Friday, January 23, 2009

Managing communication in crises is key to international relations

In 2008 terrorists killed 200 hundred people in an attack in Mumbai,
India. According to Harjiv Singh, "Mumbai was not only an
intelligence failure but, in some ways, a much more damaging failure
of managing communication in a crisis. The nearly 17 hours that it
took the government to formulate a response clearly highlighted the
lack of understanding of the practice of crisis communication and
generally an understanding of how to communicate."

In today's world perceptions matter, writes Singh. A generation ago
India lacked linkages to the outside world, but today the increase of
mass media, particuarly on the Internet, make it important for a
country "to proactively manage their brand and reputation."

India needs to persuade other nations that its interests are their
interests. According to Singh, "The key to this is that we need to
understand how our brand and reputation are impacted by our ability to
effectively communicate our messages to the world, both in times of
crises and otherwise. Audiences and news are no longer local. We are a
Google away from finding out the latest breaking news, or a Twitter
away from a mobile alert of a breaking event in any part of the world.
The disaggregation of the global media industry and audiences that
began with the advent of the Internet has accelerated with new
technologies such as the mobile phone."

This proliferation of the Internet has created a "global audience"
which makes it even more important to communicate in a crisis.

Read Singh's whole article at

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