Title Communicate in a Crisis
Subtitle Understand, Engage and Influence Consumer Behaviour to Maximize Brand Trust
Author Kate Hartley
ISBN 9780749486501
List price GBP 19.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 256
Book size 159 x 235 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher Kogan Page Limited
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
About the book Send Enquiry


“A timely analysis of the environment in which crises emerge and must be managed.”

Jonathan Hemus, Managing Director, Insignia


“Above all a sane and sympathetic approach to the people embroiled in a crisis at the sharp end. Buy this book, read it, follow Kate Hartley’s advice and breathe more easily.”

Adrian Wheeler, author of Crisis Communications Management and Writing for the Media


“Whilst the principles of crisis communications haven’t changed the environment has - beyond recognition. Understanding what that means to the corporation under fire and how best they should engage with all stakeholder audiences is the essence of this book.”

Alison Clarke FPRCA, FCIPR, Alison Clarke Consulting


Communicate in a Crisis comes at the subject from a fresh perspective. Engaging and accessible, it tackles how to respond to the new threats to brands posed by social media”

Tamara Littleton, CEO, The Social Element


“Social media has changed the way both consumers and brands behave during a crisis. This is a vital point of reference to give crisis communicators practicl advice and tips on how to adapt their crisis planning and be effective in minimizing the damage limitation.”

Lisa Barnett, Communications and Crisis Director, Polpeo


Communicate in a Crisis is the definitive guide for any PR or marketing professional to recognize, plan and respond to a sudden wildfire of consumer-led reaction, ‘manipulated outrage’ sparked from interaction on news feed algorithms, fuelled by social media and the constant demand for an instantaneous response.

This book turns the traditional crisis management approach on its head, starting by understanding changing consumer behaviours and the new ‘threat’ for brands, then outlining practical steps to prepare, synchronize and execute a coordinated brand response across all channels - under pressure. It reveals why we love to hate our favourite brands, how to recognize a day to day problem from a crisis, and offers valuable advice, such as using influencers and brand advocates to address social media trolls, rumours and the impact of fake news. With unique case studies, interviews and anecdotes from global leaders, Communicate in a Crisis will embed a bottom-up culture of long-term reputation management, always ready to face the unexpected.


Key Features:

  • Clarifies a coordinated crisis response plan to overwhelming and often misinformed media and public reaction on social media
  • Enables organizations to maximize positive customer engagement with a practical, step by step understanding of how a crisis spreads, the peaks and troughs of consumer reaction and how to turn it into an opportunity
  • Embeds a ‘bottom-up’ crisis culture, including how to differentiate a daily problem from a crisis, engage in early mitigation and legally sound stakeholder response
  • Features case studies from leading global brands, as well as personal anecdotes from front-line industry experience


Figures and table


Part One: Understanding how consumer behaviour has changed


Chapter 1: Kick a brand when it’s down: Why we love to hate our favourite brands • Passion brands and betrayal • Emotional ownership • From passion to hate • What triggers us to act when we’re angry? • What are the things a brand might do to trigger negative behaviour? • Haters and trolls • Sometimes, it’s not the brand we hate, it’s the person behind it • David and Goliath: Social media is the new slingshot • Summary of actions: Understand potential triggers for customers • Notes

Chapter 2: The issue of declining trust in the spread of fake news • The rise of fake news • Why we share fake news • Declining trust in media • Fake news and brands in crisis • Summary of actions: Expect to tackle fake news in a crisis • Notes

Chapter 3: Who do I trust? The rise of individual influencers versus declining traditional media • Influencers and trust issues • Media and trust • Summary of actions: Understanding influence in a crisis • Notes

Chapter 4: It’s outrageous! Understanding the new response to outrage and bad news, and the role of social media • Outrage and viral content • The dangers of outrage and fringe groups • Anger begets anger • Outrage for good • The outrage cycle • Summary of actions: Dealing with the new challenges • Notes

Chapter 5: I want it now: Managing consumer expectation for instant information • The human instinct for instant gratification • The importance of trust in delaying gratification • Social media is driving our expectation of instant information • Dealing with volume, at speed • Don’t sacrifice truth for speed • Summary of actions: Think customers first during a crisis • Notes

Chapter 6: Profile of a troll: Understanding and dealing with trolling behaviour • What trolling is, what motivates trolling behaviour, and how to deal with it • Trolling as sport • Trolling as a group activity • Summary of actions: Tips on deterring trolls and fostering healthy communities • Notes

Chapter 7: The conscious consumer: The question complex and pressures of brand transparency • The age of the conscious consumer • Getting it wrong • The issue of funding hate • Summary of actions: Taking a stand • Notes

Part Two: The role of changing consumer behaviour in crisis management and response

Chapter 8: The new challenges: Understanding the impact of changing consumer behaviour on crisis management strategies • Impact one: Information overload • Impact two: Changing values • Impact three: Doing the right thing (and being seen to be doing it) • Impact four: The speed at which brands have to work in a crisis has changed • Impact five: The critical need for clarification and verified facts • Summary of actions • Note

Chapter 9: What is acceptable in a crisis? How to differentiate business as usual versus crisis management • What is a crisis? • What is an issue, rather than a crisis? • How do you know if you are in crisis? • What is the right balance between business as usual and the focus on the crisis? • What does success look like in a crisis? • When can you resume business as usual? • Summary of actions: Getting back to business as normal • Notes

Chapter 10: The social media Hydra: Principles of transparency versus suppression of information in crisis mitigation • Free reporting, privacy and superinjunctions • The thorny issue of deleting content • Be careful who you take on • Intent is key • Dealing with fake content • Dealing with abusive content on your communities and social media pages • Dealing with abusive content on other people’s communities and social media pages • Transparency is your end goal • Summary of actions: Being transparent in communications • Notes

Chapter 11: Crises in action: Lessons learned from crisis responses from five major brands • United Airlines Flight 3411 • Uber and #DeleteUber • TalkTalk’s cyber attack • Wells Fargo, fraud and the whistleblowers • TSB and IT chaos • Patterns in behaviour during a crisis • Notes

Chapter 12: The importance of telling the truth and its role in crisis and reputation management • Lies and deception: Good and bad • Telling the truth • Summary of actions: Telling the truth during a crisis • Notes

Chapter 13: Withstanding the attack: The importance of resilience in your communications teams • Learning about resilience from the armed forces • Planning resilience • Summary of actions: Building resilience • Notes

Part Three: Building your crisis communication strategy and response

Chapter 14: The brain’s response to a crisis and training your team to cope • The brain’s response to a crisis • Preparing your team • Summary of actions: Equipping your team to cope • Notes

Chapter 15: Insights from crisis communication influencers on managing the threats facing brands • Insight interview 1: Duncan Gallagher, Head of Issues and Crisis EMEA, Edelman • Insight interview 2: James Dunny, Director and EMEA Head of Crisis and Issues Management, Fleishmanhillard • Insight interview 3: Adrian Wheeler, author of the PRCA’S practice guide ‘Crisis communications management’

Chapter 16: The role of leadership in a crisis and preparing your crisis team • Setting the strategic intent • Acting on strategic intent • Making decisions in a crisis • Learning to cope with the pressure • Listening, empathy and action • A crisis will reinforce the values of leadership • Summary of actions: Leadership in a crisis • Notes

Chapter 17: Showing humanity and empathy in a crisis: When it counts and when it’s empty • What is empathy? • Developing empathy • Expressing empathy and behaving with compassion • Being human • Being imperfect and saying sorry • Summary of actions: Developing empathy and being human • Notes

Chapter 18: What do I do first? Getting your priorities right in a crisis • The critical first hour • Assemble your team • Get to the facts • Assess the severity of the crisis • Define or reapprove the strategic intent for the crisis • Pause and think • Activate your communications response • Take action • Remember your employees • Review all your planned marketing activities • Behave according to your company values • Summary of actions: The golden hour • Notes

Chapter 19: Harnessing the crowd: Using influencers and advocates to calm the crisis: An interview with Scott Guthrie • How can brands work with influencers in a crisis situation? • When are influencers useful and when are they a hindrance during a crisis? • How should brands communicate in a crisis situation via their influencers? Should they only use those they already have a relationship with, or is there a role for new influencers in a crisis situation? • How important is it for brands to keep their influencers informed about the crisis, as part of the crisis plan? • Can and should a brand try to control what an influencer says in a crisis situation? Is there any consequence to that? • How can brands build trust by working with influencers during the crisis, and after the crisis as part of a recovery plan? • Is there a difference in how you communicate during a crisis via influencers and brand advocates (and should there be)? • Summary of actions: Working with influencers during the crisis

Chapter 20: The role of technology in crisis management: Using predictive analysis, social listening, search data and insights • Predicting a crisis • During the crisis: Understanding the public response • Summary of actions: Using technology in crisis management • Notes

Chapter 21: Practical steps to prepare, execute and analyse a crisis response (and avoid common pitfalls) • 1. Pre-crisis planning • 2. The prodromal stage • 3. Full crisis mode: Damage limitation • 4. The recovery stage • Notes


Further reading


About the Author:

Kate Hartley is co-founder of Polpeo, a crisis simulation training consultancy that works with some of the biggest brands in the world. Hartley has 25 years’ agency-side experience in crisis and reputation management and corporate PR. She has spoken and run workshops on the impact of social media on crisis management at international events including SXSW, The Global PR Summit, PR Week’s Crisis Comms, and Social Media Today’s Social Shake Up. She is a member of the CIPR and the PRCA, and sits on the PRCA’s digital steering committee which is designed to shape digital best practice in the PR industry.

Target Audience:

This book is definitive guide for any PR or marketing professional.


Special prices are applicable to the authorised sales territory only.
Prices are subject to change without prior notice.