Crisis communication plan
Strategic communication management - 2259XADv14 November 3rd 2014 Hanneke Jadach - 2183709 & Yara Schets - 2180955 CoaC4E Anna Zhuravel
Introduction The assignment of Strategic Communication Management was to make a crisis communication plan for an organisation in the creative industries. A crisis is â€˜any situation that is threatening or could threaten to harm people or property, seriously interrupt business, damage reputation and/or negatively impact share value (Peters, 2012). By using the taught material and looking for resources and more information on the internet, we came up with a crisis communication plan for ID&T, an electronic music experience company.
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Table of content Discription and visualization of ID&T Issues analysis issue and crisis management relational model
crisis communications attachments
discription and visualization of id&t
ID&T is a pioneering electronic music experience company that is located in Amsterdam. ID&T stands for the three founders; Irfan van Ewijk, Duncan Stutterheim and Theo Lelie. ID&T started in 1992 with the event ‘The Final Exam’ in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. In the 90’s they were known for their harder music styles but nowadays they are famous with all kinds of music genres, all over the world. ID&T has the aim to spread joy, have fun and share ideas with the generation of tomorrow. Because of that, their vision is ‘Celebrate Life’. To complete all of this they still stay small in the base. There are twelve people in the company who are responsible for fifty events in the whole world. They use the help of other companies, which are their partners, which have a lot of responsibility. ID&T encourages people to become aware of who they are and what kind of impact they have in a social, spiritual and ecological way. They want to expand this awareness by their customers so they can inspire others to help ma-
king our world more joyful. ID&T embraces diversity and accept different people and cultures. They want that the customer experiences the overwhelming feeling of being united and let them realise how simple it is to spread that positive feeling to others. ID&T wants to be inspiring. ID&T does not only have music festivals like Mysteryland, Sensation, Welcome to the Future, Thunderdome, Don’t let daddy know, Tomorrowland, Amsterdam Music Festival and Dirty Dutch. But they also have a radio channel, a magazine and catering venues. To spread the word of ‘Celebrate Life’ they use Facebook, Twitter, posters, radio, their magazine, television spots and flyers. Mysteryland We have chosen for a specific festival of ID&T, Mysteryland. This is the longest running electronic music festival in the world, which offers a very broad creative program every year. For the visitor it is a whole discovery through music, arts, theatre and film.
An issue is an unsettles matter which is ready for decision. An condition or event, either internal or external to the organisation which, if it continues, will have significant effect of the functioning or performance of the organisation or on its future interests. (Jaques, 2007) While looking at issues that are important right now and comparing this to the festival market we saw three issues that were interesting: Environmental Pollution, Saturation of Festival Market and Drug use at festivals. These issues are explained, put in the Issue Life Cycle Model (Meng, 2009) and the issues are also put in the risk matrix. Environmental Pollution Environmental pollution is a big thing in the world right now. There have been made several documentaries and movies about environmental pollution. Global warming, noise pollution, water pollution and air pollution are all examples of the environment being polluted. This also happens at festivals. There are a lot of machines, trash, noise and people at festivals who make the festival polluted. When you are surrounded by a lot of trash and pollution, it is not good for the earth neither for your health. (Buizer, 2009) There are a lot of trashcans and cleaners at festival but still there is a lot of waste after the festival. People have to be informed what the causes of this behaviour will be because they will not stop automatically with throwing things on the floor. The thing the organisation can do is make fair trades with the customer. Some festivals, like Dreamville at Tomorrowland, are already doing smart things about the environment. Customers are paying a plastic cup for their drinks and after they finished the drink, they return their cup for coins. It is very important that other festivals will do this as well so there will be less waste of cups at the festival field. The noise at festivals is really big as well. Loudspeakers, fireworks and loud musical instruments
are one of the biggest causes of noise pollution. The noise is so loud that it is bad for your living and the environment is caused by the noise. Also the fireworks bring toxics into the air that can cause asthma and bronchitis by the visitors. (Impact of festivals on environment, 2013) This issue is between a current and crisis issue because the media coverage about it is still there. The government has some rules for festivals so make sure they are not too polluted for the environment. In the risk matrix environmental pollution is in the red zone. The probability is highly likely and the impact is moderate. Because there is already happened so much with environmental pollution, they are already taking some good consequences. Saturation of the Festival Market A Dutch research agency called Respons, said that there is a growth in the festival market again. In 2012 there was a stall in the growth but now itâ€™s back on the rise. In 2013 there were 774 festivals in the Netherlands, an increase of 9% relative to 2012. The number of festivals increased by 29% since 2005.
The only festivals that are counted by Monitor are the festivals with more than 3000 visitors in these four categories: music, visual arts and other arts, culture and theatre. The ‘dance festivals with entrance fee’ grew the most from 2012 to 2013 with 33%. The 774 festivals had 21.5 million visitors, this is 9.1% more compared to 2012. (Respons, 2014) Coen Simon, a writer in ‘de Correspondent’ said that not only the amount of festivals is the problem but also the abundance of festivals kills the festival itself. The visitor gets a feeling of boredom during the festival. The festivals starts to look like a wellness weekend, it is not about the celebration of a festivity, music and performance of an artist anymore but pure about keeping the ‘consumer’ busy with edgy programming. (Simon, 2014) The issue is in the emerging issue because it is still quite new. When the market will be really saturated, there will be no more choice for the customers. The media will interfere and may take the choice for the customer. In the risk matrix, the saturation of the festival market is in the yellow zone. The probability of the issue is high likely and the impact will be minor. This is because it will happen that the market is going to be saturated but the impact will not be really big because it will only be bad for the festival organisations instead of for the customer. Drug use at festivals The third issue is the drug use at festivals. More and more people are using drugs during a festival and organizations like the GGZ want that festivals where no action is taken against this use will be banned. Festival organizations, which do not intervene in drug use, may not be authorized for their upcoming events anymore. Drugs are bad for the health of people and provide many problems. (NOS, 2014) Of course drugs are prohibit at every festival but everyone knows that people still use them and that it is very easy to put your drugs in your sock or underwear and the security will never find them. So a better check at the entrance will not work. It is also possible that visitors take their pill when they are standing in the queue. But the consequence of doing this is that the pill is already worked out in the evening and that
the visitors will drink alcohol. This combination of drugs and alcohol is very dangerous (Charles Dorpmans, Novadic-Kentron, 2014). The only thing organizations can do is to give the visitors information about the consequences of drugs. Not everyone know these and this can be very dangerous. People will freak out when they go bad because of the drugs and don’t know what to do anymore. It is very important that festival visitors get the right information about drugs and that they know where the first aid is located. Last year people died because of high-dosed XTC but also this festival season a man died because he took too many drugs (Omroep Brabant, 2014). This year during Amsterdam Dance Event also two people died because of drugs. A man felt ill during a party at Club Lite and died at the street later the night. Also a 21-year-old Dutchman died in the hospital after Awakenings at the Westergasfabriek (ANP ,2014). Drugs like XTC of MDMA are cheap and because most festivals and the drinks over there are expensive, it is easy for people to decide to take a pill and only pay one bottle of water and refill it the rest of the day and evening. This is a current issue because the media coverage about is grows and the government and other organizations interfere with it. In the risk matrix this issue is located in the red zone. The probability is very likely and the impact is significant. This is because a lot of people may collide with this issue, especially when it becomes a crisis. The change that something will go wrong is very big because of the huge number of drug users at festivals. Chosen issue: drug use at festivals We choose the crisis that can occur after a person died because of drugs use at a festival. We have chosen this issue because in the risk matrix this issue is located in the red zone. If this issue will become a crisis, a lot of bad things can happen and the reaction of ID&T is really important.
We made a key arena analysis to identify the relevant stakeholders. In the attachment you can find the longlist. The table on the next page shows the 5 most important stakeholders, the degree of power and authority in the issue, what their interest is in the issue, the degree of activity and visibility in the issue and a short conclusion.
'WHAT IF' questions
What if someone will die at the festival because of drugs? What if there is a bad drug in circulation? What if a lot of people get sick because of drugs at the festival? What if police dogs catch a lot of drugs and visitors arenâ€™t aloud to come anymore at the festival? What if a drugs dealer is being caught at a festival?
Issue and crisis management relational model
For this crisis plan the relational model of crisis management is used. This is a continuous discipline based on clusters and nonlinear elements and it forms the basis of the present proposal for a relational model (Jaques, 2007) which can be found in the attachments. Crisis prevention and crisis preparedness are very important in the crisis process but of course also the post-crisis cluster is important. Here the company can prepare and manage future crises. The model comprises four major elements - Crisis Preparedness, Crisis Prevention, Crisis Incident Management and Post-Crisis Management â€“ each built around clusters of activities and processes. Crisis preparedness During the crisis preparedness it is important that ID&T plans the processes. It is important to make clear who is responsible for what so assign roles and responsibilities. A good manual with what to do during the crisis is also necessary. ID&T has to make one during this cluster. Also a training can help ID&T. During a crisis where drugs are involved it is important that everybody knows what to do and if it is necessary to do some first aid for example. Crisis prevention An early warning is very important. How more quickly ID&T can react to this crisis, how less damage there will be. As an organization it is necessary to know if your festival will attract people who will use drugs. If ID&T knows this, they can prepare themselves much better. It is also good to know what the priorities are and what the strategy and implementation will be when a crisis erupts. The emergency response is also impor-
tant. This includes for example the infrastructure. How can vehicles come to the festival as quick as possible? A effective emergency response can reduce the damage. Crisis incident management ID&T has to recognize the signs of an issue as quickly as possible. The activation of the process and an effective response are important. The strategy selection, message and implementation of ID&T are written in the next chapter. Post-crisis management In this chapter the recovery and business resumption are important. After a crisis, ID&T needs to move on as quickly as possible. During this chapter the impacts of ID&T emerge. Is there prosecution or litigations? What is the reputational damage and ID&T has to do some media research. The post-crisis issues can persist for years but for ID&T it is necessary that all the stakeholder will not remind this crisis anymore. The company has to look back at how they dealt during the crisis. What could they do better next time? The end of every crisis should be the beginning of the preparation step for the next one, and Penrose (2000, p. 156) argues that companies which do survive disasters are more prepared for future challenges. Debriefing the crisis team and evaluating the crisis plan immediately after the crisis can be the most important part of crisis management so ID&T really has to do this. The crisis communications are written in the next chapter, ID&T will use these during the four chapters which were just described.
Here we will give an advice on crisis communication in relation to the selected issue ‘drug use at festivals’. We used the ‘what if’ question: ‘What if someone will die at the festival because of drugs’? Below you can find the objectives, strategy, message, target audiences, communication means and social media. Objectives The first objectives during the crisis are keeping the visitors calm, inform them when necessary and make sure there is no panic. It is important that your visitors can see that you are prepared for such a crisis and that they see that you are acting correctly. This will make them calm and will give them a more secure feeling. But communication objectives are also very important. The objective that will be set as well is to limit the reputation damage of the company. When there is a crisis, your good reputation will decrease and it is really important to get the same reputation after the crisis. Visitors of the festival have to come again next year and without a good reputation they won’t do that. Another objective is building up your image. The image of the festival is decreased and you have to build up this image again after a crisis. Your target group has to trust you again and you have to make sure that your target group will be loyal to you again so they will come to your festival. Strategy There are a lot of different target groups, which you need to take into account. For every target group there is another strategy and message. You have to react differently to the visitors than to your suppliers for example.
The following target groups are determined: - Relatives of victims - Visitors - Employees / volunteers - Media - Government - Public opinion All of them are high involved. Of course the relatives of victims, visitors and the people who worked during the festival are higher involved because they were they when the crisis happened. The media, government and public opinion are external and all of the target groups had a negative experience. When someone died because of drugs there are definitely no supporters or sympathizers. After this, the right strategy has to be found. There are different primary strategies and secondary crisis response strategies. The primary strategies are: Deny crisis response strategy, diminish crisis response strategy and rebuild crisis response strategy. A secondary crisis response strategy is bolstering. (Coombs, 2006) The most important primary crisis response strategy will be to rebuild crisis response strategy. First of all there has to be an apology for what happened. The deepest sympathy to family and friends has to be shown. After this, there will be a compensation for the crisis. Something has to be done for the visitors so they will come next year even after this crisis. This can be more, free, information about drugs and the consequences.
Another good compensation can be that the visitors can always reach ID&T for questions about drugs. It is not necessary to use a secondary crisis response because the crisis does not need to be reminded by the people. Messages To make the core message short and to stick to the facts, these questions are asked: What happened, what are the consequences and dangerous, where did it happen, when did it happen and how long will the situation take? By answering these questions a short message is given and the organisation will just stick to the facts. The people that are involved are the visitors of the festival, the relatives of the victim, ID&T and their stakeholders. A person passed away at Mysteryland in the end of the evening of the festival. There will not be any consequences or dangerous for any other visitor. Visitors who have questions can come to a person who is available for these questions. The situation will take some more days to inform everybody what happened and to calm everybody down. For privacy reasons the identification of the victim and relatives can not be told. During the accident it is important to stay calm as organization but also to keep your visitors calm so there will be no panic. After this it is important that ID&T shows their condolence and all the stakeholders have to see that they are really sorry. It is also important that ID&T shows them that they are going to change the strictness of the zero-tolerance policy so that it won’t happen again. After this it is important to inform the relatives of the victim and to give the right facts. Also for the visitors who saw it happen there must be information available. And example of a message that can be told, using the CRA (Care, Responsibility, Action) principle is shown here: ‘First of all, our condolence to the victim and his/ her relatives and we are really sorry that this hap-
pened at our festival. We will do everything to make sure this will not happen again and we will find new solutions to improve the drug control at the entrance.’ The messengers are the CAO of ID&T, head of communication and the head of security because those are the closest to what happened. Communication means and social media Because this crisis will go out soon and there will be a lot questions really quickly it is important to use communication means which are really current and up-to-date so we can react as quickly as possible. We will use social media as Twitter and Facebook and we will send an e-mail to all the stakeholders with information in it and an invitation to the press conference which the director of ID&T will give. By using social media we are allowed to respond as quick as possible. Stakeholders can ask questions and it is a goal to give a quick and correct answer. Probably media will pick up the crisis quickly so it is necessary that the message they will send is positive so our image will not be damaged more. After this there will be a special e-mail address where people can send their questions and ID&T can answer them personally. Timing/means of communication/target audience mix Mysteryland 2015 will take place on the 22nd of August. Imagine that someone will die because of drugs at 20:00 that day. The matrix can be found on the next page. The matrix starts when the accident will happen and will end three days later. After these three days the crisis will be decreased. Because the victim is already dead, he or she isn’t placed in the matrix. Of course the relatives of the victim are placed in the matrix, they are very important.
timing / means of communications matrix
issue life cycle and risk matrix
long list - Organization
- Society - Politics (minister of health and environment) - Visitors (users and non-users) - Parents of visitors - Security - Experts and organizations like GGD/GGZ
- Rehab clinics - Scientists - Suppliers - First aid - Hospitals - Doctors - Celebrities
Issue and crisis management relational model
reflection press conference Reflection Press Conference Yara Schets Process Before we started the ‘crisis day’, I red the crisis situations. I knew already something about the RFID bracelets because in the Special Program Week, we did a research about ‘Big Data’, RFID is a topic of that. The type of crisis we were dealing with was a technological crisis. Humans made these bracelets and also somebody messed with the technology so the data of RFID bracelets were leaked. The roles in the spokesmen team were: CEO of Rockwerchter, head of communication Rockwerchter, CEO of Livenation, the issue manager, expert RFID and the CEO of Auxcis RFID. We choose these rolls because we taught it were the most important and involved people of the crisis. The CEO is the face of the festival, the head of communication knows a lot about crisis communication, livenation is the mother company of Rockwerchter, the issuemananger knows how to handle in crisis’s, the CEO of Auxcis RFID because the bracelet were made by them and the expert on RFID because they have a lot of information about the technology of RFID. The preparation in our team went really good. We divided the tasks and started working and researching RFID. While being spokesman I had the task to be the CEO of Auxcis RFID, this was a little harder because the journalist were blaming me because the bracelets came from our company. But I thought it went well because I answered the questions good and correctly like the question I got how many people that were wearing the bracelets. This was 40% of all the people and all those people were already informed by what happened. As a journalist I asked two questions that made the other spokes team think because they were giving different answers. They also answered my questions good and correctly. I think the press conference went pretty well. I learned a lot from the press conference because it looks more like a real life situation. A tip will maybe be to show how a real press conference will go (maybe on a film) in a class before. Content Together with the group, we prepared a lot of questions that could be expected. There were also some questions, which could be asked to me. I think it covered a lot of questions. At least it covered all the questions the journalist asked. Sometimes we had to give a longer answer then
we prepared because the journalist kept asking. The message we followed was CRA and we did not blame anyone. The strategy we followed was rebuild crisis response strategy, we said sorry and had our apologies for what happened. Both the message and strategy were taught in class. Together with the group we prepared more than 20 questions for the other group. Everyone got at least 1 question and the other questions you could ask if the other spokes team already answered the question. I had the questions if other people could be infected with Ebola as well if it was Ebola and if it is Ebola what they will do. They explained both answer already in their introduction. After they said it could be that he died of flu. So I asked the question: You said the person died of flu, how do you know that? They answered with that they do not know if he died of flu but that he had the symptoms of flu. Sometimes different persons gave different answers so it was a little confusing sometimes. But I was satisfied with this answer because now it was clear what they meant. Experience I learned more how a press conference would go in real life. Everything we learned we know did in a situation like the key message told in CRA. I will remember this better because of doing it. I learned that it is more difficult than you think because as a journalist you are trying to ask question to bring the spokesman out of control. To have the right answer as a spokesman needs a good preparation. Next time I would try to have even more difficult questions as a journalist so the spokes team really have to think. And as the spokes team I think we prepared really well but next time maybe we can bring a copy or something of the Terms and Conditions because we related to that a lot. Or just not relating to the Terms and Conditions that much anymore. The experience of this press conference will stay with me because I will remember it because of doing it. Reflection Press Conference Hanneke Jadach The case we had during Crisis Day was about the festival Rock Werchter and their RFID wristbands which got hacked.Parts of the data gained by the wristbands is published online and was visible for everybody. We had to give a press conference about this in two hours.
I already knew a lot about this subject. I went to a lot of festivals and also during Tomorrowland they used bracelets which you could connect with Facebook for example. The type of crisis is victim, because Rock Werchter is also damaged because of a fault of the company of the wristbands. But still, Rock Werchter is the organization which has to try to keep their reputation damage as low as possible. Part of the spokesmen team where the CAO of Rock Werchter, the issue manager, someone of Live Nation, someone of the communication and marketing department and someone of the organization of the RFID wristbands. We’ve chosen for these roles because in our opinion those people should have the most knowledge about the situation. The preparation went pretty well. Everyone knew something about the subject and we already thought about the questions which could be asked by the journalists. For example how this could happen, which information got hacked and what we will do next year. All the other Q&A are in the attachment. The key message was first to excuse that this happened and that we will do everything to make sure that this will not happen again. Also the key message can be found in the attachment. We used a diminish crisis response strategy. In our case it was important to say sorry to the victims but because it wasn’t completely our fault, justification is also necessary. I was part of the facility team. I had to make sure that there were enough chairs, glasses of water and we made a press-kit with information about Rock Werchter and the case for the journalists. I didn’t know what a press-kit was before, so I definitely learn something more. Good facilities during a press conference are important and will make it more professional. During the journalist role we prepared a lot of questions. For example: which measures have you taken before the festival? Did you have a crisis plan prepared for this crisis? Do you already have results of the research? Got the victim infected before or during the festival? We also had one girl who said that she had sex with the victim during the festival and she totally freaked out during the press conference because she thought that she was also infected now. The other group responded calm, this was good because you don’t want panic during a press conference.
Overall, the press conference was interesting and informative. In my opinion our group was well prepared and wanted to do everything perfect and it was good to see how a press conference works. It is good to know which people you need In a ‘spokesman team’ and you could really use your knowledge of the previous lessons. After a crisis you have to say sorry as a company and you have to try to keep the damage as low as possible. Also as a journalist it was important to think about the right questions to ask and to ask more questions if you don’t get the right answer. As a journalist you want to know as much as possible so it is very important to prepare yourself as a journalist pretty well. Key message In the key message we thought it was important to show first of all that we were very sorry for what happened and that we wanted to do everything to make sure that it will not happen again. We wanted that our visitors will trust us again and that they will come to Rock Werchter next year without feeling unsafe. Privacy is very important. Our key message was as follow: ‘We want to make an excuse to everybody who is affected by the accident. We take responsibility for the accident. We think privacy is a serious business. Right now, an investigation is going on to see what went wrong and to make sure that this won’t happen again. We will ensure that everybody can go to the festival again with safe feelings.’ Questions that were prepared as journalists: 1. What is the background of the victim? 2. Why didn’t you find the friends of the victim yet? 3. How big is the risk to be infected for other visitors? 4. How are the visitors informed? 5. What is the advice for other visitors? 6. If it is Ebola, what are you going to do? 7. Is there enough food and drinks for if visitors need to stay longer? 8. Did you already contact other organisations like world health? 9. Are the visitors in quarantine or are the spread over the country? 10. Can the visitors return to their own country?
Q&A Rockwerchter 1. How many people had access to the data? Not everyone has linked themselves to Facebook, this was only 40%. These people have been informed and we have given them the advice to change their password. The website went offline immediately and because of the quick response not a lot of people got access to the data. 2. Do you have any idea who can be the offender? No, we haven’t detected him or her yet. 3. What kind of information can be released? Only Facebook data. 4. Are things like bank details also released? No, only Facebook data because you couldn’t linked your bank account to the wristband. 5. How could this happen? The company of the wristbands had secured everything so we are still investing how this could happen. 6. There is a high risk by linking your data, why did people do this?
In the terms and conditions was written that there was a risk. 7. Was it responsible to use these wristbands while there was already a better version of them? Because we needed a lot of wristbands we couldn’t buy them one day before the festival and the wristbands we have used this time were also very good. 8. Will you use wristbands next year again? We are still doing research what the best thing is to do. If there will be no risk that this will happen again, we will use wristbands again (of course a better version) but if not, we will find a new solution. 9. Is there a compensation for the victims? We will see if this is possible but we can’t tell you anything about it now. 10. Is there an website/e-mail address or something where people can ask their questions? Yes, there is a help/guide line where people can ask questions to personnel with knowledge of the situation.
peer evaluation The cooperation went really well while working on the crisis communication plan. First of all we started with discussing which company would be suited to write the plan for. After we decided to make the plan for ID&T, we were thinking of issues that could be related to the festival industry. We did research at these different kinds of issues and finally we decided to choose the following issues: environmental pollution, the saturation of the festival market and drugs use at festivals. While researching these issues and placing them in the issue life cycle model and the risk matrix, we saw that drugs use at festivals had the highest impact and change to happen. Because of that we decided to go further with this issue. Together we came up with objectives, a mes-
sage, strategy, target audience, communication means and the time/ communication matrix. We used different scientific articles to underpin our thoughts. Next to these things, we also used the issue and crisis management relational model to show the best way for ID&T how to react on a crisis. Finally, we looked at the whole crisis communication plan and were satisfied with the end result. The next time we won’t do anything else because the cooperation went really well. We sat together some times, other times we were writing things at home and we also sat together with Anna to discuss what we could do better and what was already good.
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