Conflict Management: Dealing with Issues, Risks, and Crises

7 Nov

Chapter 10 Reading Notes COMM 2322





Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics

Strategic Conflict Management

  1. Strategic – for the purpose of achieving particular goals
  2. Management – planned, deliberate action
  3. Competition – striving for the same object, position, prize, as others
  4. Conflict – sharp disagreements or opposition resulting in a direct overt threat of attack from another entity.

Systems for Managing Conflict

  • Organizational – know the time, finances, and management commitment to combat the threat.
  • Situational – assess danger and effort required to fix it.

Matrix of Contingency Factors:

Internal Variables

  1. general corporate characteristics
  2. characteristics of public relations department
  3. top management characteristics
  4. internal threats
  5. personality of people
  6. relationship characteristics

External Variables

  1. external threats
  2. industry-specific environment
  3. general political/social environment
  4. external public characteristics
  5. issue under consideration

The Conflict Management Life Cycle

  1. Proactive Phase – thoughts and processes that can prevent conflict from arising.
  2. Strategic Phase – an issue that has become and emerging conflict is identified as needing concerted action by the public relations professional.
  3. Reactive Phase – point where public relations professional must react to the issue at hand as it unfolds.
  4. Recovery Phase – the aftermath of the crisis and the organization repairs its reputation in the eyes of key publics.

Crisis Management: accidents, terrorist attacks, disease pandemics, natural disasters

  • Need to communicate to the public first
  • Take the responsibility for solving the problem
  • Be honest and do not obscure the facts
  • Never say, “No Comment.” Looks as if there is something the organization is hiding
  • Be accessible
  • Communicate with key publics
  • Provide a constant flow of information. When information is withheld the cover up becomes the story.
  • Designate a single spokesperson

Three Foundations of Reputation

  1. Economic performance
  2. Social responsiveness
  3. The ability to deliver valuable outcomes to stakeholders
  • Using research to monitor the companies reputation
  • Returning to the proactive phase of conflict management to improve the organizational performance will ultimately improve the reputation.

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