The Spokesperson of your Crisis Management Team

Crisis Management (Contingency Planning)
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Priyanka Buwe
Manager, India

The Spokesperson of your Crisis Management Team

The spokesperson plays a major role in the time of crisis; they are the face of the organization and represent it as a whole in front of any/every third party. This person should have a role of significant importance with the organization and have a track record of integrity. Their most important quality, I feel, would be the ability to take accountability and ownership of the crisis situation.


Michael Norris
Director, United States

The Most Important Qualities of a Crisis Spokesperson

Hello Priyanka Buwe and thank you for your contribution to our Forum.
I agree with much of what you say. A spokesperson for an organization should be someone in the know regarding the administration and operations of the company. And yes, they should have integrity, and I think that is the most important quality that they should have. The ability to take on accountability and ownership of any crisis is not always the correct path to take in disaster/crisis communications.
I will agree that in many intrinsically induced crises, that ownership should be taken, but only after an honest and transparent investigation takes place to determine fault. For example NASA took ownership of the Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia disasters especially after independent review boards listed the findings of the accidents.
Taking on accountability and ownership of an extrinsically caused disaster makes little sense unless those affected played a part in the crisis or disaster to set the organization or community for failure, or to make things worse. For example, take the Sunset Limited Train Derailment in Hyder, AZ in October of 1995 that killed 47 and wounded 100+. The tracks were found to be sabotaged in an isolated area of the desert. Certainly, it would have been dishonest and foolish for Amtrak to take ownership of the accident. However, it was important for the company, in cooperation with the FBI, to be open as to the progression of the rescue efforts and the care being given to the injured.

Michael Norris
Director, United States

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