Perception is Everything

I recently got into a discussion with a family member who’s worked in hospitals for some 20+ years that made me realize the world outside of our circle of crisis managers still has little idea of the importance of controlling perception as a means of crisis management. In her workplace, every single employee, from paediatricians […]

Yahoo shows the importance of people in crisis management planning

News that Yahoo’s CEO, Scott Thompson (photo), has stepped down following accusations that his CV featured a fake computer science degree reinforces the importance of factoring people issues into crisis management planning. Organisations often find it easy to produce crisis communication plans for external events such as accidents, fires, natural disasters, IT failure and even […]

Costa Cruise’s blame game is dangerous crisis communication strategy

As I glanced through the statement issued by Costa Cruises in the wake of the dreadful Costa Concordia accident, I noticed how it ticked the golden rules for crisis communication: concern and empathy for human life in para one; actions to address the situation in para two; messages about minimisation of environmental impact in para […]

News International phonegate: why crisis communication efforts failed

News International has applied many of the right crisis communication tactics to preserve its reputation.  So why is it still suffering criticism and damage? The first reason is of course the sheer magnitude of the issue, the alleged cover up and the time it was allowed to fester without resolution.  But the timing and sequencing of […]

Can the News of the World be good?

Yesterday we considered the crisis communication lessons that businesses could learn from the News of the World hacking scandal.  Today, guest blogger Nick Woods, head of Publicis Consultants, considers how the paper might recover from its current crisis management challenges. If you believe Rousseau, man is essentially good. He, or she, has flaws but the […]

News of the World phone hacking: crisis management lessons for all businesses

As we observe News International’s phone hacking crisis lurch from bad to truly horrendous, it’s tempting to feel a little smug, safe in the knowledge that nothing quite this awful could ever affect our business.  But whilst the alleged behaviour of the newspaper and its private investigators sinks below the behaviour of the vast majority of […]

How better change communication could have eased Kraft’s post-Cadbury issues

Kraft took another battering from MPs this week as the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee said that it had “significant concerns” over its takeover of Cadbury in January 2010.  Rumblings from employees and unions continue, whilst the media delights in giving Kraft a hard time (the Mail on Sunday in particular has ensured that Kraft CEO  […]

How communicators can prevent corporate denial in a crisis

On March 31 2010, BP was the UK’s biggest company.  Six months later, it has lost around one third of its value.  In 2009, Toyota was the world’s eighth most valuable brand according to Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” league table.  2010’s league table shows that Toyota has slipped to eleventh having lost 16% of its […]

CEOs as leaders in a crisis: essential qualities for success

In recent postings, we’ve taken a close look at the role of the CEO in crisis management.  In the final posting on this topic for now, we list some of the key qualities required by a chief executive in this context: 1) Leadership Leadership is a quality one would expect from a CEO at all […]

Crisis handling: the role of the CEO

CEOs wanting to protect the reputational value of their businesses are right to focus their time and attention on crisis prevention and crisis preparedness.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t make their organisations immune to crisis (though it both reduces their likelihood and increases the business’s resilience to them).  The good news though is that all the evidence […]