Lukaszewski is a seasoned PR consultant who has counseled CEOs of many major organizations. I remember that his workshops at national PRSA conferences are often standing-room only. He doesn't disappoint with this book either.
In a nutshell, this book is a detailed, practical, how-to guide that would be a useful reference for any PR practitioner to have handy. The table of contents is indexed for quick access to specific crisis communications information. There is also a detailed glossary of terms. The 10 chapters are replete with bullet lists of considerations, specific tasks, and other overviews. But each chapter gets into management-level strategy and the philosophy behind them, as opposed to mere tactical advice. I also appreciate the emphasis on prevention and responsiveness to all stakeholders, which is consistent with the academic literature on the subject.
Here is a quick take on the most practical contents of the book:
- a detailed outline of what should be included in a crisis plan;
- savvy overview of how reporters ask questions to illicit emotional quotes, and how to respond;
- sage advice and if, when, and how to hold crisis-related news conferences;
- the important consideration of using and responding to social media in times of crisis;
- a very thorough explication of the tactics of activist groups, and how to respond;
- how to handle crises that involve litigation, with a refreshing downplay of attorney as spokesperson and crisis manager in favor of a professional with actual communications education.
The book could be useful for practitioners and as a companion textbook for classes on crisis communication. I know I may require or recommend it the next time I teach a graduate course in crisis communication as a companion to the academic theoretical works on crisis communications, such as "Ongoing Crisis Communications: Planning, Managing and Responding" by Timothy Coombs, noted for his development of the Situational Crisis Communications Theory (SCCT), "Crisis Communication: A Casebook Approach" by Kathleen Fearn-Banks, or "Crisis Communication: Theory and Practice" by Alan Zaremba.