Crisis Communication: Your mindset rewired

This half day, pre-conference session by James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, CCEP, proves you don’t have to have all the presentation bells and whistles to hold the attention of your audience! Through strategic conversation, supplemental handouts and breakout sessions discussing real crisis scenarios, The Strategic Advisor in Action During Crisis session challenges public relations practitioners to reevaluate how they interact with the media during a crisis situation and become better managers, leaders and people in these tough situations. Lukaszewski claimed he was not teaching public relations, but changing our mindset to view a crisis as an operator and management function. More than just a matter of semantics!

How many of us have been in a counseling position in a time of crisis only to have the chief executive bring in an outside consultant to say the exact same thing we have been communicating to management? Lukaszewski stated communicators are not problem solvers; communicators give options for management to choose solutions. The job of the public relations practitioner is to offer these business options in an intentionally different and helpful method to make constructive differences.

Stay in the game with these lessons learned:

  • The situation is not about you; it is about them.
  • Facts are debatable, but leaders live by stories and in times of crisis want to hear from more than one voice.
  • Always say things that matter.
  • You must have a personal communications philosophy.
  • All crisis are matters of trust.
  • Stop harping and do something management wants.
  • Stay in the game by offering three options to get job done.
  • Divorce yourself from your own advice.

It is important to note the session conversation was high level and focused on strategic mindset versus tactics. If offered in the future, I highly recommend this session to challenge your old thought and inspire new direction and guide posts for dealing with the media and your boss.

(Cross-posted on the PRSA ComPRehension Blog. Thank you to PRSA for inviting me to the conference to blog.)

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