Management, Sport and Tourism Departmental Seminar

Event status:

The use of a single spokesperson or dual spokespersons for crisis communications

Date:
Thursday 27 May 2021 11:00 am until Thursday 27 May 2021 12:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Contact:
Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh
j.nachatarsingh@latrobe.edu.au
Presented by:
Dr Geoff Dickson
Type of Event:
Seminar/Workshop/Training; Public

This study aims to increase our understanding of the ‘speak with one voice’ (SWOV) tenet of crisis communications. Whilst there is a considerable literature on “what to say” and “how to say it” during a crisis, the question of who and how many (i.e. chair, CEO or both Chair and CEO), should deliver crisis messages is routinely overlooked. This study provides a critical examination of two distinct crisis communication approaches - a single spokesperson (i.e., CEO) or dual spokespersons (i.e. CEO and Chair). The Australian Rugby League Commission/National Rugby League (ARLC/NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL) deployed two distinct spokesperson strategies at press conferences during the COVID-19 crisis. The NRL messaging was led by both Chair and CEO, whereas the AFL messaging was the exclusive responsibility of the CEO. The study concludes that that irrespective of the approach taken (i.e., CEO only, or Chair-CEO) organisations should invoke the SWOV notion of ensuring a clearly articulated single message. Inconsistency can promote stakeholder uncertainty, reflect conflict and perhaps even incompetence. However, within this maxim, there is certainly scope for organisations to choose how many people should be involved in delivering this single message.

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