Thursday, February 16, 2017

Crisis Communications: NParks Tembusu Tree Incident

[Crisis Communications] Tembusu Tree Incident
 
To allay public fears over the safety of large trees in Singapore, and to diffuse their responsibility for the recent incident, NParks issued a statement that trees in Singapore were inspected based on "international standards".
 
This is a standard approach used by most organizations and, in most instances, it would work. For NParks, it didn't and there were flamed by netizens. The use of "international standards" works for others as the average citizen will know of and accept that there are international standards for things like rail safety, food safety, etc. However, not many average citizens know of the existence of an international standards for tree inspection. They therefore reacted with skepticism and saw it as PR Speak.
 
Personally, our first reaction when I saw it on the news was to ask if there is even such a thing as an international standard for tree inspection.
 
Learning Point: While we can and should adapt best practices to manage a crisis, we must however contextualize it to our own situation.
 
nparks statement tembusu international standards

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