I try to make sure my posts are relative to current events and I have been struggling about how to write about the activities in Ferguson. There are so many sides to what happened in Ferguson. There is no right place to begin and as a general rule, I try not to Monday morning quarterback incidents, because if you have been an incident commander you have made a bad decision (at some level). The key is we must learn from Ferguson just like we learn from incidents that are best practice examples.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 15, 2014
One of the major lessons learned from Ferguson is the inter-relation of Crisis Communication and Crisis Management. There are stark differences between the two disciplines that I compared in an earlier post Crisis Commnunication vs. Crisis Management, but the actions of one definitely drive the other. Regardless of what side of the Ferguson discussion you are on, you can see how key points in communication like how the press reported certain images and actions or if and when the police release a name drove the evolution of the incident. Furthermore deployment of certain resources created specific perceptions that also affected the incident and the tone of communications.
The incident in Ferguson reiterates the necessary integration between Crisis Communications and Crisis Management and that it shouldn’t be underestimated. These things should not be managed in silos and should crisis communications should be integrated, resourced aspect of the crisis management response.
I would appreciate your comments about what you have learned from Ferguson? The more we learn together the better.
Jody Moore is a Principal Member of Crisis Focus, LLC, a full service crisis management and emergency planning firm. He has been the part of various crisis communication campaigns in the role as PIO and IC. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.