OPED: #Morsi: #Crisis #Communications #Catastrophe
“They must get professional, outside help to navigate crisis management and communications. Otherwise every crisis will manage them.”
In his work entitled “How Crisis Communication Plans Work”, Dave Roos warned:
“… all that careful image crafting can be destroyed by one poorly handled crisis… Crises… can potentially put them out of business for good…”
Now President Morsi and his amateur team have managed to destroy a presidential term’s worth of goodwill, built up by his role in helping to negotiate the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, in just three short weeks. If his presidency survives this self-inflicted crisis, his image will remain beyond repair.
This crisis communications catastrophe will be textbook teachings for what NOT to do in the face of crisis for generations to come. There are two critical aspects to crisis communications: what you say and what you do not say.
In President Morsi’s case his astounding and complete silence in the face of a nationwide crisis is catastrophic. Journalist Bel Trew recently summarized his silence in a devastatingly succinct tweet:
@Beltrew: 6 dead, 6 aides & state TV head resign, curfews, protest ban, tanks on st, Al-Azhar want decree frozen & still nothing from #Morsi. Astonishing.
Adding further fuel to fire are two pro-Morsi representatives on twitter for what they are saying:
@Ikhwanweb (Official Muslim Brotherhood’s English website. Our Tweets represent the official opinions of the Muslim Brotherhood.)
@gelhaddad (Gehad El-Haddad, Senior Adviser to the Muslim Brotherhood & Freedom & Justice Party.)
Any professional crisis manager would tell both of these mouthpieces to shut up (or in my case, STFU). Stop talking. Stop inflaming. Stop lying. Stop inciting further violence.
But therein lies the problem: There are no professionals at the helm. Only amateurs.
And because of these amateurs, 90 million Egyptians will continue to be held hostage by this self-inflicted catastrophe. No bread, no freedom, no social justice. And certainly, no leadership.
It is rumored that President Morsi will actually (finally) address the nation sometime today. Having let this crisis manage him for weeks now, there is nothing short of complete surrender that will undo the past several weeks. And even that won’t be enough.