"Leaders should be very visible in the organization in times of
adversity. This is certainly not the time to stay in the office behind the desk.
People want assurance that everything will work out and it is the leaders job
to provide that assurance. This is not to say that a leader is required to
sugarcoat tough issues. On the contrary; people appreciate a leader who is open
and honest about the circumstances. Moreover, research and practical experience
has shown that what people fear about situations are the unknown aspects of the
Andrew J. Harvey and Raymond E. Foster (Leadership: Texas Hold 'em Style).
Risk Management Plan Template
Checklist: First 48 Hours
Message Development Worksheet
Evaluating the Spokesperson Checklist
77 Questions Commonly Asked by a Journalist During a
Core Competency Checklist (assess your employees)
Articles on Risk
Management and Risk Communications.
Risk Communications in a Healthcare Setting
One of the more commonly addressed issues of patient-clinician interaction is
the skill with which physicians communicate bad news to patients. Probably more
common for most physicians, however, is the need to effectively convey
reassuring information when the available medical evaluation suggests the
absence of a catastrophic or rapidly progressive problem. This process is known
as risk communication. It is the science of communicating information about risk
under circumstances involving some combination of low trust, high concern,
perceived crisis, or differential interpersonal power.
The SECRET of Communicating Bad News to Employees
Organizations show their real values when they communicate bad news. Years of
saying how important employees are and how much the organization cares for them
can prove to be empty words based on how the organization behaves when
delivering bad news.
In order to manage risk, it must first be identified, measured and evaluated.
This is called Risk Assessment. You perform risk assessments everyday as part of
your normal routine. By listening to the mornings weather report, you are
gathering data to make an assessment of the risk of getting wet. The forecast
provides an estimate of the probability of rain, and you determine the
consequences of getting caught without an umbrella.
Introduction to Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication
Communication is a broad science and an imperfect art. Nowhere in this book is
there an implied promise that a population or community faced with an emergency,
crisis, or disaster will overcome its challenges solely through the application
of the principles presented here. However, this book does offer the promise that
an organization can compound its problems during an emergency if it has
neglected sound crisis and emergency risk communication planning.
Holding a Company Meeting to Deliver Bad News
While some may argue that there is no good way to deliver bad news, some ways
are certainly better than others. Should you find it necessary to make such an
announcement to your employees, be sure to do it in person. No matter what the
news, it is always best to allow people the opportunity to hear it from your own
lips and be able to immediately respond with their questions and concerns.
Crisis Communication (High Hazard, High Outrage)
For roughly twenty years now I have defined myself as a specialist in risk
communication, not crisis communication. The distinction, I kept telling people,
is that risk communicators deal with what might happen, while crisis
communicators deal with what just happened or is still happening. Of course the
distinction was always pretty arbitrary. Some of my earliest risk communication
work focused on the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. That certainly felt
like a crisis, no matter whether the discussion centered on what had gone wrong
at the power plant (a crisis communication issue) or on how much radiation might
be released (a risk communication issue).
For both law enforcement officials and terrorist organizations, information is a
valuable tool. For emergency personnel, the release and delivery of information
is called risk communications. Risk communications has two broad implications
the incident or hazard itself, and the public reaction to the incident.
Controlling the release and delivery of information can save lives, mitigate
loss and speed the resolution of a tactical situation. In addition to having two
broad implications, information can be classified and used in both a strategic
and tactical sense.
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A Primer on Health Risk Communication
Communicating in a Crisis
Center for Risk Communication
Be First, Be Right, Be Credible
Peter Sandman Risk Communication Website
Risk Communications: A Guide to Regulatory Practices
Forms of Risk Communications
Click here to suggest a Web-based resource