New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Crisis Comm Midterm 1 Studyguide

by: Emma Dahlin

Crisis Comm Midterm 1 Studyguide COMM 3333

Marketplace > Ohio State University > Communication Studies > COMM 3333 > Crisis Comm Midterm 1 Studyguide
Emma Dahlin
GPA 3.85

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Notes on everything that was discussed in class that will be on the exam.
Crisis Communication
Lanier Holt
Study Guide
50 ?




Popular in Crisis Communication

Popular in Communication Studies

This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Emma Dahlin on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to COMM 3333 at Ohio State University taught by Lanier Holt in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 175 views. For similar materials see Crisis Communication in Communication Studies at Ohio State University.


Reviews for Crisis Comm Midterm 1 Studyguide


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 02/04/16
02/05/2016 ▯ Crisis Communications Study Guide Midterm 1 ▯ ▯ Tylenol Case  Tamper-proof samples have been around since 1983 because of Tylenol  1982: had 32% of market share o Went down to 8%  Mary Kellerman, 12-year-old girl, killed by Tylenol in Illinois o Tylenol laced with highly poisonous potassium cyanide o 3 others from Illinois who took Tylenol also died within a few days  October, 1982: Investigators linked deaths to Tylenol, the best- selling non-prescription pain reliever in America  Public Response: 4.7 million recalled in Chicago  What authorities believe happened: someone took Tylenol off the shelves, laced it with Potassium Cyanide, and resealed it  James Lewis-says he did it and tries to get $1 million ransom to have Tylenol pay him off to not do it again o Responsible for Kansas City Murder-obviously did not do it  What Tylenol Did: o McNeil Consumer Products (Johnson & Johnson) manufacturers Tylenol and they recalled over 31 MILLION bottles, offered replacement capsules, and a reward for anyone with information about the killers o Cyanide lacing occurred after the pills left the factory o RARE instance where organization investigates itself and finds the wrongdoing o Rare instance of company being proactive in investigating itself and both working with & surpassing regulator agency efforts o Took their own product off shelves and took their own measures to protect consumers o Developed new product protection methods, including tamper-proof packaging o Told consumers NOT to buy their product if the safety seal is broken o WELCOMED regulators, media, etc. to inspect their factories, products o Introduced “caplet” rather than just their powdery pills o Price Reductions: Invested over $100,000,000 in safety and new product development o Critics began to praise the company’s handling of the matter o 1983: “The Tylenol Bill” passed by Congress  made it a federal crime to tamper with consumer products o 1989: FDA established federal guidelines REQUIRING all manufacturers to make all such products tamper-proof o We never found out who ultimately was responsible for Tylenol murders  What did we learn? o The media are not your friends, but they are also not your enemy o Pro-active, in ADDITION to reactive works better than just defensive o Openness trumps secrecy every time! o “No one will trust what you know, until they know you care” o Compassion>Complacency o Proactive>Protection o People>Profits ▯ ▯ Crises  Crises: erratic, require considerable time and expense; often in the pubic eye and bring unwanted attention o “cause a disruption that physically affects a system as a whole and threatens its basic assumptions” (Pauchant and Mitroff) o Do not always happen, but sometimes are unavoidable o CRUCIAL ELEMENT: being prepared in case something does/does not happen o This is why PR and standby statement are important o People will get information: it is your job to soothe public and provide information  Information best when it comes from a credible source o gov.t officials, people directly involved in the incident; officially credited spokespeople  Not all information is created equal o People lie, exaggerate, complicate  Your information is to calm/soothe/inform panicked people! o In absence of actual info, people will make-up info to fill knowledge gap o Need for Orientation Theory: the less people know about a topic, and the more they are interested in finding out, the more influence the media have on their perception)  Panicked People o Have to get people to listen o Get them accurate information o Information that is accessible (medium matters) o Get it to them multiple times, in multiple ways o Communicate in a way that they understand  The Standby Statement: the ultimate “what-if” statement o Prepare it as if worst event is inevitable o Different levels of preparationworst case scenario, moderate issue, non/trivial event) o Always prepare for worst as it is easier to scale back and escalate! o Practice, practice, practice! o Be advised, someone will still screw up!  The Standby Statement should include: o What do we actually know about situation? o What’s the scope of the problem? o Who are the experts and what do they have to say? o What’s confirmed? o What do we anticipate will be the public’s reaction? o 10-20 point Q & A o Short (less than 40 words), succinct, common-speak answers o A spokesperson and her/his credentials o Key Messages:  What will be communicated?  How will it be communicated? (what medium[s])  And to whom will messages be communicated? ▯ Rumors  Rumors: specific proposition for belief, passed along from person to person, usually by word of mouth, without secure standards of evidence being present o arise from the uncertainty, absence of information and concrete information o challenging since they are hard to figure out where they originated o when the rumor is picked up by the media they are formalized and seen as accurate o as a rumor travels, it tends to grow shorter, more concise and more easily told o snowballing occurs when the rumor’s importance grows with each telling o common for company’s to dismiss rumors which is counterproductive-employee populations tend to be rumor incubators, especially when management withholds important information o ambiguity provokes anxiety, and anxiety prompts rumors  Two factors that influence a rumor are: o Its importance to the listener o Its ambiguity (less people know, the more powerful the rumor)  Best way to stop/diminish rumors: truth and openness The Laws of Rumor Spread o Successful rumors needle our anxieties and emotions o Rumors stick if they’re somewhat surprising, but still fit with our existing biases o Easily swayed people are more important than influential people in passing on rumor o Common folks > science o The more you hear a rumor, the more you’ll buy into it, even it it’s false o Sticky rumors are simple and concrete b/c they are easier to re-tell (complicated ideas not spreadable) o Rumors that last are difficult to disprove o If you can’t disprove it, rumor lives on o We are eager to believe bad things about people we envy (ex: celebrities) o Rumors are “zeitgeist”, once they’re on your mind, they’re hard to shake Quick Take-Aways About Rumors o Do not have to be true o Do not even have to be based on fact o Often companies do not respond to rumors  Why? Don’t want to provide validation of a rumor  Commenting on rumors can start other rumors  Not all rumors deserve a response  Rule of 45 Minutes, 6 hours, 3 days, and 2 weeks o First 45 minutes an organization have the maximum influence on the outcome of a story in the first few moments after the rumor arises o In the 6 hour rule, once a story is broadcast you can expect to have at least six hours of negative coverage o In 3 days, if you cannot control the story, expect at least two weeks of negative coverage o In 2 weeks, the news cycle includes weekly and bimonthly magazines, industry trade publications, and Sunday morning talk shows ▯ ▯ Image Restoration Theory  Bolstering: emphasizing good traits and/or beneficial past acts in an effort to offset damage from wrong act  Minimization: attempt to portray the wrongdoing as minor and unimportant  Differentiation: suggests that an offensive act should be distinguished from other similar but more offensive acts  Transcendence: attempts to place a misdeed as part of a larger context where more important values would pervade the situation  Attack One’s Accuser: attempt to reduce the accuser’s credibility, thus reducing the offensiveness and/or plausibility of the accusation (one of the worst things to do, not very effective)  Compensation: offers payment or restitution to the victim of the offensive act (sign nondisclosure agreement with them so that victim can’t talk about how much they were paid off or about incident in general)  Corrective Action: fixing the damage from the wrongful act and/or taking steps to assure the problem never occurs again  ***Mortification: is an apology, an expression of sorrow or regret for the offensive act (first thing company should do…any time you don’t do this you screwed up) ▯ ▯ Corporate Crisis  Corporate Crisis: an unexpected, non-routine event that creates uncertainty and threatens an organization’s legitimacy o usually occur as a result of negative publicity, which threaten the corporation’s image or reputation o best way to manage is through reliable, credible, and transparent communication, a corporation addresses stakeholders’ anxieties, manages its corporate image, and restores its reputation o you ARE your reputation to the public!  Priming: Media technique in which certain aspects of an issue are made more prominent and thus more influential in guiding people’s judgment of issues, people, and events o Ex: BP-oil spill; Clinton-Monica Lewinsky  Cognitive Misers: people do not pay attention to all the information available to them, but that which is most readily- available and easily accessed (media) ▯ Citibank Banking Crisis  2008  claimed losses due to: credit crunch, write-downs of bad investment (reducing the book value of an asset b/c it is overvalued), poor economy, lax regulatory oversight, and lack of risk management structure  During the early stages crisis was mild and reputational threat was mild  As the crisis unfolded the threat became moderate to severe when stakeholders began to see that the company had been engaging in risky activities  Over time evolved into the mortgage and mortgage-backed securities: in short, it got big and started to effect THOUSANDS of investors  Citi’s Collateral Debt Obligations began to plummet (assets, obligations, etc)  Citigroup early on claimed that the mortgage-related securities they held had an “extremely low probability of default”…TRANSLATION: Investors are not likely going to lose all the money  Citibank Occupation o Social Media Nightmare o Group of protestors from Occupy Wall Street movement entered a Citibank branch in NYC reportedly to close their accounts o 40 minutes later nearly two dozen were arrested o Story went viral and put on YouTube o Tweets indicated that Citibank had their customers arrested for closing their accounts ▯ ▯ Situational Crisis Communication Theory  Your main priority should be to create a strategy to help stakeholders cope with a crisis (adaptive information)  People look to find causes, or make attributions for different events especially those that are negative like a crisis  Key is understanding the crisis situation and the amount of reputational threat it possesses  Initial Crisis Responsibility: determine who’s to blame, if it’s you, own it immediately  Crisis History: has the company had past or similar experience with this crisis  Relational Reputation: how well a company is perceived to treat stakeholders  These factors allow managers to anticipate how stakeholders will perceive and react to the organization and to the crisis itself ▯ ▯ Volkswagen  Got caught for emission cheating: lied to regulators, consumers  Biggest car manufacturer in the world (now #2)  Despite what Volkswagen told regulators, the company’s cars were letting out 40 times more emission than was allowed by the U.S gov.t  Image Restoration Strategy: tried to apologize (mortification)  Type of fuel used: Diesel  CEO: Martin Winterkorn lost job  Had to pay back $7.2 billion  State with highest emission standards: California (most likely to impose their own penalties on Volkswagen)  488,000 VWs recalled  EPA regulators involved  Lessons Learned: o Sometimes you can do all the “post acocalypse” work right and still be wrong o When you lie, deceive, and mislead, you WILL get in trouble ▯ ▯ Dow Corning  Breast Implants Gone Wrong  Major Corporation: Silicone & Sealants  Market was solid at worst, soaring at best  Product found to be defective  Company probably (likely) should have known  Tried to evade or deny responsibility  Eventually took responsibility, but too late  Declared bankruptcy after $400,000 lawsuits  $2 billion fund to pay off people who were going to sue  $5000 a person  FDA undermined Corning’s credibility  Dow Corning’s Strategies: Image Restoration Theory o Denial  It didn’t happen, we didn’t do it o Evasion of Responsibility  It’s someone else’s fault, out of our control  It was an accident and not intentional  Reducing the Offensiveness of an Event: 6 Strategies o Bolstering: emphasizing good traits and/or beneficial past acts in an effort to offset damage from wrong act o Minimization: attempt to portray the wrongdoing as minor and unimportant o Differentiation: suggests that an offensive act should be distinguished from other similar but more offensive acts o Transcendence: attempts to place a misdeed as part of a larger context where more important values would pervade the situation o Attack One’s Accuser: attempt to reduce the accuser’s credibility, thus reducing the offensiveness and/or plausibility of the accusation o Compensation: offers payment or restitution to the victim  Corrective Action o Fixing the damage from the wrongful act and/or taking steps to assure the problem never occurs again  Mortification o An apology, an expression of sorrow or regret for an offensive act  Dow Corning: What happened? o Simple Denial o Reducing Offensiveness of event  Didn’t work: led to investigation of breast implants in general  Mariann Hopkins: $7.3 million o Minimization  Done poorly o Transcendence  “part of normal business operations”  reality: considered “travesty to millions of women” o Attack accuser  Total “mischaracterization of facts”  Criticized FDA o Mortification  Admitted to making errors  Expressed regret  NEVER said they were “sorry” o Corrective Action  Warn customers about dangers of massaging implants to reduce scar tissue  Stop making silicone breast implants  $4.75 billion settlements o Overall: Dow Corning NEVER the same again!!! ▯ ▯ Current Events  Donald debate against Megan Kelly  Oregon Occupation: FBI arrests trio at checkpoints outside remote refuge  Buckeyes sign 10-year-old Dacionna Ball  Mizzou Media Professor Melissa Click charged with siccing “muscle” on Reporter  Dog Wins Marathon  Maty Mauk, University of Missouri QB, suspended over video  Ted Cruise beat out Hillary Clinton for the GOP  Sweet Home Chicago: Chicago records 51 homicides in January, highest toll since 2000 (murders up 75%)  McDonald’s giving away books in Happy Meals ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

50 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Allison Fischer University of Alabama

"I signed up to be an Elite Notetaker with 2 of my sorority sisters this semester. We just posted our notes weekly and were each making over $600 per month. I LOVE StudySoup!"

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.