Crisis Communication Strategies – Part Two

In an interpersonal crisis the process to assign the responsibility is more or less controlled. The partner could be invested with more responsibility than he has which favorites a negative image on him. The idea suggests the necessity to identify and assign the responsibility in a reasonable manner.

W.T. Coombs model is founded on the concept of response to the crisis, having as main goal changing other one’s way of perceiving the crisis situation and the person’s involved position. The key to solve an interpersonal crisis is an optimal communication.

Some of the actions and messages addressed to the communication partner, after the crisis have launched, can be found in the first model presented, here I present the ones specific to Coombs’s vision:

Denial strategy – is centered on showing that the crisis or the connection between the person and the crisis are not real.

Distance strategy – represents a step forward in solving the problem admitting only the existence of the crisis but not the connection person-crisis to protect the person’s image.

Ingratiation strategy – is used by the person to get other one’s sympathy or approval on the basis of past valorized personal actions.

Humiliation strategy – can be applied to gain the partner’s forgiveness.

Suffering strategy – denote the idea that the person is ready to assume the inevitable distress produced by the crisis and to make the communication partner to understand that he was a victim of a hostile context.

My exposition’s reason was not only an informative one on the existence of these crisis communication strategies but also a warning one regarding the importance of being prepared to deal with a crisis. To be ready to solve a crisis means to be aware of the multiples existent strategies and to always have in mind at least a sketch of a plan to communicate in a crisis situation.

As I was saying at the beginning of the previous article these strategies are well-known in the public relation area but they can be considered functional in the interpersonal communication and general human relation area too.- Psychologist, Nicoleta Cramaruc