Why Crisis Management has Changed Forever
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.
"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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
"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