Another aspect is to speak honestly about the situation and not shy away from tough questions. Sure, you would be delivering bad news, but as The Publicity Handbook states, "You are in command of the situation if you reveal the bad news yourself, rather than waiting on a journalist to unearth it."
David Vogel, a business professor at the University of California in Berkeley, said, "There are two principles: accept responsibility and take action." The textbook follows up on that point by saying, "Even if you are not directly at fault, the organization should take responsibility for its product and the public safety."
Had Freedom CEO Gary Southern followed any of this advice, he would not have had the debacle of a press conference that he did last Friday.
Nothing demonstrates a lack of communication skill quite like an 8-month-pregnant TV news reporter having to drag your CEO back to the microphone at the press conference you called because you had yet to address important questions and concerns.
(By the way: Thank you for that, Kallie Cart.)
If your corporation was just responsible for polluting the water supply for 300,000 people, the way to project a message of good corporate citizenship, sympathy for a concerned public or responsibility for your actions and public safety is not saying you're "not in the business of producing drinking water" while taking swigs of bottled water and complaining that you've had a long day.
All that sends is a message that the opposite is true.