Crises are occurring in organisations with increasing frequency and yet organisations have not learnt how to respond effectively during such situations. CEOs and spokespersons need to be vigilant in how they respond during a crisis situation to ensure that their organisationÕs reputation is not damaged. Despite guidelines being available on how to manage crises, companies do not seem to be responding effectively in their crisis communications.
A literature review was conducted to identify best practice. This was then used to compile an a priori framework against which practitioner perspectives were explored.
The study was qualitative and exploratory in nature and utilised rich, in-depth and semi-structured interviews held with 14 public relations practitioners and experts.
The principal findings of this study are organised into four main areas: the strategies that organisations need to follow to perform effective crisis communication; the organisational drivers that enable effective crisis communication; the organisational drivers that prevent effective crisis communication; and the behaviours that characterise effective crisis communication management.
The study has provided new insights into effective crisis communication, as the findings show that there are gaps or anomalies between recommendations in scholarly literature and practitioner recounts of practice. The study concludes by providing recommendations for future research and guidelines for practitioners.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.