Are less concerned or more concerned than you wish

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are less concerned or more concerned than you wish they were do not need to define themselves as rebels; you have recommendations for them too. 18. Ask more of people. In a crisis, pro-social, resilient impulses vie for dominance with less desirable impulses; panic, passivity, selfishness. Ally with the former against the latter by asking more of people. Ask for people’s help before the crisis as well as during it. Ask them to help their community and their neighbors (and you organization), not just themselves – but do ask them to help themselves. Ask more of people emotionally too. Give us “permission” to find the situation unbearable, but make it clear that you expect we will be able to bear it. For more about my take on this issue, see: Anthrax, Bioterrorism, and Risk Communication: Guidelines for Action (Dec 2001) – Dilemmas in Emergency Communication Policy (Feb 2003) – Beyond Panic Prevention (Feb 2003) – Duct Tape Risk Communications (Feb 2003) – “Fear Is Spreading Faster than SARS” – And So It Should! (Apr 2003) –
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Crisis Communication IV: Errors, Misimpressions, and Half-Truths (Page 1) Copyright © 2004 by Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard. All Rights Reserved. 19. Acknowledge errors, deficiencies, and misbehaviors. People are more critical of authorities who don’t talk about the things that have gone wrong than they are of authorities who acknowledge those things. It takes something like saintliness to acknowledge negatives that the public will never know unless you tell. At least acknowledge those that the public does know, or is likely to find out. Make these acknowledgments early, before the crisis is over and the recriminations begin. 20. Apologize often for errors, deficiencies, and misbehaviors. Forgiveness requires more than acknowledgment; it requires apology, even frequent apology. “Wallowing” in your contrition about what went wrong is (paradoxically) a good way to persuade the rest of us to move on. Even if there is a case to be made that it wasn’t really your fault (the tanker captain had been drinking, some madman put cyanide in the Tylenol), you still need to be apologetic. 21. Be explicit about “anchoring frames.” People have trouble learning information that conflicts with their prior knowledge, experience, or intuition. The pre-existing beliefs and feelings provide an “anchoring frame” that impedes acquisition of the new information. It helps to be explicit about the discrepancy – first justify their starting position (why it was right, or seemed right; why it is widespread), then explain your alternative (what changed; what was learned; why their starting position turns out supris9ingly, to be mistaken).
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  • Fall '18
  • Saeed Sabzian
  • crisis communication, risk communication

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