Crisis management: The art of listening

Effective communication in a crisis isn’t about what you say – it’s also about how you listen. Gut instinct may be to hunker down in the ‘war room’ and get on with managing the incident but shutting yourself off from the outside world can result in strategies that fail to take account of public opinion […]

Wonga banks on pro-active issues management to protect its reputation

Last week we suggested how businesses can take a more pro-active approach to issues management when faced with challenges such as zero hours contracts (click here to see our blog post). So I was fascinated to see how Wonga, the short term cash loan company, has decided on a pro-active approach to the reputational issues […]

From hero to zero: the next issues management test?

The use of zero-hours contracts could be the next big issues management challenge for UK businesses after last year’s tax avoidance scandal.  It certainly bears some of the same hallmarks, with one company already ‘outed’ (in this case Sports Direct) and Hovis hitting the headlines when workers went on strike to protest about the issue. […]

Why answering the tough questions is an essential skill for today’s CEO

With interest in and scrutiny of business at an all time high, today’s CEOs must also assume the role of CCO – chief communication officers.  With the value of trust at a premium, corporate reputation management should now be high on the agenda for all business leaders. This means that the most successful CEOs will […]

How much is too much?

In a world of 24 hour news it’s easy to see how the need for new content is paramount. But in light of the two…

“Enjoy your lunch” – Pope Francis shows CEOs how it’s done: guest blog post from Peter Heath

It seems the Vatican has a media rock star on its hands. Pope Francis is, from the earliest moments of his Papacy, displaying communication skills the Catholic Church has long been in dire need of. His early teachings extend way beyond the theological. As CEO of one of the most traditional, inflexible and hide-bound institutions […]

Supermarkets set the standard in horsemeat crisis communication

It’s easy to be critical of organisations’ attempts at crisis communication when you’re observing from the outside.  So I’m pleased to be able to give two supermarkets a pat on the back for their crisis management response to the recent horsemeat issue, having previously given Findus a rather harder time. It’s clear to me that […]

Social media: an essential part of crisis communication training and planning

I was talking to a senior businessperson from a global organization last week about their crisis management planning and crisis communication training.  I introduced the topic of social media and how they might gear up to deal with a social media crisis – or indeed use social media to communicate in a crisis.  His response?  […]

Why planning for a crisis is the best way to prevent it

I’ve often stated with great conviction that the act of preparing for a crisis in itself reduces the likelihood of a crisis occurring.  So it’s reassuring to see new research from IR (Investor Relations) magazine which seems to validate this view. The research findings taken from a survey of 800 investor relations professionals around the world […]

Proof (almost) that swift and open crisis communication preserves business value

I’ve long been an admirer of the work of Oxford Metrica which focuses on the impact of a crisis on the value of a business.  It shows that the way in which a business responds to a crisis (not the fact of the crisis itself) defines the extent to which value is lost – or […]