Archive for March 2009

Crisis Blog 4: Michael Vick

March 13, 2009

According to Fearn-Banks (2007) the Apologia Theory states, “an effort to defend reputation and protect image…but it is not necessarily an apology” (p. 51). Individuals may use this theory if they are making a public statement. During this statement, with the Apologia Theory, one can deny, defend, or explain their actions. This can help the public understand their perspective.

In 2007, Michael Vick, the former quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, was convicted of dog fighting and sentenced to jail time in a federal prison. He did not make a statement to the press immediately after being convicted. However, this is what he said when he made his statement.

From a crisis communication stand point and considering the Apologia Theory how did Michael Vick’s statement sound to the media? First, he did apologize for all the things that he did. From a communication outlook, a sincere apology is almost necessary to gain the publics approval. In order to protect his image, Vick did apologize to his teammates and all kids that look up to him. When he stated his actions were immature which consisted of bad judgment and making bad decisions, I believe this helped the reputation he had with the public. By explaining, that he realized he acted in an immature way, the public was able to agree with him and could tell he was remorseful. Do you believe Vick used the Apologia Theory correctly? Did he defend his reputation and protect his image? Did he do this effectively?

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Crisis Blog 3: Sugar Refinery Anniversary

March 11, 2009

On February 7, 2008 there was an explosion at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Savannah, Georgia. During this explosion and fire, 14 employees lost their lives. When dealing with a crisis it is important to realize there are three stages of a crisis including: pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis. Within the pre-crisis stage, that is where Crisis Management Plans (CMP) are created as well as pre-drills take place. During the crisis is when time becomes and issue and responding to the media is crucial. Most individuals overlook the third and final phase of a crisis which is post-crisis. This is an evaluation period where individuals can figure out what worked and what did not.

An important part of the post-crisis phase is anniversaries. When a major crisis takes place and the media plays a a part in this, the media is bound to come back and look at the company during all the anniversaries. February, 7, 2009 marked the first anniversary of the Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion in Savannah, Georgia. This company held a memorial for the 14 employees that passed away a year prior by releasing doves into the air to represent those employees. I believe the company did an honorable gesture to honor these employees. It is always important to remember that if a crisis has come to an end that the media will still approach you on anniversaries and if this is not handled professionally, it can very well become another crisis in the media.