Public Management - Lecture 008

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGS)
Sandford Borins

CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS 18 March 2014 Advice to the Leader (IE: Minister, Premier) • Have a clear objective • It’s your decision • Get good independent advice • Get your message out to the media • Use your website and social media (IE: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) • Respond to, perhaps work with, other versions of the story coming out on social media • Get to the scene of the crisis if possible and desirable • Clear your schedule Advice to the advisers • Do contingency planning regularly • Resist group think, include diverse points of view, and devil’s advocates • Generate and analyze a range of options and test assumptions • Empathy: think about it from your adversary’s perspective • Maintain open lines of communication to your adversary • Consult with stakeholders • Clear your schedules Advice for Media Relations • Inverted pyramid principle • Get your message out • Don’t answer leading questions • Don’t lie • Do a practice session • Be yourself • There is no “off the record” • Don’t attempt to “coin a phrase” or be too clever • Different media have different viewpoints (choose the friendly ones) • Disaffected people leak documents and create nasty surprises • Rules of defamation (libel and slander): defenses are truth and fair comment Crisis Management • Importance of saving face to end disputes • Sleep and clear thinking • Operational team on site o Closely linked to strategic team o Minimize hierarchy • Actions to resolve a crisis will take time, effort, and additional resources Communications in Government • “Distorted Mirror” Theory of Media o Influence of owners’ views o Influenced by competition for viewers or readers o Constraints of time and space (length of stories) o Interplay between media and their sources • Implications of “Distorted Mirror” Theory o Media (over)simplify o Media dramatize (play up conflict) o Media personalize stories (focus on leaders rather than impersonal factors) o Pre-formed story lines (expected narratives) o Unexpected events tailored to fit expected narratives Media Relations in a Crisis • Get your message out • Get bad news out quickly • On-site press conference • Political and technical person together (Quebec government approach to 1998 ice storm) • Purposive action • Avoid blaming • Be decisive • Tailored messages to different stakeholders Political Management in Canada (p. 217 – 228) Principles of Crisis Management – Media Relations • Example of bad crisis management o Company producing chocolate bar (Cold Buster) o Animal rights activists, media alleged the bars contained animal parts o Owner responded as though it was a prank, “to our knowledge, we don’t grind up any mice to make our bar” • 2 kinds of crisis o Natural disaster (earthquake, fire, flood) o Human struggle (strike, war)  Unconditional surrender by adversary, rarely with pursuing • If government lives with adversary in future • Where each group have merit (face saving)  Doctor’s strike of 1962 against health insurance • 1 July 1962 all Saskatchewan doctor’s withdrew services so all hospitals closed • Tension between those who favored and against government sponsored medical care insurance Importance of having operational groups to implement actions at scene of crisis • Team of people at front line doing what is needed to solve problem • Need to be close to scene of crisis • Able to commander instantly any resources necessary • Immediate, direct links with top level organization to make sure needed resources available • Must keep objective in mind • Careful of changing objective from original to defeating adversaries • Doctor strike example o Core group of people in health department worked at redeploying doctors who were willing to send in small hospitals having trouble to stay open o Health Minister William Davies headed organizational group o Kept system functioning, recruited doctors from Britain, provide services in place of striking doctors Importance of having strategic groups to respond to crisis • Responsibility of leader of organization to choose group or group leader and assemble team • Not entirely engaged in crisis management • Must assess adversary (nature, people) its objectives, next move, how they will reset to moves • Needs clear thing, contact with people to give advice (senior public servants, outsiders) • Doctor strike example o Premier Lloyd chose strategic group • Bunker mentality or group think emerges under stress and fatigue that crisis generates o People have tendency to be unyielding for fear of appearing indecisive o Have public servants and outsiders advice to view situation with skeptical eye and give creative solution  Doctor strike example • Tom Shayana rational analysis Comparison • Important to maintain close links and transparently clear communications between strategic group and operational group so that operation is in line with what strategic group intends • Important to have meetings to confirm strategy and meetings to keep lines open between strategists and front liners because when those in charge of front line operations understand fully the strategic objectives of their side and how it is proposed to achieve them, comfort levels are raised and context is provided in which tactical hour by hour decisions can be made • Tactical move is to have some people aware of tactics while others remain confused as adversaries (effective if it is verbal rather than written) Resoluti
More Less

Related notes for MGSC03H3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.