Crisis communication involves transfer and sharing of critical information amongst users in an organization. This information is critical and helps avoid the negative effects or outcomes that may come as a result of a crisis taking place. Thus, managers needs to share information on time so as to help workers make decision that will aid in mitigating the effects or consequences of an event taking place. This article focuses on communiqué in corporate world. In this sector, information is utilized for diverse purposes. Therefore, when information does not get to the right party on time then the organization may suffer some drawbacks.
It is defined as emergency communication that may help save the image or protect the reputation of an entity. Communication is an important tool that helps pass message, clarify issues and inform. Thus, it performs a very important role when it comes to informing workers of an oncoming crisis. In addition, communication also clears the air when issues that involve workers or that is weighty and could disrupt smooth running of an entity erupt or is expected to happen. For example, when there is a looming strike for workers in an entity; the management can take advantage of an effective communication channel prevalent in the entity to avert the event. This will see an entity continue and solve issues that workers may be going through and need the intervention of the management. Predicament message is determined at protecting the icon of an entity, person and institution. The divergence of institutions may be at peril. Moreover, it refers to communication earlier to the happening of a predictable jeopardy or threat. This exposition will converse the effects of catastrophe communiqué to a unit.
Crisis Communiqué in Industry Setting
In commerce, communiqué is a tool that is vital in quandary resolving in times of calamity. Business milieu composes of four critical areas which comprises of exterior, in-house, competitors and traders. These areas must be handled with care and data from these environments should be well managed by the organization. First, exterior milieu is conscientious to market forces that manipulate a unit. These aspects may consist of availability of merchandises and services, distribute and order of commodities and outlay setting for products. When the market is experiences low supply of products then the organization needs to aware of this scenario. Consequently, the manufacturing department will react by growing their invention potential and taking lead of existing command in the market (Hayes & Kotwica, 2013). On the other side, when the market experience less demand for goods then the entity need to respond by reducing its production volume. The end result would be avoidance of loss that culminates from operating in a market where supply of goods forces prices to go down. In addition, the souk for merchandise may be undergoing through transformation or transition from utilization of solid forms of goods to others. If an entity is caught unaware of such happenings then it is more likely to make losses as they will order or manufacture goods that do not attract demand in the market. This will see the entity make losses while their competitors may take advantage of the situation to venture into new product line (Svedin, 2011). Therefore, proper communication will help safe an entity from collapsing or being rendered irrelevant in the sense it produces goods that are not required in the market.
Competitor’s information is vital in coming up with a decisions. The reason behind this is that rival companies are in competition with the company and they take advantage of the weaknesses to advance their business agenda or promote their business. Thus, the company should be concerned with information coming from the market in order to evaluate and analyze competitions (Institute of Medicine (U.S.), 2012). Data collected will be applied in making critical decisions that will see an entity maintain its competition. The company survival is dependent on the manner in which managers and the entire leadership body in organization handles crisis and communicate to employees to ensure that there is adequate preparation (Anthonissen, 2011). An example includes competitors introducing novel merchandise in the market, then, an entity should closely monitor its rivals. Internal environment involves matters such as company’s strength and limitation. Concentrating on the strength and working on the flaws may aids an entity counteract competition in a great way. External setting is about chances and coercion that ought to be managed well.
Communication is applied as an apparatus for counteracting unenthusiastic publicity that may emerge in the prospect. An organization is exposed to communal scrutiny and in some cases destructive information may get into the public. At this point, an organization should be in a position to fight back the negative information that may affect its operation both in the short run period to the long run period. Shareholders and stakeholders are more concerned with the public perception towards an organization in addition to return on investment. If an entity is not able to counter bad image then shareholders will consider withdrawing their shares as a way of mitigating losses. Due to bad or negative publicity an entity may see reduction in sales and other economic activities (Coombs, 2014).
The availability of this information influences the dealers and sellers in the souk. A number of contractors will apply caution when dealing with the entity. It may bring about delays in the flow of products (Matusitz, 2013). Customers will avoid consumption of good coming from the entity. The collapse of an entity may emanate from such information hence the management should be proactive in fighting negative information. During such instances, opponents may invest in the negative information to advance their scope in the bazaar. Therefore, crisis communication strategies should be implemented by the entity to disconnect it from hurting the image of the organization further. Thus, information should be used wisely to avoid overemphasis or underemphasize on certain issues that may affect the welfare of the entity (Fincher et al., 2011). At this point, prior communication that is objective in nature will help fight challenges brought about by improper handling of critical data.
Associations in the money-making environment have to be very cautious how they passed out this information. Communication system in organizations sometimes presents some challenges or hinders the smooth flow of data from one department to the other. An example of such system includes formal information that dictates that information comes from the overall authority down to the workers (Carroll, 2013). Critical data may take a lot of time to reach the designated parties that need to use such data to make critical changes to production process or service delivery mode. In addition, orders comes from above hence employees will not apply innovation in their delivery. This may affects service provision by an entity in the sense that an issues may take time to be solved or dealt with (Kerr, 2014). Some problems or errors may occur in the operational level and the process through which information is communicated may take a lot of time to reach decision makers. During this period, an entity may make loss as they wait for decision makers to come up with a plan or provide solution to the problem. Informal communiqué on the other hand might support some entities in the sense that data is shared across and along department on time. Workers do not fear their senior’s and they will converse on real time when a problem occurs. For such organizations, information will be easy to obtain and management is able to delegate authority so as the necessary measures are taken on time. This is because a crisis affects the welfare of any business (Argenti, 2013).
The application of communiqué plans also differ as of one unit to another. This is because of the industry model practiced in every of these units. Several of them apply communication as a tool of direction. This means that workers treat communication as a command channel that informs them on what to do. If communiqué is not made on time then workers will not act and the industry will be exposed to disputes. In other circumstances, the unit takes communiqué as a ways of obtaining feedback. The ownership and attainment of feedback is critical to entity progress. Thus, the organization behaviors towards communication influence success in service delivery. Business institute tends to apply communiqué in varied manner (Thenell, 2013).
Effects of Emergency Communiqué
There are constructive as well as unconstructive effects of catastrophic communication. The optimistic affects comes as a result of apt and targeted communication. When an entity assumes or adopts a timely communication channel, all activities will go on well as planned. In case of change in the process of plan execution, an entity will be able to inform and educate its workers (Eder, 2011). Employees on the other side will make the necessary adjustment and improve their typical of labor. The corporation will therefore benefit from such kind model of announcement. Some of the optimistic effects will be outlined below.
- Shows a sign of the progress or the effects of modify made by an entity. Organizations are only able to measure and evaluate the impact of plans and strategies implemented through feedback in form of communication. For example, if an entity bring in a new item/product into the market. Consumers will speak good things and demand the item in mass. This will give an indication that the merchandise is fulfilling the intended need.
- Help avert a possible downfall that may befall an entity. This means that when information gets to the right person on time then the entity will take necessary measures. Clarification of issues also comes hand in hand with problem solving for an entity. For instance, selling of certain goods may be restricted by policies made in parliament to particular market served by an entity. Thus, supply of such product in those markets will be unfruitful and an entity will move to other market in advance before the law is gazette. This will aid avert a possible business failure in rendering or offering product (Bradt, Check, &Pedraza, 2011).
- Help moderate risk. Some risks facing the industry can only be seen or detected through the sharing of data. Some data may emanate from the milieu in which the entity operates in. Timely communication is essential for an entity (Fiedler, 2013). The end result is increased confidence amongst players in the entity who rely on such information to make decisions that are bidding
On the contrary, delayed communication causes harm to the entity. Failure to formulate the necessary statement when needed may see a company collapse. Certain department/ persons within an entity may withhold critical information supposed to be shared amongst players. Some departments will make decision based on previous statistics an action that renders them ineffective. In addition, in time of crisis such as anticipated environmental threat such as floods organization should have the information prior to occurrence of such data. This information may be obtained from local research organization such as weather forecast firms as well as publication in this field (Watters, 2013). The subsequent effects of delayed communication:
- Diminutive growth for the entity. Growth in entities is achieved through timely decision making that enables players to make appropriate changes to their normal schedule. The objective of an entity is executed through proper communiqué amongst players. Thus, failure or lack of good information will see a company grow at a slow pace (Hynes, 2011).
- A crisis in organization can be arrested through proper and timely communication (Barton, 2013). This may take place through succeeding the subsequent steps. The primary step is building a team that will resolve some of the decisive issues or crisis in institute (Vogelaar, 2014). An action plan requires that leaders and management be committed to spearhead changes that will oversee the entity overcome challenges (Hwang, 2014).
- Destruction of corporate Reputation: Corporate images must be protected through legal means to avoid negative consequences. Company goodwill is much important that the current sales proceed in the sense that business continuity is based on it. Goodwill can be expressed as the ability and enthusiasm of clients to buy and consumes goods from a particular producer. Moreover, communities living approximately to the corporation must gain from company societal responsibility. Doing this, the company wins the hold up of the locals and they consistently buy from the entity.
When people are sharing information, there are many things that come into play. They includes: ethical, social and civic communication. Ethical consideration should be observed during communiqué in organizations. The reason behind this is that companies have code of ethics available for members to follow during active business activities (Gumperz, 2011). Crisis communication can be detrimental to organization in the sense that managers may not take appropriate action on time. This may affect the technique a society survives during this epoch (Dunn, Eble, & East Carolina University, 2012). Social issues take part and perform an important role in setting the period for successful communiqué endeavor. Issues such as personal outlook and discipline in organizations are very essential in entities and determine the effectiveness of learning or a communication endeavor. Institution also needs to create a favorable environment for information sharing so as workers feel appreciated. Cultural effects come as a consequence of diversity in enlightening attitude. When handling information across different cultures, these issues should be taken into consideration. Timely and quick decisions are made through assisted programs that allow or offer insight crisis management (Crowe, 2012).
Communication and the Economy
Crisis communication allows decision makers to come up with their own version of the communication strategies (May, 2013). An economy is controlled through effective use of information and in case of shortage in data collection businesses suffers. This is because interdependence between different activities taking position in various division of the production. When a particular sector is experiencing scarcity of unrefined materials another is going through plenty of it (Sellnow & Seeger, 2013). If such information is not available then players will engage in unfair competition in addition to spending a lot of resources and time on unprofitable activities. An example incorporates increasing construction of unrefined materials for industries that are under inflation. This means that an entity will be holding stock for a long time hence ends up spending a lot of money on dead stock. To avoid this, information must be shared to the exact populace and in the correct manner. Players in this sector may support or withdraw support when information is improperly handled (Ruff & Aziz, 2013). Several of the plans include undeviating and indirect communications. Direct communiqué engross face-to-face and company-to-company in rank substitute. This outline of swap may guide to the following effects. The first outcome is to advance market accessibility and resolution making. In order to access a market, a person/ organization requires prior knowledge about the forces that affects sales and purchase of goods. Consumer data is available in the market and businesses may share this information. Thus, decisions that will be reached at by stakeholders will take note of these issues and the trend on the market. The second result is improved decision. The process through which individual/market make decision in regards to products is considered to be effective in the sense that proper knowledge is applied in coming up with a solution. Thus, businesses are deemed to thrive in such an environment. Unfortunately, rival companies tend to hide or keep important information away from their competitors. The motive for doing this will be to utilize this data to intensify competition.
There are many factors that appears into play when information is being transferred from one revelry to the supplementary is discussed above. Some of these issues may attribute to losses while supplementary may benefit the organization in some ways. Thus, it is the duty of the resolution makers to meet and weigh up the data that they acquire. The submission of facts and decisive information will differ from one entity/ industry to another depending on the needs and aims of such institutions. The definition of catastrophe communiqué also differs with institution and the circumstances an entity is going through. Some may argue that crisis communication is about knowledge sharing during disaster or risks occurrence.
Thus, the communication will be geared at solving the problems that the entity is facing rather than informing the workers to prepare before the mitigated risk takes place. In some cases, the management will apply the context to demystify negative image that is not only at risk but also tainted. An entity is alarmed with its reputation amid the consumers. This is because an institution benefits from such a status. An image helps an institution sell its products or create a market for its goods. People/ consumers tend to identify themselves with a good image due to the acuity of greatness. This enables them feel and attain satisfaction when he/she consume products from the institution. Crisis communication should be used for the benefit of the organization and not to ruin the reputation of an entity.
Anthonissen, P. F. (2011). Crisis communication: Practical PR strategies for reputation management and company survival. London: Kogan Page.
Argenti, P. A. (2013). Corporate communication. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Barton, L. (2013). Crisis in organizations II. Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College Pub.
Bradt, G. B., Check, J. A., & Pedraza, J. E. (2011). The new leader’s 100-day action plan: How to take charge, build your team, and get immediate results. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Carroll, C. E. (2013). The handbook of communication and corporate reputation. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Coombs, W. T. (2014). Crisis communication: 3. S.l: Sage Publications Ltd.
Crowe, A. S. (2012). Disasters 2.0: The application of social media systems for modern emergency management. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis.
Dunn, C. K., Eble, M., & East Carolina University. (2012). Power and place: A case study approach to rethinking crisis communication. Greenville, N.C.: East Carolina University.
Eder, M. K. (2011). Leading the narrative: The case for strategic communication. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press.
Fiedler, K. (2013). Social communication. New York: Psychology Press.
Fincher, D., Rudin, S., Brunetti, D., De, L. M., Chaffin, C., Sorkin, A., Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Firm). (2011). The social network. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Gumperz, J. J. (2011). Interethnic communication. Discourse strategies, 22(4), 172-186. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511611834.010
Hayes, B., & Kotwica, K. (2013). Crisis management at the speed of the internet: Trend report. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Hwang, S. (2014). The estimation of a corporate crisis communication based on perceived CEO’s leadership, perceived severity of threats, and preceived opposing public’s size. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri-Columbia.
Hynes, G. E. (2011). Managerial communication: Strategies and applications. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Institute of Medicine (U.S.). (2012). Speaking of health: Assessing health communication strategies for diverse populations. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Kerr, M. M. (2014). School crisis prevention and intervention. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Pearson.
Matusitz, J. A. (2013). Terrorism and communication: A critical introduction. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
May, S. (2013). Case studies in organizational communication: Ethical perspectives and practices. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
Ruff, P., & Aziz, K. (2013). Managing communications in a crisis. Burlington, VT: Gower.
Sellnow, T. L., & Seeger, M. W. (2013). Theorizing crisis communication. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
Svedin, L. (2011). Ethics and crisis management. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.
Thenell, J. (2013). The library’s crisis communications planner: A PR guide for handling every emergency. Chicago: American Library Association.
Vogelaar, R. (2014). Rhetorical approaches to crisis communication: The research, development, and validation of an image repair situational theory for educational leaders. Saarbrucken, Germany: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.
Watters, J. (2013). Crisis Management Team Roles and Responsibilities. Disaster Recovery, Crisis Response, and Business Continuity, 22(3), 247-252. doi:10.1007/978-1-4302-6407-1_23