Wednesday, April 25, 2007


This disaster unfolding across the US is typical of what happens in most crises. One doesn't know why something is happening. Theories and rumors abound. Activists claim that one or another party is responsible. The disaster is a canvas on which many different explanations are painted until scientists or investigators find a cause. Even when they do, there will be disputes over how the cause happened. In the case of honeybees, if it is a pathogen, there will be fingers pointed at chemicals, environmental disturbances and more. Companies may find themselves on the defensive without a counter for allegations that lack solid foundations.

Most crises happen in a gray zone without a clear explanation for why something happened, yet people demand answers. Ambiguity invites speculation. Speculation invents rumor. Rumor damages reputations quickly.

Communications in crises are always interesting.


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