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Volume 27, Issue 3

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'Can-and-String' in a Crisis

Written by  LISA A. SMALLWOOD, MBCP, MBCI December 28, 2009

How many of us remember playing telephone as a child? The first child whispered a message to the next child and so on down the line of children. The message delivered at the end of the line turns out totally different from the original message sent. How clear are the crisis communication channels you plan to use? Would your crisis communications suffer the same fate as the children’s telephone game or is it delivered in a can-and-string delivery format? Think about your crisis communications action plan, if there is one. Recently I witnessed communication that seemed to travel the children’s telephone game and sent via can-and-string format. The crisis event prompting these actions was the H1N1 response at a global corporation. I thought what happened there in terms of the communication to the external stakeholders (i.e. customers, media, stock holders) went fairly well, but the same could not be said


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