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Good policy fosters good public relations, just as flawed policy fosters bad public relations.
New Mexico residents have only to look at recent crises at the Albuquerque Police Department, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and state Human Services Department for proof of how an organization can exacerbate its situation with poor communication and vague, inconsistent messaging.
Business owners can learn from these examples how — and how not — to handle crisis communications. First they need to understand why high-profile accidents or events develop into stories with “legs” that carry them forward for weeks or longer.
The “News Bottle”
The life span of a crisis depends on how quickly the afflicted organization shares facts with core audiences. This dissemination of information can be seen as a “news bottle.”
When a crisis erupts and facts are few, the bottle fills with accusation as people assign blame for what happened. Absent experts, anyone can claim expertise, especially on unfiltered social media sites.
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