Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Shakeup at GSA
On Monday, April 2, 2012, General Services Administration chief Martha Johnson stepped down from her post after firing Bob Peck, the commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, and GSA adviser Stephen Leeds. The shakeup in the administration came on the heels of an inspector general report that detailed excessive spending by the agency at a conference in 2010. Read Federal News Radio's full coverage of the Shakeup at GSA.
GSA scandal shows importance of crisis communications
Friday - 4/6/2012, 8:52pm EDT
But the way the news unfolded — broadcast far and wide via social media and 24-hour news — also provided a lesson in crisis communications, one expert says.
Rick Kiernan, vice president and partner at the World Media Network is a veteran of crisis management and public affairs — from the Defense Department, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the contracting community.
He told In Depth with Francis Rose in any big scandal, the communications and public affairs teams needs to be keyed in to all the details.
"There is sometimes the tendency, particularly in the government and higher up in the corporate world, not to tell the spokesperson all the information," Kiernan said.
But rather than keeping all the details close to the vest, officials should fully brief the public affairs team, he added. "The spokesperson must know the entire context and that will help him or her put together the right copy points so that they can respond to queries."
Specifics, speed helpful in crisis mode
Public affairs professionals are usually "generalists," Kiernan said, so they should have the proper experts or specialists lined up to provide empirical evidence, where necessary. "And be as specific as possible, not a lot of generalities, not a lot of platitudes," he added.
Speed is also important.
"The quicker you get your message out, the more transparent you are, the better it's going to be," Kiernan said. The "news hole," the total amount of coverage that can be dedicated to a particular story or topic is only so big, he said.
Communications teams that can fill the news hole with their own message have a better chance of heading off a media feeding frenzy.
"If you don't get it out right away, it'll linger and then there'll be two or three updates, and you'll stay in that hole longer than you want to," he added.
"It's like an oil spill, that's the metaphor," Kiernan said. "You've got to contain that thing or it'll ooze out."