In a crisis, if you don't take control, someone else will: real-life examples showcase how important it is to plan for the eventuality of a crisis.

Author:Morris, Ann Andrews

about the book

Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing the Message

by Steven Fink

McGraw-Hill, 2013

272 pages

For communicators looking for a way to educate their bosses (and themselves) about the importance of crisis communications, this is your book. In an accessible, funny and above all smart approach, Steven Fink writes persuasively about the good, the bad and the ugly of crisis communications, and shows how smart companies can be part of the good.

Crisis Communications contains cautionary tales that both CEOs and communicators should study, and solutions that smart leaders can put to work in their companies. With engaging chapter titles like "You Can't Make This Stuff Up," Finks analyses of how companies deal with crises provide a proven road map for successful crisis management and crisis communications.

Starting with the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Fink--the founder and president of the crisis management firm Lexicon Communications--clearly analyzes the catastrophe, punctuating it with cringe-worthy quotes from BP. He then offers smart and effective messaging alternatives that might have saved the company not just money but also its reputation.

Fink tackles the impulse of many organizations to go silent, into what he calls a "bunker mentality." While to some doing so may seem like a natural reaction, this approach is always detrimental, not least of all because it cedes control of your crisis (and messaging) to a myriad of critics who are only too willing to throw you and your organization under the bus. As Fink says, "Not communicating is never the right decision." He urges companies to establish control of their own messages at the beginning of a crisis. If you don't, someone else will.

Fink also discusses the head-shaking impulse of some organizations to ignore a problem that has been known about for years--like the sexual abuse scandal that...

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