Crisis management insights from horse meat: one year on

More than a year on from the outbreak of the horsemeat scandal, the UK’s biggest crisis management challenge of 2013, it’s timely to consider the longer-term impact on so many players in the food and retail sector.  And this week I had the pleasure of presenting my insights and analysis at the International Crisis and […]

TSB CEO demonstrates the value of leadership in crisis management

Given our reliance on technology these days, it’s no surprise that IT failure should be a high priority for crisis management planning. Despite this, the crisis communication response of many organisations to a technology problem is often too slow, too corporate and too infrequent. That’s why I was so impressed with TSB’s reaction to IT […]

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 […]

Why your crisis media spokesperson must be the genuine article

  It’s part of my job to analyse how the media and companies deal with crises. Whenever I am researching major incidents I never lose sight of the fact that real people have been affected. Sadly, I think this human reaction to tragic events isn’t always evident in the corporate world’s media response.  Just take […]

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. […]

Getting the basics right: looking good for TV

This amusing clip of a BBC weather forecaster, whose smiley face turns into a frosty glare when she’s finished her report, shows it’s best to assume you are still ‘on camera’ until someone tells you otherwise. It’s a simple thing to remember but what you do and how you and your surroundings look on TV […]

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 […]

McDonalds CEO gives textbook performance

After watching countless spokespeople over recent weeks dodge the issue of the food industry’s ever expanding supply chain it was refreshing to see Jill McDonald, CEO of McDonald’s, tackle it head on in an interview for BBC Breakfast on Friday. Not only did she answer the questions asked (a rare thing indeed!) she showcased all […]

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 […]