Thursday, February 11, 2016

Do Journalists Make Good Crisis Communications Consultants?

Do Journalists Make Good Crisis Communications Consultants?

This is a valid question and apparently from the many journalists who have set-up crisis communication firms in Singapore, they think they do. I will not deny that journalists turned crisis communications consultants will have first-hand experience and knowledge about what reporters will find newsworthy and how reporters should be treated, I however have my doubts about their ability to effectively provide strategic counsel in a crisis situation.

I say this not to belittle their experience, but because I believe that crisis communications is not just about media management. Crisis communications is a complex multi-faceted capability where the consultant provides strategic counsel, as well as develops and implements strategies that cover: (a) business continuity; (b) defence against competitor predatory moves; (c) management of shareholders concerns; (d) restoration of employee morale; and (e) mitigation of possible regulatory actions. Just to name a few.

Thus, unless the former journalist has the necessary training and experience, the extent of their strategic counsel would be what to say or not to say to the media. While media management is important, it is only one part of the crisis management process. An organization’s failure to adopt a strategic approach, where all communication actions are acting in synergy, will likely result in a poor crisis response that could impact its financial viability.

It is therefore fair to say that some crisis communication consultants are journalists, but not all journalists are crisis communications consultants.

singapore journalists crisis communications consultant

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