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

Jane Jordan-Meier
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 14 2011 1439853738 978-1439853733

From the Japanese tsunami and the Egyptian revolution to the Haitian earthquake and the Australian floods, social media has proven its power to unite, coalesce, support, champion, and save lives. Presenting cutting-edge media communication solutions,The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Managementexplains how to choose the appropriate language and media outlet to properly convey your message during and after a crisis.

Unveiling the secrets of how to manage the media in a crisis, the book examines how rapidly evolving social media and Web 2.0 technologies have changed the crisis management landscape. It illustrates the four distinct stages of media reporting during a crisis and details the information that must be provided. The author provides readers with a wealth of helpful tips and tools-including guidelines, checklists, and case studies that illustrate best practices in crisis media management. Divided into five sections, the book:

  • Examines how the kingdom of news has changed and considers the new hybrid model that is emerging
  • Identifies the four distinct stages in which both old and new media report a crisis
  • Addresses the use of spokespeople according to the four stages, as well as when to use the chief executive officer
  • Discusses media interviews, including how to handle news conferences, bloggers, and the importance of media training
  • Considers the communication aspects of crisis management-including how to harness the power of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Wikipedia, Flickr, and social media releases

The book's resource-rich appendices include a checklist for briefing a spokesperson, sample media release, a step-by-step flowchart for creating a crisis communication plan, and social media policy guidelines. Complete with a detailed guide on what tools to use and when to use them, this book provides the techniques and understanding required to communicate effectively and avoid any potential bad press and embarrassment that could result from information mismanagement.

Jane Jordan-Meier was interviewed about leadership in a crisis and the stages of a crisis in the wake of the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal. She also discusses crisis management planning in The Sydney Morning Herald and in Daily Ovation. She was interviewed in August 2011 by Globe and Mail.

Discover more about the book, including a video of the author explaining how to turn media questions into gold and visit smallbusinessadvocate.com for a series of recent interviews.

Jane Jordan-Meier appeared in a video interview with Crisis Manager Melissa Agnes on July 3, 2012.


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Review

"Jane Jordan-Meier’s insights into crisis communication are based on her experiences over many years at the coalface, guiding CEOs and organizations through the toughest of times. Her book is a must-read for any communication professional seeking an understanding of the power of social media and how the media report a crisis."
—Robyn Sefiani, Managing Director, Sefiani Communications Group, Australia

"… in the highly interactive and networked world we live in, all communication professionals need to understand how to effectively work with the media during and after crises. This book is an essential resource for doing so. Written by a highly experienced media relations consultant and savvy social media expert, this book provides practical, accessible advice and easy-to-use and apply tools and guides—all brought to life through real-world case studies."
—Michaela Hayes, Past President, San Francisco Chapter, International Association of Business Communicators

"As a full-time media and crisis trainer, I read about a dozen new books on public relations each year. Few produce the number of true "a ha" moments that Jane Jordan-Meier’s The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management did. ... the book is packed with hidden gems that even the most seasoned public relations professionals can learn from. ... it’s well worth the investment. I highly recommend it."
—Brad Phillips, Author, Mr. Media Training Blog

"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. … 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."
—Bob Selden, What To Do When You Become The Boss: How New Managers Become Successful Managers

"This book ticks all the boxes - it's well grounded in crisis communication theory, it's written with a clear understanding of adult learning, and it's incredibly practical and actionable, making it an easy book to get a lot of actionable stuff out of to help you be better prepared for your next crisis - before it comes. … I was impressed!"
—Public Affairs Manager, Pharmaceutical Industry

"This book is a must read for owners, officers, managers and key employees of any public or private business. Emergencies happen. Unplanned consequences of natural or man-made disasters can bring a business to its knees. I have been there. This book provides an outstanding, comprehensive plan that will keep you and your business focused on what is important during any emergency."
—Gloria E. Collins, Business Executive, California

"I use this excellent book in my course called 'Media in the Business World,' a course designed for graduate students who pursue careers as business leaders. In the course, the students study the rules of the media game as seen from three perspectives: the media professionals, the business world and the academia.

"With regards to the perspective of the business world, The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management is the most up-dated and substantiated book on the market. Some reasons:

  1. The author understands how the social media work and how important they are for information sharing. She keeps reminding the readers that the old rules of the game from the time of the "old media" are still valuable, but that companies need to consider social media just as important. She also describes the difference – the old media might set the agenda and are driven by concern for democracy, while the new media are fast and autonomous.
  2. The author has a background from professional journalism as well as a background from media training with companies. One of the values of the book is that it is based on an understanding of professional journalism. Here are no superficial suggestions on how to "spin", but quite the contrary with an emphasis on key concepts like trustworthy, transparent, timely, accessible, responsible, humility, respect, experience, passion; and lots of tools for business leaders who will not only survive but strive to become master players in the game. As an example the author writes about the investigative reporters asking critical questions: "questions are gifts, but not all are attractive. And they need to be grasped with both hands – in this case, with one’s mouth!" The message is that since you cannot change the rules of the game; play them to your advantage.
  3. The book contains many case studies, and these are of major crisis in the last 10 years – again updated information about the lessons that other companies learned the hard way.

"Having been a professional journalist and journalism teacher for 35 years myself, I appreciate that Jane Jordan-Meier explains the rules of the game to business people. To some extent, it makes life easier for journalists when all the players know the rules, even though it may also make it harder for journalists to get the "good story." However, if journalists’ feelings about media training might be mixed, my business students have everything to gain from reading the book."
—Kirsten Mogensen, Associate Professor, Roskilde University

"I would highly recommend reading the book and passing it on. It may well start the most important conversation your organization will have in 2012."
Chris Syme, Strategic Communications Expert, Principal of CKSyme.org in Bozeman, Montana

"The book addresses all aspects of planning for and managing the media in a crisis situation … [and] provides proven methods and tips for managing the information flow, including harnessing the power of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, and other social media releases. Jordan-Meier brings to bear her unique experience in media training and crisis communication principles. A worthwhile resource for anyone responsible for dealing with the media in a crisis situation. 4 stars."
—ASIS International

"One of the best and the most thorough books on crisis management in the digital age that I have ever read … a must-read."
—Crisis Manager Melissa Agnes

"Jordan-Meier brings to bear her unique experience in media training and crisis communication principles. The case studies help to illuminate the issues. This book reflects best thinking and current practices in crisis media management. It would be a worthwhile resource for anyone responsible for dealing with the media in a crisis situation."
—David P. Sayer, in Security Management

About the Author

A former journalist,Jane Jordan-Meierhas been at the forefront of media training for 15 years, developing unique and powerful methodologies in crisis media management. From her base in the United States, she works with corporations, government departments, and non-profit agencies in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. She is recognized as one of the world's top media and crisis management experts.

Throughout her career, Jane has worked at the highest level of strategic planning and communication, including the Australian bi-centennial celebrations and the Sydney Olympic Games. Her clients range from experienced CEOs of global corporations to those doing their first media interviews. She works with organizations in crisis as well as those wanting to raise their profile with positive media interviews. Many of her programs and training have won awards from her peers in the public relations and communication professions.

In the 1990s, recognizing the need for executives to be highly skilled in handling the media, Jane co-established Media Skills, a media training consultancy. With former journalist Susan Templeman, she created a suite of methods for developing and delivering strategic media messages. This led to the development of a unique approach to managing crisis communication. The methodology has been licensed and used by a network of trainers around the globe.

Jane is a frequent guest speaker on crisis communication and media management at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, and North America. A licensed and accredited media trainer and coach, she holds a master's degree in communication management. She has also taught communication, at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels in Australia's top communication schools, as well as several professional development courses in Australia, New Zealand, and North America.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth, well-told' and carefully managed Aug. 24 2011
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Decades ago, one of the co-founders of the firm we now know as Hill & Knowlton, John Hill, explained that public relations should be "truth, well-told." That has not always been the case but Hill's description remains valid. Jane Jordan-Meier obviously agrees. The subtitle of her book, "How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age," correctly suggests that when a crisis occurs, effective reputation management is imperative. Hence the importance of having a cohesive and comprehensive plan in place when a crisis occurs. Regrettably, many organizations do not have such a plan. That is why Jordan-Meier wrote this book: To provide in a single source just about everything executives needs to know about crisis media management.

The material is carefully organized within Five Sections, followed by (count `em) ten appendices that provide invaluable support material on subjects ranging from a "Guideline for Briefing Spokespeople" to advice about "Social Media Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risks." V provides a "Summary" section at the conclusion of each chapter. This material will facilitate, indeed accelerate frequent review of key points. I also appreciate Jordan-Meier focus on how to help her reader achieve these learn objectives

o What is a crisis, what triggers it, and what is its probable impact?
o What is the proper role of the media?
o What are the stages of a crisis situation and what must each accomplish? How?
o Who should - and should nit - be spokespersons? Why?
o By what criteria should the CEO's role be determined?
o How best to formulate and then manage policy guidelines?
o How best to prepare for a media interview?
o What are the most important do's and don'ts when being interviewed?
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to come out looking good from a crisis June 16 2011
By Robert Selden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"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 managers
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it BEFORE the crisis hits! - Practical and actionable May 29 2011
By Keen Bean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book ticks all the boxes - it's well grounded in crisis communication theory, it's written with a clear understanding of adult learning, and it's incredibly practical and actionable, making it an easy book to get a lot of actionable stuff out of to help you be better prepared for your next crisis - before it comes.

It would be a rare executive who didn't get something out of this book. As well as helping the reader map out what a crisis is and how it might progress, the book includes lots of practical advice on finding your path out the other side, with immediately actionable items as well as plenty of food for thought to shape how you might handle your "next" crisis. It also includes useful and "crisis focused" introductions to social media for those who aren't au fait with it or have been paying others to tweet for them (eg your CEO?), excellent interview-handling advice, advice on selecting and preparing spokespeople and so on. The bonus is that the writing style and layout contribute to an easy read, so you know you (or the person you pass it on to) can dip in and out and get a lot out of it without having to commit to wading through great swathes of text (which is harder to get around to when you're busy!).

As I've got my fair share of "crisis-scars", I read this book from the perspective of a crisis management professional looking for something that I could pass on to clients, CEOs and junior communication professionals as an overview of the topic. I was impressed! - having finished it, I bought a few more copies to pass on to others - that's as good as it gets.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in learning to deal w/media in a crisis Dec 13 2011
By cksyme - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Jane Jordan-Meier give us what I think is the best resource on understanding and dealing with the cycle of crises. There are a lot of books about media training and how to manage a crisis, but this one is an in-depth look at how the media operates in a crisis,and how to respond. Her company's "four stages of a crisis" are an excellent description of what to expect the media to do in each stage of a crisis and what you should be doing in each stage. Lots of good case studies. Only drawback is the social media section--there is already some information there that is out-dated, and some advice I don't particularly agree with, esp. the use of dark Facebook groups in a crisis. But overall, I think this is the best resource we have to date in dealing with the media in a crisis. She has the experience and the knowledge--I would recommend buying and devouring. It will be a good resource as you craft a crisis communications plan. The first real good resource that tackles the digital end of crisis communications intelligently and systematically.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Truth, well-told" and carefully managed Aug. 24 2011
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Decades ago, one of the co-founders of the firm we now know as Hill & Knowlton, John Hill, explained that public relations should be "truth, well-told." That has not always been the case but Hill's description remains valid. Jane Jordan-Meier obviously agrees. The subtitle of her book, "How to Manage the Media in the Digital Sage," correctly suggests that when a crisis occurs, effective reputation management is imperative. Hence the importance of having a cohesive and comprehensive plan in place when a crisis occurs. Regrettably, many organizations do not have such a plan. That is why Jordan-Meier wrote this book: To provide a single source just about everything a C-level executive needs to know about crisis media management.

The material is carefully organized within Five Sections, followed by (count `em) ten appendices that provide invaluable support material on subjects ranging from a "Guideline for Briefing Spokespeople" to advice about "Social Media Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risks." Jordan-Meier provides a "Summary" section at the conclusion of each chapter. This material will facilitate, indeed accelerate frequent review of key points. I also appreciate Jordan-Meier's focus on how to help her reader achieve these learning objectives:

o What is a crisis, what triggers it, and what is its probable impact?
o What is the proper role of the media?
o What are the stages of a crisis situation and what must each accomplish? How?
o Who should - and should nit - be spokespersons? Why?
o By what criteria should the CEO's role be determined?
o How best to formulate and then manage policy guidelines?
o How best to prepare for a media interview?
o What are the most important do's and don'ts when being interviewed?
o What are unique challenges - and opportunities - associated with different types of interviews?

In Section V: Communication - Rules and Tools, Jordan-Meier consolidates the most important information, insights, and advice; also, she includes some boilerplate material and specific recommendations concerning relations with social media.

In my opinion, the material that will be of greatest value to two groups: C-level executives who authorize and must approve a crisis media plan (or revisions thereof) and those who are charged with formulating such a plan and then updating it as needed. There is another book that I strongly recommend be read in combination with this one, if possible: Peter Meyers and Shann Nix's As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all private and public corporations and government agencies! April 21 2011
By Gloria E. Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for owners, officers, managers and key employees of any public or private business. Emergencies happen. Unplanned consequences of natural or man-made disasters can bring a business to its knees. I have been there. This book provides an outstanding, comprehensive plan that will keep you and your business focused on what is important during any emergency. You will be prepared and ready to face the media, your customers, your employees, the world, with the truth, in your own words.
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