(AUG. 27)—The UP System’s public affairs and information offices learned how to effectively communicate with various audiences during crises in a Crisis Communication Planning Workshop
Organized by the UP Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs (OVPPA) on Aug. 23 at the College of Mass Communication TV Studio 1.
Speaker Dante M. Velasco, Chairman and CEO of Creative Point International, Inc., in the lecture “Crisis Comm: It Could Happen to You,” defined a crisis as “a fluid and dynamic state of affairs containing equal parts danger and opportunity.” He said that the first 60 minutes after the crisis erupts is the most critical. All messages conveyed during this critical moment must contain control, authority, compassion and credibility.
In “Trust Values in Times of Crisis,” Velasco outlined four core values that will enable organizations to earn and keep the trust of its stakeholders: compassion, candor, competence and commitment.
Meanwhile, Veronica Baluyot-Jimenez of Manila Times TV taught the participants how to engage and interact with members of the media, especially the broadcast media in her lecture “Engaging Media.”
This was followed by a simulation exercise where participants were divided into groups of five or less. After agreeing on a topic, they then sat in a mock press conference or a mock talk show and were asked questions about their topic.
UP Vice President for Public Affairs Elena E. Pernia hopes the lessons learned in the workshop will be “like the umbrella that we have to carry and hope that we don’t have to use. I hope we’re going to bring with us this umbrella for the rest of the time that we are working in the area of communication.”
According to a July 16 OVPPA memorandum, the workshop arose from a need for a crisis communication plan for the UP System. The information produced in the workshop is expected to help UP determine and identify a default spokesperson for each constituent university (CU) in times of communication crisis. In a list of known and unknown crisis situations CUs should have communication strategies in place; produce a template of default statements/messages communicators can use or refer to in times of communication crisis and design a crisis communication training for faculty and staff.—Anna Regidor, image by Jonathan Madrid, UPMPRO