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NASA had to reevaluate its crisis management strategy in the wake of the Challenger space shuttle explosion. The company's failure to respond to the public in a timely manner, which gave the public a bad impression, was the first significant step. The role that the company had played in attempting to save the persons who died was too great for the public to understand (Seeger, 2006). The optimum strategy for handling such a problem was not used by NASA. The company may have created a variety of ways to improve the effectiveness of their communication platform. To the public realization, it was a communication issue that led to all the problem. The company ought to have conducted a proper measure to ensure that their communication network was suitable.
Secondly, communication determines the competence and professionalism of any given firm. NASA's failure to implement a reliable communication channel was a failed consideration. According to Kauffman (2005), the effectiveness of their program was dependent on the communication department. Failing to prior planning and proper considerations of suitable communication measures was a major component that increased the level of risk. It was a compulsory aspect for the firm to critically test every communication tool to ensure that the entire communication system was appropriate and able to offer reliable solutions to emergencies.
Thirdly, the company did not consider setting communication department which could be able to offer alternative support in times of emergencies. In the space, there are always a lot of inconsistencies, and without alarm, anything can always occur (Martin, & Boynton, 2005). To prevent such issues, NASA dared to implement external communication systems that could be of help. This was the best prospect that could address the problems that the company had. There were different considerations that could ensure proper channels were being followed in due course. There were different ways that could bring the most appropriate components that would sustain the entire process and ensure that the company could be in a position to address the problems that they had over time. This was the most appropriate consideration that the company ought to have considered.
Another important step that NASA ought to have measured its program effectiveness is through the way they responded to the media after the incident (Seeger, 2006). It is clear that NASA officials were avoiding any form of the press conference and were not in a position to offer sufficient feedback to explain their stand on the issue. In such a situation, the public will always be in need of answers concerning what occurred. The inconsistent flow of information was considered to be a major undoing of the company. The public could have been informed about what took place to form a public opinion. In such matters, the public is an essential subject that demands clear explanations.
In summary, the four steps indicate the key components that the firm did not consider to have a vital contribution to the effectiveness of their communication process. The structure of the program could only be validated through the consideration of appropriate measures to back up the communication process. The study has critically looked at the four essential public relation steps that are necessary for the effectiveness of the company. The company had failed to implement this four steps which turned out to be a problem that failed to address the crisis in due course. This steps are significant in effective realization of a reliable communication system.
Kauffman, J. (2005). Lost in space: A critique of NASA’s crisis communications in the
Columbia disaster. Public Relations Review, 31, 263-275.
Martin, R. M., & Boynton, L. A. (2005). From liftoff to landing: NASA's crisis communications and resulting media coverage following the Challenger and Columbia tragedies. Public Relations Review, 31(2), 253-261.
Seeger, M. W. (2006). Best practices in crisis communication: An expert panel process. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 34(3), 232-244.
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