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Public Relations Strategy: Issues and Crisis Management- 2014

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Whizz and Fizz Public Relations

A public relations strategy prepared for:


Executive Summary

The crisis being faced by the library is due to them not being open and transparent to the people and relevant stakeholders of the organization since a library is a public entity. By not keeping people in the loop about their renewal plan especially of changing the Mitchell Library into an open reading area by making it more of and digitized and putting free Wi-Fi.

By responding to the issues in various mediums and media will help curb or cease the problem since when a problem is addressed and they will see that you care and listen to their issues. The issue was responded by a letter from the library acknowledging their faults and saying the reasons they choose to take on the plans for example in taking the

By issues statements in all medias from TVs to social media so that it would reach everyone wherever they were and acknowledged their mistake especially not taking into account what would happen with the job cuts in their renewal plans which would be done in phases and be done in the next 5 years.

The steps they took in assessing the issues was so that to satisfy the targeted/affected public at large from authors they needed to be heard and they needed to understand that the world is changing since their books are already digitized and people of this generation prefer simplicity in doing things and work made easier.

The goals and objectives of library need to be addressed and adhered to in that the people should understand that the library needs to go with the trend and advance technological and if everything comes to place they need to understand that there will be repercussions that will happen. For example if the Mitchell library goes into play despite peoples complains, and turns into a open reading room there won’t be the need of many librarians in that building hence the decrease in their numbers. Also due to the lack of funding of the library at times will have to cut down on their employees since they don’t have the funds to sustain themselves and all of the librarians at the same time. After the implementation of the strategies set aside of comes down to the response of the public how will the targeted public respond to the actions will they crisis subside or it will continue.

Table of Contents

1Executive Summary

4Situation Analysis

71. Goals

82. Target publics

83. Messages

10Message strategies and tactics





14Explaining the strategy

14Goals and objectives

14Target publics


15Message delivery (communication) strategies



Situation Analysis

The situation analysis helps in knowing how big the crisis is and helps in knowing the affected parties and helps in setting in motion the public strategies that can be implemented to assist in solving or bring down the situation. The state library of NSW was bombarded by a crisis due to their recent renewal place which was to take place in the next 5 years but in phases. The situation at hand has to be analysed in the four aspects: the issue facing the organization, the functionality of the organization, it’s both market and non-market environments and lastly if there communication is effective.

By not taking into account the repercussions that would arise if they implemented the plans was a major back step in their plans. The renewal plans included the conversion of the Mitchell library to an open reading library which meant that it would be digitized and Wi-Fi would be installed so no books in the premises. By not taking into account that people might attack with the notion that it would change and be a social hub not a place of learning was one of the problems which arose from the writers of books and the affected from students to scholars. Secondly, by planning for job cuts from their current number to 312 in the next four years was also the problem for the employees despite technology taking over they worried where they would go and what they will do if they were to get fired since the world everything is going digital.

The library is controlled by the library council and it offers public access to books, electronic sources and exhibitions. They are funded by the government making the library a public entity therefore the people controlling the library and their money is the government meaning they pull the strings and help in decision making on their plans and day to day schedules.

In making the Mitchell library to a more upbeat and up to date in terms of technology will attract more visitors and a full range of diversity in more books, journals thus more knowledge and its diversity especially in the electronic resource. By bringing a new play into place will help in their market strategy since people can even access it from anywhere hence income will increase.

Their renewal plan despite being drastic from what people are used to which is that a library should be a place full of books and have a certain decorum, the targeted public should understand that the library should also go with the technological changes or it will fall due to sticking to the traditional ways since the internet has made things easier from accessing book and journals to even accessing them from anywhere as long as the paper was done and posted online the paper can be seen and viewed by anyone interested in a certain topic. The presence of portable equipment that can carry information for example the i-pads and the software’s for accessing written documents e.g. Adobe reader has made work easier for people to read and access information from the comfort of their devices hence the need to change. The goals of the organization are to be capable, convenient to its users, technological and lastly innovative to its community and others at large.

Changing the library perception to a modern one will take time since people don’t look at the library as an investment but more as a landmark of the country that holds its history and knowledge all in one place. By looking at it in the investment perspective library can provide more for example since it is a spacious area renting itself out to hold activities; like seminars, wedding receptions etc and through this the library will be able to fund itself and sustain itself. The investment part and the money it can make is a good motivation for the renewals plans to commence. The 2013-2014 budgets for the State Library reaches $97.1 million compared to $85.5 million during 2012-2013 periods (NSW Treasury, 2013; NSW Treasury, 2012). The government expects the State Library to support cultural activities and encourages innovation, which explains the coming of more exhibitions and openness to more public usage.

By responding to the issues from the letter they wrote to the media which responded to the both the angered authors and long term staff which was written by the State librarian called D, Alex Byrne which assured them that the library will continue being a Australian landmark of their history and also acquire the publications and journals of their history. In the letter they also promised to dedicate a reading room for all the reader and researchers where they staff are required to provide advice and services. The open letter they sent addressed the issues concerning but they would have done more in communicating the issue so as to even avoid it in the first place. By keeping the public in check will go a long way in encouraging organizational transparency.

In the carrying the SWOT analysis I came to learn that the organizational strength the information it holds on the Australian history and its value to the community so making changes despite they are not what they want but it will be for the better. Its weakness is the organizational not being able to sustain itself other than with government funding but with the reforms which are set to take place will help the organization very much when it comes to money. Still in the Opportunities there are many activities the library can venture like offering their venue for hire to the public also expanding their services to even home networking for a fee since their books will be accessible online with the reforms in place. Again in the SWOT analysis the threat that they have is being consumed by the internet and being made as a hustle to go to the library and their services deemed obsolete since by googling a request in the internet it gives you answers and references etc


1. Goals

Goal 1: Having a professional, flexible and cohesive library team to deal with both the manual labour surrounding all that comes with the library and the technologies that will be associated with the territory.

Objective 1: It was to implement the renewals of the library in three phases within the next 5 years

Objective 2:.Reduce the number of employees to 312 in the next five years and maybe hire once with relevance

Objective 3: Revitalize the CBD hence doubling the number of visitors to the library in the next 5 years.

Goals 2

Respond to the changing needs of the community from everything to go digital and also to provide an accessibility of their library services thus making it convenient for their users

Objective 1: To restore the Mitchell Reading Room to a public space with Wi-Fi but without books or librarians in the next 5year renewal plan.

Objective 2: Earn money to fund their Campaign using various venues for hire money which they had said they would raise $25 million for the cause

2. Target publics

  • The affected include the government and relevant stake holders who have to fund the renewal plans


  • . They are the employees and the authors who aren’t 100% up for the renewal plans and the repercussions.

Tertiary (or intervening)

  • The tertiary public who are affected are the authors of the books in that they feel like their work will not be taken as seriously since of the digitization and the students and scholars especially those oppose the making of the Mitchell reading room into an open reading area.

3. Messages

  • Dr. Alex Byrne hold provide information to the target publics concerning the revitalization of the Mitchell library the vision of the institution should be clearly understood by target publics appealing to their passions for the Library .

  • Present the stakeholder with factual information with regards to the ongoing development on the library,25million dollars in project budget should be broken down to identify the sources of the funds whether government or private.

  • Promote an all inclusive approach to reaching consensus with stakeholders and target publics. The stakeholders need their input and fears addressed regarding the development on the library

  • Proper communication channels. Spokespeople should be employed to properly articulate the organizations goals, objectives and vision. Management should speak from the same script avoiding double speak and showing strength and control of the crisis in the organization dispelling fears and assumptions fuelling the crisis. Consistency is imperative in crisis management with the management driving the agenda of change on a single front.

  • Hold employee meetings to clearly communicate the message of change and the reason for the action taken by management. The four year job cuts should be explained as a way to revitalize the institution they love and respect not as a way of cost cutting and senseless witch hunt.

  • The stakeholders and target publics should be praised for their continued support, concern, criticism and love for the library. Stakeholders and Target publics are an integral part of any organization is it financial or not.

Message strategies and tactics

Goals & Objectives

Target publics: Primary, Tertiary & Secondary

Message delivery strategies

1: Traditional and print media the management should be keen in monitoring news stories to determine the press and media response. After this the organization should prepare key messages and determine which publications and journalists to target and give priority. This is mass media and it gives the Library an opportunity to reach a large number of readers.

control the narrative by preparing a new releases on all media outlets from traditional print media to holding a press conference about the matter at hand and respond to the enquires quickly thus getting ahead of the matter. Still by addressing the key questions the people are asking in all sources makes it easier for the journalists to get a hold of the information

2: Television and radio the management should monitor the television broadcasts. In addition, the management should give priority to broadcasts affecting the target publics and prepare key messages to address them.

By giving a detailed statement on what and as much as you know about the situation, by also supplying spoke people of the matter for the interview and supplying images and audio referrals will suffice the issue

3: In the case of social media the organization should monitor the various social networking sites closely so as to be in tandem with the target public and also ensure issues do not get out of hand addressing misinformation promptly and enable damage control.

Communicating via social media about the issue and what they are doing to address the situation and accepting the fact that the targeted publics are unhappy and are working out possible solutions to the impasse. The library should remain active in the social media communicating key messages, giving up to date information regarding the project thus keeping people in the loop. The management should consult the predevelopment advocates that had been established prior to the situation to send it positive messages to defend and neutralize the attacks on social media.



The timeline to execute the public relation strategy is immediate from the time the crisis emerged and had to be managed. The issue in this case is the renewal plans of the NSW state library. Despite the various ways they have use to curb the issue petitions have already commenced against the making Mitchell reading room into a “social hub” since they want to keep the traditional hub still to go on since there theory on the matter is “what is a library without library books”, but by explaining the issue behind the change which is because they have a lot of backlog of books which either are not being used and storage facilities are a problem in the library.

Also by explaining the issue and the reasons behind it has been helpful to calm the people down and even resort to other methods if they want to store the extra books they need to give us where.


The budget for the campaign is that it needs a lot of addressing from all the media outlets to explain their reasons behind the renewal plans it’s not an expense since it only giving out effective communication.


This is the final step in a public relations strategy that measures the success or failure of the public relations campaign. There are four dimensions to measure the success of the strategy which are the inputs, outputs, outtakes and outcomes. In this case the outcomes are the most important category because they demonstrate whether the plans and objectives were me.

In the positive outcomes in this case of the public relations campaign succeeded a situation can be an opportunity for the organization to redeem and revitalize itself to the target publics. The organization by appearing as caring and apologizing for their mistakes plus addressing its stakeholders and target public it is able to appear friendly and that it cares for its user.

By planning for a crisis and taking appropriate actions in time and effectively executing the strategy it tends to show that the library will take responsibility when it is found to have committed a mistake, the bond between the target publics and the organization becomes stronger. In addition the top management is found to have interests in needs and wants of the stakeholders and target publics.

Management on receiving positive outcomes is able to deal with situations under strenuous situations as the organization wants to perform at the best possible level and take appropriate steps to better serve its stakeholders and target publics.

The negative outcomes arise if the crisis or the situtiation is mishandled by management; this may lead to the organization experiencing long term damage to its reputation affecting the relationship between the organization and their target publics and in turn affect its overall performance. Also in thief situation for instance there are boycotts to the library as the disgruntled target public’s position was not addressed or wasn’t identified with the new face of the organization. This may lead to loss I trust in the NSW top brass making stakeholders to question the top management’s ability to deal with the situation under pressure. Also reduction in visitation and registration of new members and withdrawal of members all together

Explaining the strategy

Goals and objectives

The goals and objectives are consistent because they are what the library is facing now and what caused the arousal of the crowd. Despite it being for the good of the library by not considering the issue that would come with the renewal plans the issue arose.

Target publics

Firstly , we have the primary and secondary target public comprising of people in an organization that help an organization achieve its goals i.e. those directly affected include library employees due to job cuts. Those not directly affected include the government and relevant stake holders who have to fund the renewal plans.

Secondly the tertiary public who are affected are the authors of the books in that they feel like their work will not be taken as seriously since of the digitization and the students and scholars especially those oppose the making of the Mitchell reading room into an open reading area.


The messages to the target public is the explanation behind their renewal plans especially the changing of the Mitchell library to a “social hub” and the job cuts and why they were to do all those but if posed with a better solution it they were willing to burge on the plans

Message delivery (communication) strategies

The tactics to be used is just communication from social media, press conferencing and writing to journalists and addressing the situation at hand to grasp every man and woman’s attention so that they understand what and why it is happening


The tactics that have been applied are just the library needs to communicate about the renewal plans and source out the information they know about the situation and address the public and calm down the situation.


My strategy will work because i have assessed what will both happen on both sides of the coin. By communicating the reasons behind the renewal will help them know more about the situation.

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