Role of Public Relations in Crisis Management
University of Phoenix
MKT438 Public Relations
October 1, 200X
What Are Public Relations?
You are the new production manager of second-shift operations, for a chemical processing company. You have just sat down at your desk, to eat your dinner, when you hear a loud explosion and the walls of your office violently shake. You jump to your feet and look out your window, just in time to see a ball of fire that has just been launched from your number three processing station and racing towards the moon Stop and think for a second and ask yourself, “What role does your Public Relations play in the planning for such a crisis situation?” The answer depends on who you ask in the organization.
Public relations professionals play a very important role in crisis situations; in fact, it is not much different a role they play in the everyday life of the organization they work. In good times and in crisis situations, they are responsible for maintaining and improving their company’s relationships by effectively communicating with there target publics. A crisis just increases the intensity of the communication and induces stress in all effected parties and in their relationships.
The goal for the public relations professional during a crisis is to get the organization through the situation with as minimal damage to its reputation and credibility as possible. In fact, effective crisis management can actually enhance an organization’s reputation. An organization should think of a crisis plan as insurance. Although you hope you never have to use it, it is extremely beneficial to have if the need arises. “Planning (is) the common denominator for successful crisis management and for effective media relations,” according to PR Reporter (11/12/01). “No matter the crisis, no matter the issue… your organization must devote resources to crisis management planning.”
When developing a crisis...