In Case of Controversy...
You will want to anticipate and prepare for dealing with organized opposition or other issues that might arise, whether it’s anti-tax, the library’s Internet policy, or other matters. All of the basic communications/advocacy strategies are critical when dealing with a crisis.
- Make sure you have all the facts.
- Respond quickly but don’t overreact.
- Prepare a communication plan and work it.
- Focus on the solution, not the problem. Explain how the library is addressing the issue or concern.
- Let lawyers review any public statement on issues with legal implications but avoid “legalese” that may muddle your message.
- Use every opportunity to deliver your key message.
- Make sure all library advocates—and especially your chief spokespeople—have the messages, training and information they need to support the library.
- Above all, stick to the high road. Don’t criticize or get personal with your opponents. Don’t be defensive.