Crisis Management Case Study Australia

There is a growing awareness worldwide of the significance of social media to communication in times of both natural and human-created disasters and crises. While the media have long been used as a means of broadcasting messages to communities in times of crisis – bushfires, floods, earthquakes etc. – the significance of social media in enabling many-to-many communication through ubiquitous networked computing and mobile media devices is becoming increasingly important in the fields of disaster and emergency management.

This paper undertakes an analysis of the uses made of social media during two recent natural disasters: the January 2011 floods in Brisbane and South-East Queensland in Australia, and the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is part of a wider project being undertaken by a research team based at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, that is working with the Queensland Department of Community Safety (DCS) and the EIDOS Institute, and funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through its Linkages program. The project combines large-scale, quantitative social media tracking and analysis techniques with qualitative cultural analysis of communication efforts by citizens and officials, to enable both emergency management authorities and news media organisations to develop, implement, and evaluate new social media strategies for emergency communication.

Putting the heart into crisis communication

Author: Michelle Palmer - Manager Corporate Communications, Powerlink Queensland

Abstract: how to put 'heart' into your crisis response strategy - Queensland flood and cyclone emergency response system case study.

Putting the heart in crisis communiation

Author: Michelle Palmer, Manager Corporate Communications, Powerlink Queensland
Published: Written for the PRIA blog and published 11th January 2012
Abstract: How connecting with key stakeholders such as community leaders, emergency services and media outlets – those who are at the front line, championing their community’s recovery - is a key element of any crisis communication plan. It is vital to really listen and understand how your organisation can make the most relevant difference to their plight, to make operational decisions based on what you are being told and ensure that stakeholders understand how their input has informed your actions.

Why isn't the answer to my crisis in the text book?

Author: Martin Palin, Palin Communications
Published: On the Palin Communications blog, 2010
Abstract: Ok, hands up all those senior public affairs professionals out there that have a huge issues management manual unopened and collecting dust on some forgotten shelf in a disused office? Yep you know who you are. But in some ways that huge manual that predicts every conceivable scenario and specifies a text bookdriven response to them is never really quite enough.

When they do it anyway: Reputation Recovery and Relationship Re‐building

Author: Brodie Paparella is a part‐time student currently in third year study toward UniSA’s Bachelor of Public Relations degree. He has worked as a publicist for several theatre companies, running programs during two consecutive Adelaide Fringe Festivals.
Published: Written for PRIA's National Update June 'Issues and Risk Management'
Abstract: We’ve all been in a position when management pull rank on public relations in order to implement a decision the practitioner has advised would be detrimental to the brand’s reputation. Seldom do management realise that the PR role is there to represent the public and its needs, so in deciding to silence public relations, they have in part decided to dismiss the public.

Managing client expectations

Author: Michelle Badato, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator, Servcorp
Published: Written for PRIA's National Update June 'Issues and Risk Management'
Abstract: Once you shake hands with a client, the journey begins. For every request, it is very important to manage their expectations from the very beginning. You could discuss the project and begin the work, however the problem occurs when people hear and interpret the same message differently. To protect your client and yourself, it is essential to remember key points

Issue management – arguing your case in the court of public opinion.

Author: John Le Cras, General Manager Communications, HBF Health Limited
Published: Written for PRIA's National Update June 2011 'Issues and Risk Management'
Abstract: John Le Cras was Director of News and Current Affairs for Channel Seven Perth running Seven News and Today Tonight when he decided to have a change of life and made a leap to the “PR dark‐side”. Mmmm, issue management is all about drinking beer with reporters isn’t it? Nearly ten years later the pain has eased and he can explain the lessons learned…

Crisis management - notes from the front line

Author: Sophie Khouchaba MPRIA, Senior Communication Coordinator, Liverpool City Council
Published: Written for PRIA's National Update February 2011 'Crisis Communication'
Abstract: It was the phone call I'll never forget. “Come quick” they told me, “our building got burnt.” 15 August 2010 at 7.30am, I was woken to the news that my workplace, Liverpool City Council had been torched and completely burned. There was nothing left.

The role of online and social media in natural disasters

Author: David Micallef MPRIA, Head of Digital, Fenton Communications
Published: Written for PRIA's National Update February 2011 'Crisis Communication'
Abstract: As the cleanup continues from the tragic floods in Queensland, it is appropriate to think about the role that social media increasingly plays in both the immediate response to a disaster, and the long-term recovery.

Will your spokesperson pass the nanosecond test in a crisis?

Author: Jane Jordan-Meier,  Principal of Jane Jordan & Associates
Published: Written for PRIA's National Update February 2011 'Crisis Communication'
Abstract: The choice of spokespeople in a crisis is critical. How they communicate can be a break it or make it moment - for them, for the organisation, for the brand.

Building transformative change into crisis management

Author: Amisha Mehta MPRIA, Public Relations Area Coordinator, Queensland University of Technology
Published: Written for PRIA's National Update February 2011 'Crisis Communication'
Abstract: Uncertainty, surprise, and disruption are common features in business and society, yet most organisations and disciplines are engineered to promote stability and certainty (Ramo, 2009). In crisis communication, much of our training, and indeed academic research, is based on a short-term restoration dynamic. That is, a crisis such as a product recall occurs and an organisation responds with operational and communication decisions to restore reputation and preserve the status quo. Yet, from recent and historical experiences, not all crises fit neatly into this restoration process.

James Hardie - the toughest gig in town

Author: Sean O'Sullivan, Vice President Investor and Media Relations, James Hardie
Published: Presentation given at PRIA National Conference 2010
Abstract: A case study into the severe challenges James Hardie has faced and their journey to date. 

The 7 most common mistakes made by PR professionals in stressful situations and how to avoid them

Author: Paul Ritchie, Senior Public Affairs Manager, NSW Business Chamber
Published: Presentation given to PRIA National Conference 2010
Abstract: Paul discusses the seven most common mistakes made by PR professionals in stressful situations and provides solutions and tips on how to avoid making them.

Next frontier PR

Author: Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director, Virgin Galactic
Published: Presentation given at PRIA National Conference 2010
Abstract: The case study into Virgin Galactic developing a space travel program for the public and the challenges involved.

How to manage a crisis in the digital age

Author: Jane Jordan-Meier, Jane Jordan & Associates
Published: Presentation given at PRIA National Conference 2010
Abstract: Examining four highly effective stages of managing a crisis in the digital age.

Keeping mining strong: an Australian mining campaign

Author: Ben Mitchell, Director Public Affairs, Minerals Council of Australia
Published: Presented for PRIA National Conference 2010
Abstract: A case study on the public relations campaign around the proposed Super Mining Tax in Australia.

Social media - a new risk headache for BP

Author: James Griffin, Partner SR7, Social Media Monitoring and Advisory
Published: July 2010 for PRIA National Update 'Monitoring Social Media'
Abstract: Risk is now centre stage in every corporate boardroom thanks to the global financial crisis. However BP's experience with the devastating oil spill in the United States brings into sharper focus the need to effectively manage brand and reputation, especially in the dynamic sphere of social media.

Rain and floods after the long drought - how do you tell them that rain hasn’t fixed it all?

Author: Judith Bleechmore MPRIA, Coorong, Lower Lakes & Murray Mouth Program - Communications and Community Engagement Team, Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Published: October 2010 for PRIA National Update 'The Environment'
Abstract: South Australia’s Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLMM) has experienced severe drought for several years. Locals watched as vast lakes reduced to ponds, rare and endangered species were placed at risk, the Ngarrindjeri culture was shaken, and local industries disappeared. A range of emergency response measures were put in place to manage water levels, preserve endangered fish species, manage salinity and acid sulphate soils, and reduce the economic and social impact on local communities.

Masterfoods Australia New Zealand Mars and Snickers extortion threat

Author: Socom

Published: 2005
Abstract: Socom assisted MasterFoods Australia New Zealand with their crisis planning during a recall of all Mars® and Snickers® products from sale in New South Wales following the receipt of threatening letters from an extortionist.

Strategically Communicating Corporate Realities

Author: Jason Laird, Executive Director - Corporate Affairs, Holden
Published: PRIA National Conference, October 2009
Abstract:This presentation focused on Holden's work at strategically communicating corporate realities.

The Vegemite Experience

Author: Simon Talnot
Published: PRIA National Conference October 2009
Abstract: After identifying four key business challenges, this presentation discusses risk taking within the New Kraft and their social media journey.

The Perfect Storm

Author: Jacqui Molenson
Published: PRIA National Conference October 2009
Abstract: This presentation looks at Maritime Safety Queensland’s communication response to the Pacific Adventurer oil spill.

Emerging from the Black Communication in the Post Bushfire Environment

Author: Anne Leadbeater, Manager, Community Engagement
Published: PRIA National Conference 2009
Abstract: This case study focuses on communication after the Black Saturday (7 February 2009) bushfires.

Conventional and New Media: Chinese Melamine Crisis + A Bit of Swine Flu!

Author: Lydia Buchtmann, Communication Manager, Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Published: PRIA National Conference 2009
Abstract: The role that conventional and new media played in the Chinese melamine and swine flu crises.

Recovery Communication

Author: Tracey Jones FPRIA, Director, Creative Territory
Published: Unknown
Abstract: There are probably 40 textbooks in my office devoted to public relations, media or communication - every one of which includes a section on crisis communications. It seems to be one of the fastest growing areas in media and communication management, and there are plenty of experts out there to help out when disaster strikes. But the recovery stage of a crisis, disaster or emergency can be harder than managing the emergency itself.

Issues and Crisis Management: Theory and Trends

Author: Sarah Brisbane, Director, Public Relations Partners
Published: July 2002
Abstract: This was presented for PRIA NSW.

Crisis Communication - Douglas Wood

Author: Neil Smail FPRIA
Published: Unknown
Abstract: In April 2005, Australian engineer Douglas Wood was kidnapped in Baghdad. His captors demanded withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq or he would be killed. In Australia, his family was besieged by reporters and decided to make its own publicity efforts to support Australian officials who were seeking to negotiate Douglas' release. National Capital Communications Pty Ltd was invited to assist the family. A two-part campaign evolved. In Iraq it presented Douglas as an ordinary human who should be released as his incarceration would achieve nothing. In Australia it was to present a similar image of Douglas, highlight his family support and manage relationships with the media.

Coping with Communication Crises

Author: Anna Pappalardo MPRIA
Published: 5 November 2008
Abstract: This study examines the views of some of Australia's senior communicators on how to cope with the stress caused by communication crises. It explores how they coped with the stressors they encountered in their professional life and asks what impact this may have in the long term.

Results indicate that while good preparation and years of experience are critical, those who work in crisis communications have trained themselves to detach emotionally from unpleasant situations. The way they cope is to focus on tried and tested systematic action plans on what to do and when, rather than react to what they see. The views of a Professor of Psychology were also sought to provide balance to the report.

Essential Tips on Risk / Issues Management

Author:  Sue Repanellis MPRIA - Executive Manager Commercial Insurance, Corporate Affairs, Suncorp
Published: February 2009
Abstract: While there are many models of issues management, most contend that the process comprises between five and 10 steps (here we have seven) that fall into three major categories: (1) issue identification and analysis, (2) strategic decision-making and action, and (3) evaluation.

Engaging the Media in a Crisis

Author: Geoffrey Stackhouse MPRIA, Clarity Business Solutions
Published: February 2009
Abstract: When a crisis happens the media will be there reporting it. In a crisis, your overriding communication challenge is to demonstrate you are the best source of information. Treating the media as the enemy or trying to block them, won't stop them reporting, it will just make them hostile. Share market analysis shows organisations which communicate effectively are best placed to weather the storm, and some simple rules will help.

Engaging Radicals

Author: Lloyd Grosse MPRIA
Published: April 2009
Abstract: The most valuable recognisance you can have for your organisation is to listen to the hardest and sharpest criticism. Therefore, the ratbag radical activist who has been blocked from your phone system can actually be seen as one of your greatest resources. Take it from a former and sometimes still ratbag radical.

Social Media Fills Bushfire Crisis Vacuum

Author:  Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker
Published: 1 May 2009
Abstract: It was 8.11 am on the 16th February 1983. The smell was unbearable, the stench of death everywhere.

Risk Communication - How Swine Flu is Shining a Spotlight on Technology

Author: Jenni Beattie
Published: 1 May 2009
Abstract: Risk and crisis communication relies primarily on accurate and importantly timely information. This week Swine Flu dominated the news and highlighted how our kitbag as communicators has changed rapidly.

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