Crisis Management is a special area within the field of communication that relies heavily on selective word choice to remedy a situation for clients, usually organizations or high-profile people, when something has happened or something has become public that could tarnish the person or organization’s image, with the potential to affect negatively profitability. Such a crisis occurs when something has happened that could potentially cause harm to the reputation, credibility, or integrity of an organization or individual. These organizations and individuals hire communication experts to “handle” the situation publicly, often using press conferences to remedy the situation at hand. Some remedies are simply apologies while others focus on detailing plans to change or solve the situation, and yet others are simply promises for further investigation and change. Frequently, the explanation of the incident from the perspective of the client is known as “spinning” an issue or situation.
Past “Crisis” Situations
Firestone/ Ford tire blow-outs
John Kerry’s affair
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick text messaging scandal Exxon Valdez oil spill
Senator Larry Craig airport restroom incident Mel Gibson’s Anti-Semetic Tirade
Finger in Wendy’s chili
Mattel Toys with Lead
Clarence Thomas Sexual Harassment
FEMA’s handling of Hurricane Katrina
Virginia Tech Shooting
Odwalla Foods E-coli Breakout
Winona Ryder theft at Saks Fifth Avenue Senator Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick
For this assignment, you are going to select one of the well know incidents above and assume the role of a communication spokesperson hired on behalf of a corporation or high- profile person involved in one of the crises listed above as if it were taking place currently.
In order for your speech to be effective, you will need to conduct research on the incident and include sufficient background of the incident to inform your current audience of what the press conference is responding to. You will use footnotes in your document to indicate where you have referenced researched material, not parenthetical citations, for this assignment. Failure to cite sources will result in a zero for the written portion of this assignment as this would be considered plagiarism.
Additionally, you will lay out a means to remedy the incident of your own design, paying special attention to audience and word choice while considering the sensitivity of the issue at hand. The remedy (and its language) should be your own, not quoted from any of the original statements/press releases from the incident.
Deliver a 7-9 minute speech that will be uploaded to Media Share. Review your ebook for tips on preparing your speech (p 47-50).
Submit your manuscript to Turnitin.com