Improvised or Planned Communication? Identifying the Determinants of Positive Effects in Crisis Situations
|Title:||Improvised or Planned Communication? Identifying the Determinants of Positive Effects in Crisis Situations|
Vol. 3, No 1, 2010
Published date: 20-05-2010 (print) / 20-05-2010 (online)
Journal of International Studies
ISSN: 2071-8330, eISSN: 2306-3483
|Keywords:||business cycle, crisis communications, reputation, economics, public relations|
The economic downturn will almost certainly increase the length, nature, and depth of crises to be faced by companies. These conditions open opportunities for crisis communication, but the literature still differs about how to plan for crises. This article suggests that public relations learn from business and economics in accepting a crisis as a normal stage, attempts to provide an empirical contribution to the general debate on planning, and sets a benchmark for future studies in the area in Poland. The author’s analysis of field research surveys partially confirm the view that existing universal crisis communication procedures can make an organization unnecessarily rigid and that the benefit of such procedures is limited. Therefore, the results challenge the predominant 1990s paradigm (and its contemporary supporters), with regard to planning reactions to a crisis situation. Its provisional conclusions suggest no statistically significant relation between the lack of a specific crisis plan and the outcome (in terms of either economic or reputational losses). However, there are two areas (finance and production), in which the positive aspects of a crisis are closely correlated with organizations which have experienced crises and acted without a communication plan.