March 1, 2022 by Smith & Harroff
By Walter HillPrincipal of WH Hill Communications LLC and Senior Consultant with Smith & Harroff Those experienced in crisis communications know that you can’t just relay facts in a crisis and expect to win over an audience. And frustrating as it may be, sometimes you have facts backed up by even the most rigorous science
A real crisis introduces stresses few can fully anticipate. You may do some things well. And other things not as well. If nothing else, you can anticipate and learn from the things those in the crosshairs have done well.
Jack Webb, the no-nonsense cop on TV’s long-running show Dragnet, created the character Joe Friday and memorable lines such as “Just the facts ma’am.” Joe Friday wasn’t interested in opinion or conjecture; he needed the facts to solve the crime. When and how a communicator uses information – data, research, statistics, etc. – is not simple.
“Small is Beautiful” became a catch-phrase for environmentalists in the 1970s, made popular by the influential book Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered, written by E.F. Schumacher. When it comes to effective communications in 2021 and beyond, I think “short is beautiful” is a must technique for communicators.