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800px-Malaysia_Airlines_Boeing_737-400;_9M-MMJ@HKG;04.08.2011_615sl_(6260603722) As PR pros, we advise our clients to have a crisis communications plan in place, and knock-on-wood, that we never need to use them. But, as we all know, we likely will have to deal with a crisis situation with a client. Sometimes, it is a small and manageable crisis, and other times, it’s a larger deal.

Even in extreme circumstances, I am willing to bet, most of us have had nothing compared to the Malaysia flight crisis.

The plane is missing, and no one seems to know where it is, or where to even begin looking. Multiple reports come out every day with new information, and then another report will come out and say that old report is wrong. Today’s news says that the Malaysian government kicked family members of the missing passengers out of the news conference.  And, then there is the speculation and everyone who seems to have an opinion on where it is. Even Courtney Love is looking.

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that there are multiple countries looking for the plane and multiple countries reporting on their findings. No command center, no chain-of-command, no single way to give out the information.  Are they making the crisis worse?

Is there a good way to handle a multi-country crisis?

Kelly Potts
Kelly Potts
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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