PUBLIC ISSUE MANAGEMENT
Equally deleterious to crises, emergencies, violence, and many other problems facing leaders is a daunting PUBLIC ISSUE, often labeled a crisis.
When aimed at showcase business ventures where no ground rules prevail, where the attack attracts ignorant followers who emotionally distain the truth, unfair ugliness overwhelms.
Thus, a public issue unabated, turns crisis almost instantly
Nevertheless, the matter many times is preventable, containable and yes, can eventually be turned to the victim’s advantage with competent attention. We do recognize exceptions. Trumped-up public issues contain enough flaws to expose them and their advocates.
The major error leaders suffering from either phony or legitimate criticisms is either a suspicious tone in early response, complete silence indicating guilt, or counterattacks based on internal emotionalism.
Responsible Citizens Evaluate
Interested citizens reject all three. Abrasiveness is what fictitious public issue instigators try extracting from their intended victims.
Better options exist depending upon several key elements of the moment. Whatever, whoever is in the crosshair must pivot positively rather than intensify negativism.
Something to remember is where and how people of different backgrounds, age groups, intellect, political persuasions and subject interest levels obtain information — factual or otherwise, good and bad.
Social science 2001 calls for diverse communication outlets. Sadly, institutions that shouldn’t be harmed reputationally and otherwise to the degrees they are from public interest cases is because of public issue mismanagement!
Outcomes Not Outputs
Results are determined by adequacy of control. Consequences may turn undesirable at best, devastating at worst. Adroitness can spot pending issues other than those purely made-up essentially to create chaos. Invalidated negativism lessening economic growth and pure hatred will bring forth bizarre censuring of innocents.
Such happenings further confuse observers; they succumb easily to misrepresentation via social media. Ominous movements supported by individuals and groups hidden from the citizenry expand quickly.
Erasing all opposition, discord, skepticism and self-absorption isn’t necessary. Candidly, it would be impossible. Submerging the afore-mentioned items generally is the procedure of choice. But in itself, submerging requires both crafting and adjusting strategies as well as applying unexpected tactics. Here’s where one should not ignore the value of audacity.
Reversing unfavorable winds is done more effectively by slipping behind them to either change direction or stifle the force.
Responsiveness is only as good as subject research and competence. Reactionary speed and willingness to fight vigorously confirm that public issue arenas are not for the timid. Control requires a plethora of novel, courageous tactics before final settlement.
We shall never forget cases bordering on devastating national TV or loss of statewide votes supporting a needed program or even a riot within less than 24 hours unless conditions changed. Each and others of similar magnitude experienced a change in wind direction.
Public issue management isn’t for the shy, intimidated, or one who ponders. Nor should most under fire try solving alone. PIM must overcome as many surprises as any crisis presents.
Chief Black Hawk’s comment found above is as true now as back in the mid-1800s.