The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age Review

The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age
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The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age Review"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. I particularly like Section II, Steps of a Crisis. Here the author shows how we can best manage through each of the stages, or in the case of the dreaded stage 3, how effective crisis planning and management can assist us to skip straight to stage 4. This section provides structure and context for the remainder of the book. For example, how selecting the most appropriate spokesperson and managing interviews effectively, can influence the public's perception of how the crisis is being managed. There's also an extensive appendix with sample forms, policies and resources.
The roles, and management of all the various forms of social media in a crisis, are also very thoroughly outlined.
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.
Reviewed by: Bob Selden, What To Do When You Become The Boss: How new managers become successful managersThe Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age Overview

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