Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 9 No. 4                                                                                     April 2017

In This Issue
Featured Video
Blog Highlights
The Leadership Challenge
Consulting Transitions
Featured Article
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner
Join My Mailing List
Featured Video
Managing Legal & Reputation Risk: A View from the Field
Managing Legal & Reputation Risk: A View from the Field

This is a brief interview based on a 2011 study by the communications agency Weber Shandwick entitled Managing Legal and Reputational Risk: A View from the Field. The interview touches on the relationship between lawyers and communicators, the use of social media, and creating a culture of preparedness. The short executive summary is readily available and definitely worth reading.
Blog Highlights

Canton blog masthead
Visit My Blog

The following are excerpts from my blog
Canton on Emergency Management. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.  

Catastrophic events are commemorated all across the United States each year. But do these events just remember the past or is there something deeper taking place?

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If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.
EM Blog Masthead

Visit My Blog

The following are excerpts from my blog, Managing Crisis, published by Emergency Management Magazine. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.

When a crisis is imminent, the pre-disaster homeless are often neglected.

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If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.
The Leadership Challenge
Free Webinar
Leadership Makes a Difference


The fundamental lesson from over 30 years of research into Personal-Best Leadership Experiences is that exemplary leaders mobilize others to want to make extraordinary things happen in organizations.

Register for our upcoming webinar to hear Jim Kouzes, best-selling co-author of The Leadership Challenge, as he presents the latest data on The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® and the latest research from the upcoming book, The Leadership Challenge, 6th edition.

  • Leadership's critical role in organizational health and individual performance
  • Practical steps for organizations to take in developing leaders at all levels
  • The latest data and research presented in the upcoming book, The Leadership Challenge, 6th edition
May 18, 2017,  1 PM EDT

What Is The Leadership Challenge?
To find out more about the  Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership , consider taking  The Leadership Challenge . Just click on the icon below for more information:
Click here to take The Leadership Challenge

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
by James M. Kouzes 

The Leadership Challenge is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Consulting Transitions
Free Resource Guide for Solo Consultants

For solo consultants, true wealth is discretionary time. Don't waste yours on simple tasks that can be handled by technology. This free resource guide reveals the four essential online tools I use to manage my solo consulting practice and save hours of valuable time. And the best part is - they're free!

Interested in exploring the world of consulting? My new membership site might be just the resource you need to get started. You'll have access to blogs designed to answer very specific questions, a resource library of templates and articles, the opportunity to network with peers, and discounts on coaching and training programs. Download the free guide or click on the logo above to go straight to the site.

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Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the April edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

One of the stories creating considerable buzz on the Internet is the United Airlines incident in Chicago where a passenger refused to give up his seat and was forcibly removed by the Chicago Airport Police. The result has been a public relations disaster for United, resulting in over a billion dollar drop in stock prices.

The incident, which will surely take its place in history as a classic case study, reminded of how ill-equipped many of us are for dealing with a risk to the reputation of our organizations. This month's issue is focused on this problem. I hope you find it useful.


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

Reputational Risk

You Only Get One Chance to Get It Right

In its list of areas that could be affected by hazards, NFPA 1600 Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity/Continuity of Operations Programs includes "reputation of or confidence in the entity". However, the impact of an event on reputational risk is not something that can be easily assessed like potential damage to facilities. It is subjective and not always rational. It is often based on perception rather than fact.

We're seeing a classic example of that playing out in the recent incident involving United Airlines' forcible removal of a passenger who refused to relinquish his seat when directed to do so by United officials.

This was not the first time United ended up in an embarrassing public relations disaster. It's refusal to pay for a guitar damaged by its baggage handlers in 2008 led Canadian folk singer Dave Carroll to write a trio of songs about the incident. The first song, United Breaks Guitars, was launched in July 2009 and by August had over 5 million views on YouTube. Carroll's music career took off and he's in demand as a speaker on customer service.

_______________________ ________

If you are having trouble viewing my featured article, try clicking on the link at the top of the page. You can always find my articles in the white paper section of my blog site, Canton on Emergency Management.

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Professional Development
Reporters Are Not Your Friends But They Can Be Allies

"They're sharks; ya gotta chum the waters!"
"They are your worst enemy!"
"Don't ever trust them!"

Over the years, I've heard these and similar statements in courses on working with the media. While it's true that some reporters, particularly national media who tend to have no roots in a community, may suffer from a lack of empathy, local reporters, particularly those in broadcast journalism, tend to be hard working, dedicated professionals. However you may feel about them, you need them, particularly if you're dealing with reputational risk.

Here are some suggestions for working with the media:
  1. Stop treating the media as adversaries. They are not your friends but they can be your allies. You have a story you need told; they want a story to tell.
  2. Cultivate relationships. You already do this with other agencies that work with you; reporters are no different. The more credibility and trust you can build before a crisis, the more inclined they will be to trust your information and give you the benefit of the doubt during a crisis.
  3. Involve them in your planning. I'm not suggesting full access to all your planning but working reporters can offer valuable insights on designing press rooms, creating a joint information center, pool reporting, etc.
  4. Consider using them in exercises. Who better to play a reporter in your exercises than an actual reporter? You might also get some great footage for future training and a bit of publicity for your exercise. You will also be training them on the best way to work with you during an event.
  5. Make them part of the team. The JIC concept is a powerful tool in building trust and making fact checking easy. Arranging for communications, giving reasonable access to information, and providing amenities such as coffee and snacks go a long way to building rapport. There's a reason the military imbeds reporters with combat units.
  6. Be clear on the ground rules. Clearly, there are plans and exercises to which you will not want to give the media unrestricted access, so building media relationships is something that requires some careful thought. As I said, they are not your friends. But you can build trust and rapport before the fact that translate to more effective communications during crisis.
Professional Development Opportunities

April 30 to May 5, 2017
Association of Floodplain Managers
Kansas City, Missouri
This conference will focus on flood issues, mitigation, and regulations from the viewpoint of flood management in the often flooded Midwest. 

May 22-23, 2017
Australia Institute of Emergency Services, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, and others
Gold Coast, Australia
This conference will focus on challenges faced by emergency management professionals in Australia, New Zealand, and other regions. 

N ovember 10-15, 2017
Long Beach, California
The goal of the IAEM Annual Conference is to improve your knowledge, competency level and collaborative skills. IAEM attracts high-profile speakers to address current topics and practical solutions. The conference draws exhibitors who are the top suppliers to the fields of disaster preparedness and homeland security.

Life Balance
Separate Your Feelings

One of the hardest things I have had to learn over the years about working with people is to separate my professional feelings from my personal ones. We all have friends and colleagues we admire, respect and like. Working with them is joy and it's an easy thing to do. You know you can count on them. But what do you do when your feelings are in conflict?

Over the years, I have had to work with many professional contacts for whom I didn't particularly care. Sometimes I could identify a reason, such as attitude. But many times, it was just that feeling you get when you just don't like someone but you don't know why. However, I didn't have a choice about working with them. The funny thing is that although I didn't like them, I found I could work with them because I grew to respect them and their abilities.

The converse is true. I've worked with a few people with whom I shared a close friendship and considered a kindred spirit but whom I wouldn't trust to give me directions to the men's room. I liked them and enjoyed their company but I didn't respect them and I certainly didn't want to work with them.

There is the third possibility - the person who you don't like and can't respect because you can't trust them to get the job done. They are easier to deal with in some sense; you have no compunction about eliminating them as an obstacle the way you would a friend.

How do you work with people like these? I have found that you cannot take it personally and you need to separate your personal and professional feelings. My best friend in the military and I used to have heated professional disagreements. He was a conservative from Montana and I was from California. But at some point in an argument, one of us would check his watch and realize that it was quitting time. We'd drop the argument and head up to the club. We never, ever, continued the argument. It was professional and our drinking time was personal.

A second rule I make is to not hold grudges. I may not forget that someone created problems for me and may not trust them in the future but I don't dwell on it. Besides, I've found that people who can't gain the respect of their peers are not worthy of being someone you worry about. They're just not worth the psychic energy. I'm a believer in karma and find that the old saying, 'what goes around, comes around" generally holds true.
From the Bookshelf

Crisis Management: Planning for the Inevitable
by Steven Fink

Emergency managers are taught to think in terms of emergency response. But if our role goes beyond immediate tactical response to encompass community restoration, then we need to think in terms of crisis management. This particularly true when dealing with reputational risk where crisis communications may take precedent over actual response.

Steven Fink's book is an excellent starting place, a fact reinforced by its remaining unchanged since it was first published in 1986. While the examples of crisis (and Fink uses them liberally to illustrate his points) may be older, the concepts and ideas are as valid today as ever.

The one drawback to this book is that it, of course, does not address social media, which has been a significant game changer in the world of crisis communications Nevertheless, it is a great starting point for understanding crisis management and crisis communications.

Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs
by Lucien G. Canton

Speaker's Corner

Need a speaker for your next conference? I offer keynotes, seminars and workshops.
Why Should You Choose Me As Your Speaker?
Three Reasons Why I'm the Right Speaker for Your Conference 
You can find more details and sample videos on my website or on my SpeakerMatch page.   
Speaking Engagements 

Collaborative Sheltering: The San Francisco Experience
International Association
N ovember 10-15, 2017
Long Beach, California

©Lucien G. Canton 2017. All rights reserved.


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ISSN: 2334-590X