When events go badly and the various audiences begin to scrutinize DoD actions and words, commanders will look to Public Affairs to determine the best way to communicate accurately and honestly. Help minimize this scrutiny and communicate as effectively as possible by understanding the most common mistakes made during this time.
Explore and avoid these nine common mistakes when handling a crisis:
Misreading the nature and scope of an event or issue. This can lead to confusion, wasted time and wrongful action.
Claiming a problem as yours when it's not. This can lead to overstepping and confusion among the ranks of who to follow and what actions to take.
A delay due to uncertainty of mind or fear. This often leads to audiences getting the perception you do not care, are unprepared or incompetent, confused or callous.
When information is so confused or opaque or the language is confusing or ambiguous that it becomes difficult to perceive or understand. This creates the perception of dishonesty and insensitivity.
The act of retaliating; return of like for like; reprisal. In most crisis situations, this only serves to intensify the surrounding emotion and tension.
To speak falsely or misleadingly; deliberately misstate or create an incorrect impression — to lie. Nothing replaces the truth.
To express opinions or judgments in a dogmatic way. This creates vulnerability for the unit by taking a high-handed approach without dealing with the actual issue.
Discord or a clash of opinions and ideas. This gives others a platform to stand on by keeping the issue alive and giving opponents more to respond to.
To contest or engage in legal proceedings. This almost guarantees unwanted visibility and could eliminate reasonable solutions.