Free «Communicating during a Crisis» Essay Sample


Crisis communication plays a crucial role in modern public relations because they have a great impact on perceptions and attitudes of community. Crisis communication performs the necessary functions of informing and persuading, which are both complementary and conflicting. Community members want it to guide their decisions and attitudes in an objective manner, whereas advertisers want it to achieve mass selling by aggregating mass demand so that mass production can be stabilized and supported. The reasons for the use of crisis communication are clear. Crisis communication affects both costs and revenues; used effectively, it can increase sales and profits. It supplements and improves the effectiveness of other elements of the marketing mix, it alters the predisposition of potential purchasers, it provides information, and it gains brand loyalty, attracting customers and stimulating consumer desire and action. In modern business world, financial and ethical, behaviors of companies are under close investigation. For this reason, a company should be able to communicate its messages effetely in order to explain possible weaknesses and problems occurred outside its areas of control  



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Financial issues

In the period of financial crisis, many employees are afraid of possible changes and even bankruptcies of a company. The obligation of its financial management is to inform employees about current market activity and financial situation. As a principal means of illuminating the attributes that differentiate a product, public relations is a competitive weapon that can secure a market niche and assure some stability in the marketplace by shaping demand curves, making them more inelastic, and extending markets (Anthonissen 2008).

From the financial standpoint, crisis communication informs and persuades. It furnishes information, calls attention to some clues and not others, changes attitudes and opinions, relates products to consumer need, gives consumers support for their decisions, affects the intensity of desires, and thereby generates action. A lack of consensus often exists within a company as to what public relations is designed to do. Is it aimed at immediate sales impact, the introduction of a new product, the development of a general image, or the promotion of a brand name?. All of these are legitimate crisis communication tasks, each of which requires a different solution. It is germane to distinguish the task of maintaining market position from that of cultivating and developing new markets. The main types of information presented to the public are the amount of money to be spent on health insurance and other activities, the allocation of the budget, the specific media to be selected within each class, the frequency and continuity of financial programs, the makeup of the specific messages to be presented, and the kinds and amount of public relations research (Chitty et al 2005).

Ethical issues

Ethical issues are the most controversial and debatable questions in company’s life. The nature of crisis communication tasks is indicated by the decisions that must be made: These are difficult decisions to make. For instance, come companies are faced with the decision of whether to advertise in markets where sales are high or low. For these brands, the role of public relations in the marketing mix varies with the product and its stage of development. Crisis communication compresses time horizons for the acceptance of products and facilitates the introduction of new products. Fundamental and functional innovations necessitate basic changes in consumer habits, which are difficult to achieve and require heavy public relations. Strategic and tactical innovations do not demand great change in consumer habits, a fact that may shift the focus of the public relations job. During periods of expanding markets, volume, price, and distribution channels are important factors and mass public relations supports them. As markets mature, crisis communication becomes a competitive weapon. Now minor product adjustments are stressed to persuade consumers who know the product to select it over competitors' products, and to endeavor to increase the rate of use. Public relations do support the actual distribution of products, and can be used to push or pull a product through distribution channels (Coombs, 2007).

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Today, safety issues contain detailed provisions of the physical conditions of production from the cleanliness of the working area to the position and size of mesh screens over moving machinery. Most of the standard setting for environment are litigious and prolonged, so the existing rules has not been complete. The major limitation is that these regulations when available and applied to the individual plant have proven to be extremely detailed and inflexible (Harris, 2000). The task of crisis communication is to share information and ensure positive attitudes of employees towards their work. The introduction of an organizational construct is justified because the measurements distinguished organizations rather than individuals. They make decisions from 'snapshots' of activity, and with the benefit of varying levels of training, guidance, and experience. Issues of compliance therefore emerge in different settings and the meanings they take on are molded accordingly. It may take inspectors a long time to become familiar with some very large and complex organizations, a task which may be made more difficult by reorganizations (The Institute of Public Relations 2006).

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During crisis communication, all messages should be clear and well-thought. They should be based on facts and figures which would help to demonstrate current trends and approaches in financial and ethical spheres of life.  Crisis communication helps create and maintain marketing systems. It can foster coordination and linkages of manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Publicity, which is an integral part of many promotional campaigns and sometimes precedes the public relations and sales effort, lies outside them.


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