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The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age Paperback – March 14, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1439853733 ISBN-10: 1439853738 Edition: 1st

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The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age + Damage Control (Revised & Updated): The Essential Lessons of Crisis Management + The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need To Know Before Your Next Interview
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (March 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439853738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439853733
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Why Crisis Management has Changed Forever

The crisis management bookmark.
A Note from the Author

It is my fervent hope that when you read my book that you will feel inspired to manage the media differently in a crisis, but most of all I want you to know that there are very predictable patterns in how the media (and we, in citizen journalism land) report a crisis. You see we humans are a predictable bunch – we like to see and hear things in a certain way at a certain time.

We also like to hear stories about heroes, we cannot resist the villains – we are really voyeurs. We rubber neck when someone has an accident. Now, thanks to social media, human behavior is out there for the world to see! Never before has here been such transparency of the human condition. And we self-correct, we stretch the truth, or shrink the facts to suit our perceptions, values and views of life.

The book is filled with plenty of examples that will give you insights into the fragility of the human condition and why certain questions get asked when and why people behave the way they do in a crisis. It’s simple really – we default to type, and that type may not be to our liking, but then again it might be. Think of Rudy Giuliani during 9/11. He was on the skids before that tragedy but rose to the challenge and became almost Churchillian-like. He spoke for New York and its pain. All good leaders do. Tony Hayward, the ex-BP CEO defaulted to type also; one we didn’t particularly like when he uttered those infamous words, “I want my life back” during the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Enjoy the read and do please let me know what you think.

The four stages of crisis
The four stages of crisis.
Real-world factors that affect crisis management
Some of the real-world factors that affect crisis management.

Review

"Jane Jordan-Meier’s insights into crisis communication are based on her experiences over many years at the coalface, guiding CEOs and organizations through the toughest of times. Her book is a must-read for any communication professional seeking an understanding of the power of social media and how the media report a crisis."
—Robyn Sefiani, Managing Director, Sefiani Communications Group, Australia

"… in the highly interactive and networked world we live in, all communication professionals need to understand how to effectively work with the media during and after crises. This book is an essential resource for doing so. Written by a highly experienced media relations consultant and savvy social media expert, this book provides practical, accessible advice and easy-to-use and apply tools and guides—all brought to life through real-world case studies."
—Michaela Hayes, Past President, San Francisco Chapter, International Association of Business Communicators

"As a full-time media and crisis trainer, I read about a dozen new books on public relations each year. Few produce the number of true "a ha" moments that Jane Jordan-Meier’s The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management did. ... the book is packed with hidden gems that even the most seasoned public relations professionals can learn from. ... it’s well worth the investment. I highly recommend it."
—Brad Phillips, Author, Mr. Media Training Blog

"The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age is a full-blown training course in a book. Author Jane Jordan-Meier has used her vast experience in the media, PR and media-management to craft a resource that will be invaluable to all who face, or may have to face, a crisis. … I've no doubt that every good communication professional will read and gain from this book. So should every good CEO. For as Jordan-Meier points out, the "credibility factor for CEOs (2010 Edelman Trust Barometer) was 40%" only slightly above politicians at 35%, so surely a ready-made market. Highly recommended."
—Bob Selden, What To Do When You Become The Boss: How New Managers Become Successful Managers

"This book ticks all the boxes - it's well grounded in crisis communication theory, it's written with a clear understanding of adult learning, and it's incredibly practical and actionable, making it an easy book to get a lot of actionable stuff out of to help you be better prepared for your next crisis - before it comes. … I was impressed!"
—Public Affairs Manager, Pharmaceutical Industry

"This book is a must read for owners, officers, managers and key employees of any public or private business. Emergencies happen. Unplanned consequences of natural or man-made disasters can bring a business to its knees. I have been there. This book provides an outstanding, comprehensive plan that will keep you and your business focused on what is important during any emergency."
—Gloria E. Collins, Business Executive, California

"I use this excellent book in my course called 'Media in the Business World,' a course designed for graduate students who pursue careers as business leaders. In the course, the students study the rules of the media game as seen from three perspectives: the media professionals, the business world and the academia.

"With regards to the perspective of the business world, The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management is the most up-dated and substantiated book on the market. Some reasons:

  1. The author understands how the social media work and how important they are for information sharing. She keeps reminding the readers that the old rules of the game from the time of the "old media" are still valuable, but that companies need to consider social media just as important. She also describes the difference – the old media might set the agenda and are driven by concern for democracy, while the new media are fast and autonomous.
  2. The author has a background from professional journalism as well as a background from media training with companies. One of the values of the book is that it is based on an understanding of professional journalism. Here are no superficial suggestions on how to "spin", but quite the contrary with an emphasis on key concepts like trustworthy, transparent, timely, accessible, responsible, humility, respect, experience, passion; and lots of tools for business leaders who will not only survive but strive to become master players in the game. As an example the author writes about the investigative reporters asking critical questions: "questions are gifts, but not all are attractive. And they need to be grasped with both hands – in this case, with one’s mouth!" The message is that since you cannot change the rules of the game; play them to your advantage.
  3. The book contains many case studies, and these are of major crisis in the last 10 years – again updated information about the lessons that other companies learned the hard way.

"Having been a professional journalist and journalism teacher for 35 years myself, I appreciate that Jane Jordan-Meier explains the rules of the game to business people. To some extent, it makes life easier for journalists when all the players know the rules, even though it may also make it harder for journalists to get the "good story." However, if journalists’ feelings about media training might be mixed, my business students have everything to gain from reading the book."
—Kirsten Mogensen, Associate Professor, Roskilde University

"I would highly recommend reading the book and passing it on. It may well start the most important conversation your organization will have in 2012."
Chris Syme, Strategic Communications Expert, Principal of CKSyme.org in Bozeman, Montana

"The book addresses all aspects of planning for and managing the media in a crisis situation … [and] provides proven methods and tips for managing the information flow, including harnessing the power of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, and other social media releases. Jordan-Meier brings to bear her unique experience in media training and crisis communication principles. A worthwhile resource for anyone responsible for dealing with the media in a crisis situation. 4 stars."
—ASIS International

"One of the best and the most thorough books on crisis management in the digital age that I have ever read … a must-read."
—Crisis Manager Melissa Agnes

"Jordan-Meier brings to bear her unique experience in media training and crisis communication principles. The case studies help to illuminate the issues. This book reflects best thinking and current practices in crisis media management. It would be a worthwhile resource for anyone responsible for dealing with the media in a crisis situation."
—David P. Sayer, in Security Management


More About the Author

A former journalist with Australian Consolidated Press in Sydney, Jane Jordan-Meier has been at the forefront of media training and crisis management for over two decades. She developed a unique four-stage methodology for crisis management whilst at the helm of Australia's leading media training consultancy, Media Skills. The methodology has been used around the world by hundreds of organizations and thousands of executives, and is now the focus of her book: The Four Highly Effective Stages of Crisis Management.

Known to many as Janie, Jordan-Meier was raised in country NSW where she was very active with horse-related events and activities. When not on a horse, she was writing and reading, winning accolades for her poetry and short stories.

She is now based in Northern California, but travels regularly to Australia and New Zealand for work and family. Her international work now focuses on coaching and training for high-stakes communication. She is a sought-after guest speaker for... Read More

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This book is a must read for owners, officers, managers and key employees of any public or private business.
Gloria E. Collins
The subtitle of her book, "How to Manage the Media in the Digital Sage," correctly suggests that when a crisis occurs, effective reputation management is imperative.
Robert Morris
It was good to read the suggestions and check lists in this book to be able to share with the community groups that I work with.
Judy H. Wright aka "Auntie Artichoke"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Selden on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
"The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age" is a full-blown training course in a book. Author Jane Jordan-Meier has used her vast experience in the media, PR and media-management to craft a resource that will be invaluable to all who face, or may have to face, a crisis.

Jordan-Meier draws on the extensive crisis-management research (particularly post 9/11) to show that patterns of media reporting (in all types of media) provide some future predictability in how future crises may be covered. This research also shows that news coverage of a crisis follows specific narratives and the public, perhaps unknowingly, expect "certain narratives to appear at certain times".

Based on this research and her media experience, Jordan-Meier has identified four stages that all crises go through. With press and media examples, personal insights, and tips and suggestions, she then shows how to plan for and manage each stage of a crisis.

For some unknown reason, I thought this might be a difficult book to review. It's not. The book is well set out. Chapters are short and well structured. Most importantly, there are plenty of examples to illustrate key points. Many of these examples are stories that we all know and have lived through - 9/11, Fort Hood shootings, Exxon Valdez, BP oil spill - to name just a few. With these personal experiences, it's very easy for the reader to see where the author's methodology and techniques were working, were partially applied, or were not applied at all.

The book is set out in five sections starting with crisis definition and the role of the media, through to engaging with the media and concluding with communication rules and tools.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keen Bean on May 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book ticks all the boxes - it's well grounded in crisis communication theory, it's written with a clear understanding of adult learning, and it's incredibly practical and actionable, making it an easy book to get a lot of actionable stuff out of to help you be better prepared for your next crisis - before it comes.

It would be a rare executive who didn't get something out of this book. As well as helping the reader map out what a crisis is and how it might progress, the book includes lots of practical advice on finding your path out the other side, with immediately actionable items as well as plenty of food for thought to shape how you might handle your "next" crisis. It also includes useful and "crisis focused" introductions to social media for those who aren't au fait with it or have been paying others to tweet for them (eg your CEO?), excellent interview-handling advice, advice on selecting and preparing spokespeople and so on. The bonus is that the writing style and layout contribute to an easy read, so you know you (or the person you pass it on to) can dip in and out and get a lot out of it without having to commit to wading through great swathes of text (which is harder to get around to when you're busy!).

As I've got my fair share of "crisis-scars", I read this book from the perspective of a crisis management professional looking for something that I could pass on to clients, CEOs and junior communication professionals as an overview of the topic. I was impressed! - having finished it, I bought a few more copies to pass on to others - that's as good as it gets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cksyme on December 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jane Jordan-Meier give us what I think is the best resource on understanding and dealing with the cycle of crises. There are a lot of books about media training and how to manage a crisis, but this one is an in-depth look at how the media operates in a crisis,and how to respond. Her company's "four stages of a crisis" are an excellent description of what to expect the media to do in each stage of a crisis and what you should be doing in each stage. Lots of good case studies. Only drawback is the social media section--there is already some information there that is out-dated, and some advice I don't particularly agree with, esp. the use of dark Facebook groups in a crisis. But overall, I think this is the best resource we have to date in dealing with the media in a crisis. She has the experience and the knowledge--I would recommend buying and devouring. It will be a good resource as you craft a crisis communications plan. The first real good resource that tackles the digital end of crisis communications intelligently and systematically.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Decades ago, one of the co-founders of the firm we now know as Hill & Knowlton, John Hill, explained that public relations should be "truth, well-told." That has not always been the case but Hill's description remains valid. Jane Jordan-Meier obviously agrees. The subtitle of her book, "How to Manage the Media in the Digital Sage," correctly suggests that when a crisis occurs, effective reputation management is imperative. Hence the importance of having a cohesive and comprehensive plan in place when a crisis occurs. Regrettably, many organizations do not have such a plan. That is why Jordan-Meier wrote this book: To provide a single source just about everything a C-level executive needs to know about crisis media management.

The material is carefully organized within Five Sections, followed by (count `em) ten appendices that provide invaluable support material on subjects ranging from a "Guideline for Briefing Spokespeople" to advice about "Social Media Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risks." Jordan-Meier provides a "Summary" section at the conclusion of each chapter. This material will facilitate, indeed accelerate frequent review of key points. I also appreciate Jordan-Meier's focus on how to help her reader achieve these learning objectives:

o What is a crisis, what triggers it, and what is its probable impact?
o What is the proper role of the media?
o What are the stages of a crisis situation and what must each accomplish? How?
o Who should - and should nit - be spokespersons? Why?
o By what criteria should the CEO's role be determined?
o How best to formulate and then manage policy guidelines?
o How best to prepare for a media interview?
o What are the most important do's and don'ts when being interviewed?
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