Communication is the transition from a source to the recipient of results. It is a big human practice that tends to establish relationships. Good coordination aims to enhance the efficiency of critical human activities in many events (Coombs, 2007 p. 164). Depending on the intended use, correspondence style varies. In order to help make decisions, different activities require well-planned coordination. In many activities that continually involve an advanced coordination mechanism to help overcome ever-changing circumstances, the present world has evolved. Communication is distinct from those used for daily discussions during a crisis. Communication during a crisis is a section of the public relations department that is developed to help in protecting a business or an individual facing a significant challenge on reputation. Crisis management requires a properly designed communication that is directed at solving all the issues. This essay is intended to provide necessary information which is useful for understanding communication during a crisis.
Communicating strategically during a crisis is very important since it will solve problems that would lead to permanent damage of personal or organizational reputation. During an emergency or any disaster, all the affected people should embrace proper channels to ensure that effective communication is undertaken. Communication that promotes harmony in all the affected human aspects should be considered. Effective crisis management, therefore, requires specific characteristics of communication. Various crisis management communication aspects need to be followed to come up with an effective mechanism for effective decision making (Coombs, 2007 p. 166). The aspects include quickness, consistency, and clarity.
Traits of a Good Communicator
Individuals who are concerned in crisis management should ensure that there is speed in addressing all the underlying issues. A quick evaluation of the factors that caused a crisis must be effectively communicated to all the stakeholders before the impacts of the crisis worsen. Also, the communicators who are involved in alleviating the problem should ensure that they have clarity in their communication. Clarity involves highlighting essential points on the causes of the crisis together with the likely impacts and solutions. Timely communication is thereby necessary for incorporating all the affected individuals in understanding their current position in solving the crisis (Coombs, 2007 p. 173). Therefore, consistency in communicating the intended message in resolving the problem should be taken by all persons concerned. For instance, during political differences between a particular government and the opposition, the concerned parts need to engage in fast, precise and consistent communication to avoid any possible failure of peace. Proper management of all the underlying political issues will help mitigate any adverse impacts the crisis will have on the country’s stability. Communicators, therefore, need to have appropriate attributes that will necessitate effective resolution.
Crisis management communicators need to understand how to create and pass a message with high clear focus. Communicators who can prepare process and transmit clear information will help all the stakeholders to develop a proper understanding of the crisis (Coombs, 2007 p. 169). The communicators also need to understand how to read the audience’s state of the mind to raise their desire of listening to what is communicated. The passion of listeners to be addressed on the probable ways of mitigating the crisis will help to reduce any possible effects. Crisis management team also need to be passionate about communicating their message to their team. Finally, the communicators need to use polite language that will make all the listeners feel comfortable in listening to all the contents of the communication. Communicators must ensure that the information that is transmitted to the receivers meets intended purpose of resolving the crisis.
Content of a Crisis Communication
The information should point out what the crisis is by listing all the causes of the state (Coombs, 2007 p. 174). I will be seeking to clearly get the stand of the communicator regarding the possible options of stabilizing the crisis. Information like the formation of a task force responsible for resolving the conflict, duties of the members, the course of managing the crisis, and the importance of mitigating the crisis should be communicated to all the concerned people. I will also seek to get the information on the role of the crisis management team in preventing future occurrence of a related crisis. Also, the political significance of having a crisis-free state should be well provided. Together with the crisis management team, media has a significant role in passing information concerning various crises.
Significance of Social Media in Addressing Crisis
The world’s development in technology has enabled many people to get access to the various channels of social media. Information is quickly and efficiently passed through social media because of its effectiveness. People can receive information from any place regardless of their distance from the sender. Crisis management has therefore been facilitated to a great extent since communicators need not to have a close physical presence to the receivers. Online sharing of information aids in resolving the national, regional and international crisis (Jin, Liu, & Austin, 2014 p. 75). For instance, management of terrorism has been enhanced through the use of social media in communicating terrorist activities in various countries.
We have discussed various aspects that define communication during a crisis. Every element must be understood for the communicators to engage in correct mitigation procedures. Proper communication that is addressing all the underlying issues should be enhanced to give a clear understanding of the stalemate. The communicators need to be passionate, clear, consistent and fast in the delivery of the message in case of a crisis. Information that is to be included in managing an emergency must be spelled out addressing all the issue concerning its origin, process of resolving the stalemate, and probable outcome. Social media has a most significant role in the management of the national, regional and international crisis.
Coombs, W. T. (2007). Protecting organization reputations during a crisis: The development and application of situational crisis communication theory. Corporate Reputation Review, 10(3), 163-176.
Jin, Y., Liu, B. F., & Austin, L. L. (2014). Examining the role of social media in effective crisis management: The effects of crisis origin, information form, and source on publics’ crisis responses. Communication Research, 41(1), 74-94.