CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION AT FILM STUDIOS IN LATVIA
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The existence of every company, organization or even whole industry can be jeopardised by a crisis situation, which can arise due to a wide range of internal and external environmental factors. Quite often, crisis situations affect those industries and companies whose activities are largely affected by external factors. One example of such industries is the Latvian film industry, which to a great extent is dependent on the availability of public funding for making films and carrying other audio-visual projects. A substantial reduction in public financing of film industry in 2009 created a crisis-like conditions within the industry as a whole and in most of the related companies as well. This article analyses crisis management and communication in the Latvian film industry as a whole and in its individual companies. There are also statistical data analysed on the amount of public funding and its impact on the number of films made. Also the overall long-term crisis situation in film industry is analysed. In order to give an analysis of the situation in film industry companies six semi-structured interviews have been conducted. This allowed to determine the causes of the crisis, its impact on business activities of those companies, management and communication processes during crisis. The study showed that the cause of the crisis was almost exclusively not receiving of public funding by Latvian film studios and thus a failure to implement their film projects. In such situations the work of the studio manager and the internal communication are of the essence. The results of the interviews showed that such situations can be successfully overcome if there have been good pre-crisis relationships developed, reputation and good work results provided. The most important part of internal communication during a crisis is to provide open and complete information on previous work done by the company. If external communication is very important during crisis situations for the industry as a whole, then it is not so important for individual companies. It was also concluded that such crisis situations create a creative crisis, and taking into account the specifics of Latvian film studios, the studio director’s personal crisis communication replaces the crisis communication of the company. Finally, it was concluded that the Latvian film industry long-term crisis, which was resulted from the reduction of public funding could be considered as systematic failure of strategy within the industry.
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