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Volume 29, Issue 2

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20 Rules for Effective Communication in a Crisis

Written by  JT Kostman, Ph.D. Thursday, 22 November 2007 01:29

There is no magic or mystery to effective communication in a crisis; yet anytime you turn on the news, you will invariably find someone who is making a mess of it. In working with organizations of every size and in nearly every sector, I have found that by following a few simple rules when communicating with your internal and external audiences you can keep your company from becoming the next crisis casualty. Rule 1. Tell the Truth The single most important communication rule for surviving a crisis is often the most difficult to follow. After a major mishap our natural tendency is to try to cover up or defend what happened. It is simply unnatural when you have fallen on a banana peel to shout out, “Hey everyone, I fell down!” Providing accurate information and getting it out early, however, will allow you to control the flow of information and start the


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