to minimize its damage. For successfully averting a crisis, a pre-calculated measure is a must-have policy for any company.
During the crisis the processes to be initiated are to be communicated effectively about the crisis and the related paradigms are to be discussed with the company. Rehabilitation measures are to be made by the company in order to manage the harm incurred due to the crisis. And finally in the post-crisis state, guidelines should be made for the future so that if the crisis arrives again in the future than it can be dealt with in a better manner.
Planning for a crisis also involves some rigorous measures like listing the areas of crisis and the formation of a policy for avoiding the crisis. It is also necessary to appoint a crisis committee which will act upon the prevention of a crisis. There is also a need for creating a communication strategy and for testing the initial plan made for averting the crisis for trial and error. A crisis team has to be made for dealing with the crisis. (Sweetser & Metsgar, 2007)
As (Griswold, 1948) describes, Public Relations is
“The management function which evaluates public attitudes identifies the policies and procedures of an individuals or an organization with public interest and executes a program of action to earn understanding and acceptance”.
Against popular opinion, PR is not just about wining and dining, but is the source of goodwill for any organization. It is important for companies in the current context to have a public image or brand recognition to be recognized b the people and it is also necessary to maintain a good image of the company especially to the public. It is not an operation which gives immediate results but it is a sustained effort which gives fruits over the time.
PR has the capability to build a source of trust among the people which results in the formation of a reputation which has to be maintained over time. (Reddy, 2009) Denotes that Public Relations can create product awareness when needed and set a benchmark of mutual understanding between the company and the stakeholders in the company. It is not necessary that a PR campaign can boost the sales of a weak product but it aids in uncovering the underlying weaknesses.
Publicity is a constituent of the concept of Public relations but its direct source is the concept of propaganda. It is evidently used in grabbing the attention of people and spreading credible awareness. It can be briefly defined by saying that inserting information about the company or the product of a company inside a public medium of information like a newspaper can be considered as publicity attempt. It is always targeted at the mass and with an intention of spreading information about the company in some manner.
According to (Gruning, 2001), Public Relations is a tool that can be used to keep a bond with the public including the customers and the stakeholders and can be utilized to uphold a positive brand image of the company.
The Relationship between Crisis Management and Public Relations
As the time has passed, the role of Public Relations as a concept in crisis management has garnered a lot of attention in consideration with literature related to Public Relations. It is due to the fact that public relations contribute to the concept of public relation in dealing with issue management. It also has management based role as well as a troubleshooting role in an organization. (Wigley & Zhang, 2011) suggest that Public relations can be is used a foresight about certain events related to business operations Public relations works as a tool in crisis management which works in a dual way.
Public relations is used in a variety of ways in crisis management before, after and through the stage of crisis. It plays the role of advising the company about strategies used to deal with the different types of crises and recognizing the principle audience which is to be communicated to avert the effect of crisis on the people and keeping the goodwill of the company intact. During the event of a crisis, PR can be used to manage the media and the press and taking their attention to a predefined direction by effectively utilizing communication strategies involving PR. According to (Coombs, Public Relations Journal, 2007), PR can be used after the event of a crisis to maintain communication with the people and revive the image of the organization and also in ensuring that an event of crisis, damage can be minimized as much as possible.
The PR department of an organization can be supported in the event of a crisis in many number of ways.PR department can be made aware at an event of any crisis so that matters can be handled before any news related to the event reaches the public and the image of the company is blotted. (Lee & Heath, 1999)
In many ways, PR and Crisis management play an entwined role in the most crucial of situations which arise at an event of a crisis. Public Relations is a tool for managing crisis and crisis management as a function can make use of the strength of public relations to handle a crisis in the most capable manner possible.
Boin, A. (2008). Crisis Management. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
Coombs, W. T. (2014). Applied Crisis Communication and Crisis Management: Cases and Exercises. Florida: SAGE Pubications.
Coombs, W. T. (2007). Public Relations Journal.
Fink, S. (1986). Crisis Management. New York: American Management Association.
Griswold, D. (1948). Your Public Relations. Funk & Wagnalls.
Gruning, J. (2001). The Role of Public Relations in Managemen tAnd Its Contribution to Organizational and Societal Effectiveness. Journal Of Public Relations , 1-19.
Lee, J. S., & Heath, R. L. (1999). Lee, Jaesub, Stella M Jares,Decision-Making Encroachment And Cooperative Relationships Between Public Relations And Legal Counselors In The Management Of Organizational Crisis. Lee, Jaesub, Stella M Jares, and Robert L Heath. 1999. ‘Decision-Making Encroachment And Cooperative Relationships Between PublJournal Of Public Relations Research , 243-270.
Mitroff, I. (2000). Managing Crises before they happen. New York: AMACOM.
Reddy, C. V. (2009). Effective Public Relations and Media Strategy. New Delhi: PHI Learnings.
Sweetser, K., & Metsgar, E. (2007). Communicating during crisis: use of blogs as relationship management. Public Relations Review .
Wigley, S., & Zhang, W. (2011). A Study of PR Practitioners’ Use of Social Media in Crisis Planning. Public Relations Journal , 1-16.