Anne Curley: Do the Right Thing


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Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. Accessed April 14, 2017.

Anne Curley’s experience as a communication consultant for congregations and judicatories in crisis is evident in this edited version of an interview with her about crisis communication. Curley is a Roman Catholic who sees a crisis as a “human problem,” and not “primarily a PR problem.” She says “what we want to do is to treat the people involved right.” To that end, Curley emphasizes truth-telling and transparency in the midst of crisis. She says that leaders who underestimate the ability of people in the pews to handle the truth are making a mistake. She further says that while fear and embarrassment are understandable in some situations, leaders also make a mistake when they allow their emotions to control how a crisis is managed. Additionally, Curley promotes collaboration between clergy and laity when making communication decisions and makes recommendations about appropriate channels and priorities of communication for disseminating information. Clergy and laity from various traditions can benefit from Curley’s experience and wisdom. Congregations in crisis will find Curley’s advice especially helpful, but this is also advice for all congregational leaders to consider before a crisis happens.

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