Ok so personally I find crisis communication to be difficult and a little terrifying. As much as I, and probably others, would love for public relations to be all campaigns and accepting awards, it's not. I can see this as being where public relations jobs get stressful. The exercises given by Professor Vargas really woke me up to this crucial type of communication for public relations practitioners. I really thought hard about my answers, yet I am still unsure of them. I hope this kind of thing becomes easier with practice.
So I decided to do a little more research on the subject (even using my new-found blog search source, blogpulse!).
"Like the good Boy Scout – a good motto for the crisis manager is 'Be Prepared'."
This is the last line in a blog post of Mike Love's about crisis management/communications. While I'm not sure what kind of actual experience Love has (though the first paragraph of the post seems to suggest a lot), I feel that his advice given in the post is very well said and quite correct. He reminds us that crises happen anywhere and at any time, so being prepared is essential. He mentioned several things like keeping copies of the crisis plan in other places, having alternate office spaces, and having alternate ways to communicate with the necessary people. Another idea that I really liked of Love's is his thought that the "Communicator" sometimes has to be the Devil's Advocate. I think this is true. The "Communicator", or what I am assigning to be the public relations practitioner, needs to be able to find the faults in the company/organization to be able to fix them and/or respond to outside accusations of these faults. If you don't think there is a problem, it won't get fixed.
Crises cannot usually be handled solely by the PR director of a company. Often, the company is too big, there are too many publics, and/or the situation is too much to handle for one person. Therein lies the importance of a crisis communications team, all of whom need to be trained in whatever their role in the team is. In an article written by PR Ideas, the role of the team members is discussed. The tips given in this article are interesting and are very pertinent for crisis communications. Basically, it reinforces what I have been reading in all of these articles and in the slideshow presentation from class.
Also, in my search on the blogosphere, I found an event that pertains exactly to what we are learning that's actually going on at this very point. Here's the link for the Social Media for Crisis Communications in Government.