Silence Makes Matter Worse

Tell the truth.

It has been “common sense” in the first reaction of a crisis among the crisis-hit people or crisis handlers. When dealing with a crisis, the first thing coming into mind is to tell the truth, and everyone likes to talk up it. But when it comes to the actual situation, people always fail to do so.

They used to choose keep silent or tend to get out of the issue. The fact is, the so-called “I want to keep private” is unrealistic. The silence or escape will arouse the interest of media and public and lead them to get to the bottom. Consequently, it will cause things worse. Bad news will spread more widely and become more serious.

Tiger’s sex scandal event is an example for it. He didn’t immediately make first reaction when the crisis happened, but froze his mouth. This makes the media and the public want more detail to satisfy their curiosity and catch the chance to well publicize and report the issue. His early negligence causes the crisis out of control.

The problem is common in today’s crisis management cases. A lot of people, especially those celebrities, in hot water keep silence to make stern denials only to go backward into confessions after more evidence are unearthed. This kind of behavior should absolutely be avoided in our effort to deal with a crisis.

In this case, although doing a good remedy afterward, why don’t we actively respond to the incidence from the beginning and not let it expand?

Therefore, when making reactions to a crisis, we should always keep in mind two factors, “Don’t delay” and “Do talk”.

Don’t delay. Make your initial statement at the first hour after a crisis breaks. Hold press conference or make exposure to tell people what happened. You can give an explanation to provide a sense of what led to the issue. Without going into every private detail, you should just give as much information that can let the public know what’s going on and satisfy their curiosity. People always want the truth. If you can tell them the facts at the firs hour before they make different assumptions, they would be more likely to forgive you and move on the incidence. Time control is very important in solving problems.

Do talk. You should open your mouth and speak out your own voice after the crisis breaks. You should actively offer the positive information and do effective communication with the public. Because the longer you don’t talk, the worse it looks for you, and the more you are silent, the more the media and the public are busily doing what they can to get the next scoop. In your silent period, lots of people may be talking about the story and any worse message may be reported. So not talking when a crisis happens is not smart.

In a crisis, it still is much better if bad news came from us rather than someone else. Before we take any measures, remember that there’s no back page on the internet.


3 responses to “Silence Makes Matter Worse

  1. I agree fully with the prospects of your this specific blog. Many times in a public relations scandel those who are the front face for the crisis don’t always step up and admit the truth right away. I believe they should not hide their face and should right away admit to there mistakes. One thing in which I would add is that in this situation the speaker should be very confident that they are making provisions to make things better, and specfically have answers for the press for how they will go about doing so. During such scandels as the Tiger Woods, and Martha Stewarts a few years back we have learned exactly what not to do in a crisis public relations scandel.

  2. I think that your to factors for a crisis are good ones. They make sense i feel that toyota is an example of the “Don’t delay” and “Do tell” factors. When the news broke about the breaks, I feel that toyota was on top of things with the recalls and everything. In Tigerwoods case I feel that he would have been better off just coming out about his mistakes. I also feel that Tigerwoods was a celebirty that young adults looked up to, but not anymore.

  3. Lauren Maddox

    I completely agree that the way Tiger Woods went about this situation was dead wrong. It took him months to come out and speak about the situation. During a crisis management situation Tiger Woods did the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do. Not talking about the incident made him look worse everyday. I did not understand why this situation was so serious with Tiger Woods and why the media cared so much. Tiger Woods is a muti million dollar image and alot of companies rely on him to sell their products. If he would have came out and spoke about the situation he could have not only mad hisself look better but also the multi million dollar companies that rely on him look better as well.

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