Samenvatting Risk Issues and Crisis Management in Public Relations

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Samenvatting Risk Issues and Crisis Management in Public Relations

Michael Regester & Judy Larkin

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Samenvatting - Risk Issues and Crisis Management in Public Relations

  • 1 Outside-in thinking

  • There are 4 dynamic forces (political and regulatory, economic, social and technological) that are shaping the way organizations work, perform and behave. They're expanding:
    • the Quantity, Quality and Speed of information globally;
    • the Impact of new broadcast and multimedia technologies on public opinion;
    • the competition for Reaching and Influencing consumers;
    • the Knowledge, values and behaviour of constituents;
    • the Association between product and corporate brand reputation. 
  • The role of the government and corporations in society is being challenged to a much greater degree than before. F.e.:
    • Public policy formulation is still an evolutionairy process.
      There's still confusion as it comes down to the role of government on local, regional, national and federal levels. This is due to the uncertainties at a national level concerning unified Europe and the perceived responsibilities of newly democratized systems of government in central EU.

    • Corporate and institutional behavior is under much greater scrutiny.
      Concerns about excessive profits and senior executive pay, "dirty tricks' campaigning, aggressive lobbying tactics that compromise credibility, etc.

    • Corporate loyalty is no longer a given. 
      Finding a job has gotten very difficult. 

    • The local landscape is changing.
      Population are getting older (vergrijzing), traditional family structure changes (more divorces).
  • Some of these principal shifts in society give rise to concern relate to:
    • Safety and security (incl. economic security);
    • Environment (inc. Workplace);
    • Gender/equality;
    • Service quality/value for money;
    • Institutional accountability;
    • Empowerment. 


  • 1.1 Consumer Power and the Rise of a Non-Governmental Order

  • The consumer has become more active:Demands and exercises personal choice;Responds to single-issue politics;Is more likely to question the value of new development;Regards environmental issues as fundamental.The consumer has greater influence, accesses more information (through internet, f.e.), thinks longer- term and places more trust in the legitimacy of what NGO's say than in business, government or media. 
  • Due to consumer campaigns: higher sensitivity towards environmental and social issues. 


    -> Global companies are main targets, because of their visibility and their ability to shape economies and politics for their own ends. Businesses have no place to hide, no time to think and no second chances. 

  • Campaign tactics are varied, increasingly through internet and mobile communication technologies.

    The Boycott is most effective action NGO's can undertake: a threat that can
    haunt a company today that fails to consider the ethical as well as environmental consequences of its commercial activities.
    -> Nestle, Baby Milk Action, poistened water.
  • NGO's tactics.


    The effect of these developments has been to shift the power of ‘voice’ in the formation of corporate reputations away from companies themselves and towards their stakeholders. As new opinion leaders emerge via the internet, reducing the share of voice of corporations, reputation risk management is becoming defined increasingly by external stakeholder perceptions rather than by what a company says and does.
  • A PROBLEM (activists deal with):

    has a wide context (pollution; bad 
    employment practices; poverty; human rights abuse; hunger; racial 
    discrimination)


    An ISSUE:
    - more specific, involves considering potential solutions (improve workers’ rights or reduce bad behaviour; financial or regulatory penalties to meet standards)

    Nowadays:
    • Activist groups are focusing more on winning issues and seeking solutions, rather than merely creating awareness of problems.

    What can company's do?
    • The objective is to scan stakeholder attitudes in relation to emerging, current or linkage issues that may have the potential to impact on commercial or reputational objectives, and become familiar with the profile, personalities and working practices of activist groups.


    The activist’s checklist for developing a campaign strategy around an
    issue is likely to consider whether it will:
    ● result in a real improvement for people;
    ● give people a sense of their own power;
    ● be worthwhile and winnable;
    ● be felt in an emotional way;
    ● be easy to understand;
    ● have a clear target and timeframe;
    ● build leadership;
    ● have a financially beneficial angle;
    ● enhance profile to support subsequent campaigns;
    ● raise money and membership;
    ● fit with objectives and values.

  • A company facing potential direct action from an NGO must analyse the problem and decide what kind of solution to work forward to.


    Answer these questions:

    ● Can a credible argument be made against the company’s position on
    the issue?
    ● Does the issue evoke emotion?
    ● Is the issue media and internet-friendly?
    ● Are there linkages to other issues, and are there legacy problems?
    ● How strong are the key activists?

    ● How far have the dynamics of the issue lifecycle developed?
    ● What impact will dealing with this issue have on the organization?
    ● What are the risks (and opportunities) if we ignore the issue?
    ● How are the company’s key stakeholders likely to react, and how
    strong is our support base on the issue?
    ● How confident are we that we can influence the issue in the way we
    want?
    ● What potential resources will be required?
    ● What is the simplest solution and what is the most far-reaching?
    ● What are the potential benefits from actively seeking a solution?
  • More and more companies are working together with NGO's, seeking for advice on strategies concerning environmental, social and supply chain management.


    Key driver for Organization's campaigns:
    • Marketing pressure
    • a streamlining of tactics based on research 
    • the use of the media and the law 
    • targeted lobbying
  • Outside-in thinking.



    Nowadays, organizations have to understand and 
    respond to our rapidly shifting values, rising expectations, demands for
    public consultation and an increasingly intrusive news media. Focussing on internal objectives alone is not enough.  
  • 1.2 Dealing with Risk

  • New patterns of political and public anxiety have occured due to:

    ● societal change and uncertainty;
    ● industrial and technological innovation; Outside-in thinking
    ● time and cost pressures that don't allow adequate scientific evaluation
    of the risks vs. the benefits of new innovation;
    ● a trend towards greater individuality and assertive public opinion.

  • Risk:
    - a measure of the adverse effect of an issue. It is about assessing and communicating the possible hazards associated with a particular process relative to the safeguards and benefits which it offers.


    Risk assessment is essential when:
    • a new risk emerges 
    • the degree of existing risk changes – such as the dangers of hand guns
      following the Dunblane massacre in 1996 or the perceived risk of thrombosis from sitting still during long-haul flights;
    • a new perception of risk occurs as in the potential impact of so-called gender-bending chemicals (phthalates) on animal and human health, and the environment.


    Each crisis follows a similar pattern:



    1. a special interest group sounds the alarm;
    2. The media creates widespread awareness of the claim;
    3. Industry responds with reams of data and proclaims its products safe;
    4. In the face of increasing shrillness, the public becomes anxious and avoids the products in question until more reliable information is available;
    5. Sales decline as regulators equivocate and issue confusing guidelines;
    6. Relying on exaggerated public fear, the activists step up the campaign;
    7. The media faithfully covers everything they do and say;
    8. Industry reacts strenuously, occasionally resorting to exaggerations of its own in an attempt to restore calm and boost sales;
    9. For a period of time everyone loses perspective on the issue;
    10. Eventually, a more accurate and balanced assessment emerges;
    11. Industry braces itself for another day;
    12. Those who make their living from consumerism find somewhere else to spread doom and gloom;
    13. The media moves on to the next crisis, giving little attention to clari- fications of the original inflated charge;
    14. Government returns to studying the issue so that it can write new and confusing legislation.

  • Risk means different things to different people – we overestimate sensational risks, like flying or contracting CJD, while we underestimate
    common risks such as driving a car or taking a short cut through an alley at night.

    Basic attitudes are hard to change – they are forged by a range of social
    /cultural factors and reinforced by our own contact with and opinions advocated by friends, colleagues, family members and others. These attitudes shape the way we interpret, understand and act upon new risks.


    The public is not looking for zero risk – we each make risk/benefit choices, but there is a basic unease about two things: where is the benefit and can the people responsible for managing the risk be trusted? This is particularly true in areas of food and health safety.


    The source of information about risk is critical – research in the UK indicates that consumers are totally confused about who to trust on food safety. Third-party expert (NGO's) allies play a crucial role in risk issue management.


    Emotion is the most powerful influencer of all. Emotional symbols –
    water cannon jets aimed at Greenpeace activists attempting to occupy the Brent Spar, aerial shots of the oil spill in Alaska, etc - can overwhelm and totally negate scientific fact.
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Voorbeelden van vragen in deze samenvatting

Meng (1987) identifies 6 possible groups/publics that make issues:Associates;Employee associations;the General public;Government;Media;Special/General interest groups Their influence on organizations may vary from controlling the operations of a company to forming internal and external coalitions to increase the potential influence of an issue.Meng characterizes issues in several types:demographic,economic, environmental, governmental, international, public attitudes,resources, technological, values and lifestyles
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