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Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange

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Rotary Youth Exchange

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  1. Rotary Youth Exchange MEDIA TRAINING: Dealing with the Media in a Crisis

  2. Rotary Youth Exchange MEDIA TRAINING: Dealing with the Media in a Crisis Presented at the USA Canada Youth Exchange Network Conference Houston, Texas March 10, 2006

  3. Rotary Youth Exchange MEDIA TRAINING: Dealing with the Media in a Crisis Wen Huang, RI Public Relations Ivan Vianna, YEO, Brasil Dennis White, YEO, USA

  4. Rotary Youth Exchange Session Outline • Why this is important • Good and bad examples • Developing a Plan • Basic principles • Key strategy and messages • Case study • Support from RI • Discussion

  5. Rotary Youth Exchange Good and Bad Examples of Interviews

  6. Rotary Youth Exchange Why this is Important • Crises Happen! 1. Death of a student – accident, illness, homicide, suicide. • Serious injury to a student. • A missing student – lost, abducted, runaway, etc. • Abused student – physically, emotionally or sexually.

  7. Rotary Youth Exchange Why this is Important • Crises Happen! • An exchange student is accused of criminal behavior. • Allegations of any kind of scandal within the YE Program or any club. • Injury, accident or other harm coming to a Rotarian or host family member involved in a YE activity.

  8. Rotary Youth Exchange Why this is Important • In addition to managing the crisis itself, there is often Intense Media Attention (sometimes called a feeding frenzy) • Crises Happen!

  9. Rotary Youth Exchange Why this is Important • The media coverage can become the crisis • Crises Happen! • Intense media attention

  10. Rotary Youth Exchange The media coverage can become the crisis • Following the tsunami in Indonesia, Jan Englund, Norwegian UN foreign aid specialist, was commenting on giving IN GENERAL (not tsunami specific) and said that the wealthier nations of the world could do much more to help the poorer countries.

  11. Rotary Youth Exchange The media coverage can become the crisis • He commented that the recommended contribution to foreign aid was one percent of GDP for any given country, and that few, if any give that much. • He then said, referring to the richer nations of the world: • “When you think of it, • we are really pretty stingy.”

  12. Rotary Youth Exchange The media coverage can become the crisis • For days, the headlines were: “America criticized as stingy.” Even after Englund clarified his comments repeatedly, the story went on relentlessly. • President Bush’s comment, critical of Englund’s statement was, “Somebody better get his facts straight!”

  13. Rotary Youth Exchange The media coverage can become the crisis • For six weeks every time a new and higher pledge • of tsunami money was made by the US, a typical • headline was “Today the United States increased • its pledge of financial support for tsunami relief to • X amount of dollars, after being criticized as • stingy.

  14. Rotary Youth Exchange Why this is Important • The media coverage can become the crisis • Crises Happen! • Intense media attention

  15. Rotary Youth Exchange Why this is Important • The crisis can become a positive opportunity to promote Rotary and Youth Exchange • But it will not happen by chance – we need to be prepared The good news is…

  16. Rotary Youth Exchange Caution • A strategy for dealing with the media (crisis media plan) is not a substitute for a crisis management plan • If you do not have a crisis management plan, it may be time to…

  17. Rotary Youth Exchange Caution Panic!

  18. Rotary Youth Exchange Developing a Crisis Media Plan Wen Huang, Public Relations Rotary International

  19. Rotary Youth Exchange Before a Crisis Develops (Step I) • Convene a crisis media team (YEO officer, DG, PDG, Attorney, Media Professional) • Gather all the facts • Report to Rotary International • Offer timely internal briefings

  20. Rotary Youth Exchange Before a Crisis Develops (Step II) • Identify a Rotary spokesperson • Tell clubs/Rotarians not to speculate • When media calls, refer them to crisis team or the spokesperson • Contact RI immediately, if there is a potential for national/international interest

  21. Rotary Youth Exchange Before a Crisis Develops (Step III) • Respond to media quickly • Do not cover up or hide the truth • Prepare statement, expressing Rotary’s position • Honesty/Stating the truth • Monitoring media/web activities

  22. Rotary Youth Exchange Before a Crisis Develops (Step IV) • Taking action to show care Examples: DG or YEO contacts parents, organize search activities, appoint counselors, start call for help web, fundraising for victims, (in the case of sexual abuse crisis) remove alleged offender from Rotary clubs etc.

  23. Rotary Youth Exchange Media Assistance from RI • Assist drafting position statement • Helping with last minute media training • Providing international spokesperson • Helping coordinating national/international media interviews/media contacts • Contacts: 847-866-3245/David Alexander

  24. Rotary Youth Exchange Other Types of Assistance from RI • RI activates crisis management team • Legal Strategies/counseling • Program help • Help from RI senior leadership

  25. Rotary Youth Exchange Basic principles • Any interview is an opportunity to send the message you want • When you speak, you ARE Rotary • The media are looking for controversy, something new and exciting or something that will attract attention

  26. Rotary Youth Exchange Basic principles • Take your time and develop your message as you want it to be • Make sure you present the positive message you want to covey • Develop a strategy for difficult questions and PRACTICE

  27. Rotary Youth Exchange Key Strategy in a Crisis • Demonstrate leadership • Offer reassurance • Make a statement with: 1. Facts 2. Feelings 3. A forward looking vision

  28. Rotary Youth Exchange Key Strategy in a Crisis From the article: CrisisCommunicationPlan.docon yeoresources.org Sample News Release A ___________________ at ____________________ involving __________________ occurred today at ________________ . The incident is under investigation and more information is forthcoming.

  29. Rotary Youth Exchange Key Strategy in a Crisis For instance: A youth exchange student was found unconscious at the bottom of a swimming pool at a Rotary Youth Exchange conference this evening. The student was taken to the emergency room at St. Mary’s Hospital at 10:00 pm in critical condition. More information will be forthcoming when it is available. In the mean time we have contacted the student’s parents have been notified and we pray for a swift recovery.

  30. Rotary Youth Exchange Key messages - acknowledgement • We care about every student - as if they were our own children • We are shocked/concerned/saddened by this information/allegation/event • We take every event/allegation very seriously

  31. Rotary Youth Exchange Key messages - positive • Rotary conducts over 6,000 exchanges every year • Every Rotary Club adopts their exchange student as if they were a son or daughter • We believe we are building peace one exchange at a time

  32. Rotary Youth Exchange Positive Messages we can deliver in cases of abuse • We take all allegations very seriously • Rotary has a zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind • Our first concern is for the safety of the student

  33. Rotary Youth Exchange Positive Messages we can deliver in cases of abuse • We report any allegations to the authorities and cooperate completely • All Rotarians, students and parents involved in youth Exchange are trained in understanding abuse issues • Our first concern is for the safety of the student

  34. Rotary Youth Exchange Preparing for Difficult Questions • Control the difficult questions • Learn to bridge – remember ABC – Answer, Bridge, Context • Question: • “Aren’t there dozens of cases of allegations of abuse from years ago, just coming forward?”

  35. Rotary Youth Exchange Preparing for Difficult Questions • Rotary takes any allegation, past or present, very seriously • It would be inappropriate to comment on any specific case that might be under investigation • But let me tell you about our comprehensive Youth Protection Policy…

  36. Rotary Youth Exchange Preparing for Difficult Questions • It’s best to address a question briefly then smoothly bridge back to your “message track” • Don’t use “No comment” or “I can’t answer that” • Instead explain why you can’t answer and bridge a topic or message point that’s in your “home base”

  37. Rotary Youth Exchange Preparing for Difficult Questions • If you don’t want a reporter to know something – DON’T SAY IT! • There is no such thing as “Off the Record” • If you get where you don’t want to go – BRIDGE! • Controversy Your Message BRIDGE

  38. Rotary Youth Exchange Preparing for Difficult Questions • Rotary takes any allegation, past or present, very seriously • It would be inappropriate to comment on any specific case that might be under investigation • But let me tell you about our comprehensive Youth Protection Policy…

  39. Rotary Youth Exchange • Remember your ABC’s – Answer – Bridge – Context • And… PRACTICE

  40. Rotary Youth Exchange Avoid jargon of any kind DG RYE RI YEO RYLA

  41. Rotary Youth Exchange Use personal stories • I have hosted several exchange students – they are still like family to me • My own son/daughter was an exchange student • My wife/husband and I have attended weddings of former exchange students

  42. Rotary Youth Exchange After the media interview • Write an Email or letter thanking the reporter • Writer a letter to the editor if you think Rotary is being misrepresented • Contact RI Public relations or YE staff for a review and additional assistance

  43. Rotary Youth Exchange

  44. Rotary Youth Exchange Case Study BRAZIL - DISTRICT 4760 RYEP A Brazilian experience of a missing YE girl… By Ivan L. Vianna - Dist 4760 BRAZIL

  45. Rotary Youth Exchange Briefing of the story 1- Nov. 6 2005 Sunday: a girl RYE student, leaves her host to a nearby city to go to Church and does not return home in the evening; local police started investigating/searching 2- Nov. 7, Monday morning: host district is informed and Crisis Plan is in effect: higher authorities are called, sponsor district overseas & R.I. are informed. In the afternoon police told us the girl changed bus to go to UNAI, another city 150 miles away, where she was spotted on the road trying to hitch-hike. BRAZIL - DISTRICT 4760 RYEP

  46. Rotary Youth Exchange Briefing of the story 3- Nov. 8, Tuesday: Police informed she got a ride on a truck whose driver paid for her lodge in Brasilia. False alarm result in a intensive farm search in the early hours. Meanwhile, several high authorities are called for help: Belo Horizonte Mayor, Federal Police Chief, Brasilia High rank Officers, Church Officers. The FBI attaché in Brasilia keeps close contact and reciprocal info. BRAZIL - DISTRICT 4760 RYEP

  47. Rotary Youth Exchange Briefing of the story 4- Nov 9, Wednesday: this story is first shown abroad before it reaches Brazil media. TV and radio live interviews are given to many vehicles and a national TV interview is taped. Police suspects she may be in Brasilia. A false YE is grabbed in a road hitch-hiking to Brasilia. Help keeps flowingin from many different sources. BRAZIL - DISTRICT 4760 RYEP

  48. Rotary Youth Exchange Briefing of the story Nov. 9 2005 Wed. Brasilia YE Chair searches local churches on his own. Her internet messages, sent, received, deleted – from 30 days are checked by FBI, contacts with ROTEX hosted in her country are made. All District YE Students are called. Her pictures on posters are on walls of UNAI. Media is continuously and persistently wanting interviews and info. RI PR makes contacts with international news and keeps monitoring the media relationship, helping with key messages and great support. BRAZIL - DISTRICT 4760 RYEP

  49. Rotary Youth Exchange Briefing of the story BRAZIL - DISTRICT 4760 RYEP Messages came from many countries reporting they have seen the case on TV. I asked everyone who called for help for PRAYING that this YE girl be found soon. Her natural parents leave home to Brazil, a long trip that takes two days.

  50. Rotary Youth Exchange Briefing of the story NOV. 10 Thursday: TV Show Good Morning Brazil brings the story and pictures of the girl, airing the interview taped before. Media keeps calling all the time, very crazy. BRAZIL - DISTRICT 4760 RYEP