How to Handle a Communication Crisis. An Epistemological Approach and a Neuro-Linguistic Contribution
Angelo Palazzolo - Link Campus - University of Malta - 
Crises represent turning points for business health and reputation. A crisis may occur by any mismanagement, natural or accidental event, or even sabotage and it may affect employees, customers, other stakeholders or the external environment. Corporate communication is always important, but during a crisis it becomes key. Communication must reflect the corporate identity and be consistent with the message to be delivered. In a world that is always more similar to a village, for the speed news are sent out, executives cannot play ostrich. They are expected to stand up, speak out, and put their faces over the first page of the newspapers. Stakeholders need to have a point of reference. This work is a critique analysis of the status questionis of Communication Crisis; the purpose is to highlight the epistemological framework of a crisis to better understand the misleading cliché and find new ways to deal with crises and resolve them. Both internal and external communications will be analysed and particular emphasis will be shed on the role and on the tasks of policy makers. Different techniques and methods will be compared and their effectiveness tested. In particular, the thesis will evaluate the opportunity to use Neuro-Linguistic Programming models versus the more traditional techniques of mass communication in crises handling. Since the end of 1970 the NLP methodology is gaining more and more acceptance as a tool of effective communication. For this reason, my thesis will examine the possibility to utilise some NLP concepts in these contingency situations. In order to give consistency to the theory, different models will be applied to real cases and the results will be compared and contrasted.
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