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Becky DePodwin @wx_becks
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THREAD: As some of you know, I’m currently taking a master’s course in Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication. I’m absolutely fascinated by this subject & have a newfound passion. I'd like to share some things I've learned & found interesting or useful.
These tidbits will come from either Steven Fink’s book: Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing the Message, or the 4th Edition of Effective Crisis Communication: Moving from Crisis to Opportunity (Ulmer, Sallow, & Seeger), referred to as (USS)
There may be a few items from other resources, but I will link to those in that particular tweet.

Okay, are you ready for some super interesting pieces of information and advice on how to effectively communicate in a crisis? Here we go! #buckleup
As defined by Steven Fink:

“A crisis is a fluid & dynamic site of affairs containing equal parts danger & opportunity. It is a turning point, for better or worse. The Chinese have a word for this: “wei-ji.” (Fink)
Crisis management deals with managing reality; crisis communication deals with shaping perception of that crisis. (Fink)
A crisis is made distinctive from other unfortunate circumstances by these three things:

1. Surprise
2. Threat
3. Short response time
Organizational crisis are composed of these key components:

-Produces uncertainty
-Creates opportunities
-Poses a threat to image, reputation, or high-priority goals
Crisis and risk are inherently interconnected. The difference is that while crisis can often be avoided, risk is a natural part of life. But, poor risk communication can CAUSE a crisis. (USS)
Crisis do not build character but expose the established character and values of an organization through their communication. Crisis can present both a threat and opportunity if viewed mindfully. (USS)
To be an effective crisis communicator, one needs to listen to the unique needs of those impacted by the events. They embrace the situation and uncertainty and take whatever action needed to reduce that uncertainty. (USS)
What’s one of the best predictors of effective crisis communication? Positive stakeholder and partner relationships!! That one should come as no surprise to anyone in the weather industry that works closely with partners like clients and emergency managers. (USS)
“Be First, be right, be credible” is the goal and objective on how to communicate in a crisis, put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (USS)
Tell the truth! As painful & terrifying as that path may be during a crisis, it’s better for business in the long run, as long as the truth is told in the right way. Telling the truth can also earn you a reputation as being an honest & forthright company. (Fink)
Effective communication is not a one-way process, and crisis communication is no exception. Listening is just as important to the process to understand your stakeholders concerns and adjust crisis response strategy accordingly. (USS)
A good crisis communicator communicates with compassion, concern, and empathy. (USS)
Social media is a key tool in identifying potential crisis ahead of time, as well as a way to reach stakeholders in a quick and direct way. Social media should be considered part of any crisis communicators response. (USS)
Leadership is crucial during a crisis, and a good leader reflects and strengthens the organizational culture. They serve as moral guides and promote ethical conduct. They should be visible, open, and honest. #leadership (USS)
There are many different types of leadership (authoritarian, democratic, laissez fare), and leaders must adapt their leadership style during a crisis. This is called “contingency leadership.” (USS)
These next several are related more to leadership generally and come from a variety of sources, mainly YouTube videos or Ted Talks.

#crisiscommunication #leadership
From Laura Sicola: When speaking it’s all about how we connect. You need to be authentic and recognize which parts of your personality need to shine through in that moment. #leadership

Sicola: When claiming passion, it’s necessary to show evidence of it by your voice and tone. There shouldn’t be a disconnect between choice of words and delivery of words. #leadership
From Simon Sinek: A good leader sets the tone of conditions inside an organization. They should make their employees feel safe & they should not fear their leader. #leadership

Sinek: Feeling safe leads to naturally combining strengths & talents & work to combat outside forces.

Great leaders provide opportunity, build self-confidence, give opportunities to try & fail, all so they can have more than we ever imagined for ourselves. #leadership
Sinek: Leadership is a choice, not a rank. That’s the difference between a leader & an authority. A great leader would sooner sacrifice the numbers to save the people. #leadership
Peter Sandman: Outrage is mostly the cause and hazard perception is mostly the effect. When people are outraged enough, they want to believe they are going to suffer, so they can hang onto their outrage.

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