You are a Public Relations consultant.  You have been contacted to provide advice to an organisation on how to manage a crisis they are currently facing from a PR perspective.  They have asked you to write a proposal outlining your recommended approach to this situation, including strategies and tactics for how to communicate with the organisation’s primary and secondary publics.  Your proposal will need to include secondary research on the background to this situation, the publics and any other relevant issues, along with your recommendations for primary research the organisation should conduct (eg. public sentiment), both prior to implementation and in evaluation of the strategy.
 
You may choose one of the following ‘clients’ for this proposal.
(Remember, these are hypothetical situations, but  topic1 has been suggested as you should be able to find an abundance of research sources to give you some idea,s given the similarity to recent a crisis faced by a  similar ‘real world’ organisation).

  1. A major Australian airline has been struggling financially, and as a consequence is seeking foreign investment to support the organisation into the future. The airline has struggled in recent years with a number of key stakeholders (including staff, unions and customers) due to decisions made to alleviate the firm’s financial position (including staff layoffs and overseas outsourcing).   The brand identity of the organisation is closely linked to their position as a majority Australian owned airline. What is your recommended communication strategy in this situation?

OR

  1. “Hypothetica” – a crisis of affecting an organisation of you choice.

If you choose option 2 you must receive approval for that topic no later than Week 5.
In outlining your recommended approach you need to consider the primary and secondary publics on which your strategies will be focused.  (Media/Employees/Community/Government/Consumers/International relations etc)
You will need to undertake secondary research to provide some background to the situation and justification for your proposed approach.  You also need to provide recommendations for primary research the organisation should undertake, both prior to implementation, and in evaluation of, your proposed strategy.
 
Some general advice for your assignment
 
Listed below is a basic structure you could use, with some general headings. (But please remember you can adjust this as you see fit)
 
All statements and recommendations made must have evidence or be justified in some way – ie. demonstrate your reasoning behind what you are saying.
 
No executive summary required in this case – this is just a proposal
 

  1. Introduction (brief overview of the organisation and the problem/issue faced )
  2. Background/situation analysis (including information on the communication environment and what may frame public opinion regarding the organisation/issue).
  3. The relevant publics – primary and secondary (identify all who may be affected, but focus primarily on the most important ones for this exercise
  4. Research recommended – you are doing research on the background issues and publics as well as the potential threats see (1 and 2), but recommended further research needs to be part of your plan as well (what other primary research would you suggest they do – ie. gauging public opinion, consumer sentiment, etc…)
  5. Proposed objectives
  6. Recommended approach and strategies
  7. Recommended tactics for implementation
  8. Recommended evaluation methods with justifications (including evaluation of tactics and measurement of objectives)

 
This is just a suggestion; REMEMBER this is not the only way to present this.
 
PLUS your one page print media release.
 

  • NB. * If you are really clever in this assignment you will make sure that you use one or more relevant theories presented in this course to inform and justify your approach, tactics, and evaluation methods at least.
  • Do NOT just copy what has been done previously by other companies in dealing with this problem. Although this information will help and may inform some of your plan, and be used as part of your justification for some of your recommended approach, if you just copy what has been done before, then: 1) it does not demonstrate any critical thinking, judgement and problem solving, or creativity of approach., and/ or 2) it could be just plain wrong in terms of the effective theories of communication and persuasion.
  • Remember the boundaries and responsibilities of PR in this – you are neither responsible for everything associated with this issue nor can you resolve those things which are the responsibility of other organisations (ie. legal accountability, role of government etc)

 
Use your own ideas backed up by theory and the literature (eg. articles, industry sources, other credible and authoritative sources, books, etc.), and your creative and critical thinking skills.
 

2002MKT Corporate Communications and Public Relations:  Crisis Management Plan and Media Communication
Name: Student Number:
Criteria Standards
Unsatisfactory Good Very Good Excellent
Quality of situational analysis and background research:
10
Demonstrates limited or no ability to identify, analyse and accurately present all the relevant issues and problems.
< 5
Demonstrates sound ability to identify, analyse and accurately present all the relevant issues and problems.
5 – 6.25
Demonstrates competence in identifying, analysing and accurately presenting all the relevant issues and problems.
6.5 – 8.25
Demonstrates excellence in identifying, analysing and accurately presenting all the relevant issues and problems.
8.5 – 10
Creativity of approach and justification of strategy:
10
Demonstrates limited or no ability to develop an approach or strategy in recognition of the complexities involved. Does not address problems or there is limited evidence of this.
Approach has limited or no creativity or originality. Little or no attempt at presenting reasons or justifications for strategy.
< 5
Demonstrates sound ability to develop an approach or strategy which recognises the issues and the complexities involved and the implications of these.  Good attempt at addressing some of the problems.
Approach is straightforward with some limited creativity and originality.
A good attempt at justification and reasons for strategy.
5 – 6.25
Demonstrates competence in developing an approach and strategy which clearly recognises the issues and the complexities involved and the implications of these.  Very good attempt at addressing and overcoming the major problems.
Approach demonstrates some creativity and some originality.
Well formulated justification and explanations for the strategy.
6.5 -8.25
Demonstrates excellence in developing an approach and strategy which clearly recognises the issues and the complexities involved and their implications. Outstanding attempt at addressing and overcoming major and significant problems and issues.
Approach displays clear innovation and originality.
Excellence demonstrated in justification and explanations for the strategy.
8.5 -10

Integration of media communication plan:
20
Little or no understanding or interpretation of issues or problems demonstrated.
Presents strategies for addressing problems and issues which are inadequate or very unclear, inconsistent or non-existent.
Demonstrates limited or no ability to present a coherent plan.
Demonstrates limited or no ability to integrate concepts from the course and apply to this case study crisis management context.
<10
Demonstrates a sound understanding and interpretation of issues and problems in the plan.
Presents strategies in the plan for addressing problems and issues which are adequate and coherent.
Demonstrates a sound ability to integrate the concepts from the course and apply these to this case study crisis management context.
The plan is generally well integrated and clear.
10-12
Demonstrates a very good and thorough understanding and interpretation of issues and problems in the plan.
Presents strategies in the plan for addressing problems and issues which are well formulated and coherent.
Demonstrates a very good ability to clearly integrate the concepts from the course and apply these effectively to this case study crisis management context.
The plan is well integrated, consistent, and demonstrates a thorough understanding of relevant concepts and their application.
13 -16
Demonstrates outstanding levels of understanding and interpretation of the most important issues and problems for this case in formulation of the plan.
Demonstration of exemplary skill in developing and formulating highly innovative strategies for addressing the issues and problems.
Demonstrates excellence in integrating the concepts from this course and other key sources of information, and applying these effectively to this case study crisis management context.
Demonstrates highly insightful ability to integrate ideas/concepts/principles, and the plan is extremely well integrated and consistent.
17-20
Quality of media release:
5
Demonstrates limited or no ability to identify or address the issues or the relevant publics in the media release.
Quality of language and presentation is poor or very poor.
< 2.5
Demonstrates sound ability to identify and address the key issues, and relevant publics in the media release.
Quality of language and presentation is generally good.
2.5 – 3
Demonstrates competence in identifying and effectively addressing the key issues, and the key publics in the media release.
Quality of language and presentation is generally very good.
3.25 – 4
Demonstrates excellence in identifying and effectively addressing the key issues, and the key publics in the media release.
Quality of language and presentation is excellent.
4.25 – 5
Overall presentation and clarity of report:
5
Lacks structure and clarity.  Presentation is at a poor standard.  Many errors in spelling and/or grammar.
Referencing is poor or non-existent.
< 2.5
Demonstrates generally good structure and clarity.  Some errors in spelling and/or grammar but the flow of the report is reasonably good.
Reasonable attempt at referencing but not always consistent or correct.
2.5 – 3
Well structured and clear presentation throughout.  Very few errors in spelling and/or grammar.
Referencing is mostly consistent and correct.
3.25 – 4
Quality of presentation is at an extremely and consistently high standard.  No errors in spelling and/or grammar.
Referencing is consistent and correct.
4.25 – 5

 

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