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.

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