The Ostrich Syndrome

Jonathan Bernstein crisis communications, crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Crisis Response, reputation management

There are many steps to be taken in a crisis, and while there are differing opinions as to which is most important, Davia Temin made a convincing case for one in a recent article. A quote:

Most important of all–in any crisis–is to short-circuit denial! It’s a human trait when disaster strikes to go straight into “this can not possibly be happening to me.” Or “if it is happening, it can not be that bad.” Or, “even if it IS that bad, no one will ever notice…” The more quickly you move beyond this denial, the more quickly you can put in the right fixes … and that makes all the difference to how the crisis will unfold, and how you will be remembered.

This “head in the sand” phenomena is encountered so frequently when assisting organizations with crisis management that the BCM mascot is lovingly known as “OhNo the Ostrich,” a humorous homage to a dangerous problem. As the quote states, moving quickly past this denial frees up the ability to control and direct the crisis and the opportunity to bolster your reputation in the process, while choosing not to is only delaying the inevitable.

The BCM Blogging Team