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 […]

Embedding your social media policy: the first step to preventing a social media crisis

TV meteorologist Rhonda Lee lost her job last week after she responded to a viewer’s comment on Facebook. This is the latest in a line of incidents that underline the potential for social media to spark a firestorm, in particular one which is created by a company employee (Nestle and Chrysler are two other businesses […]

Three crisis communication insights from NatWest outage

NatWest currently finds itself engaged in a battle to protect its reputation as its crisis management planning and training is put to the ultimate test.  It’s too early to draw firm conclusions on the long term impact, but here are my initial observations: 1) NatWest was slow off the mark as the crisis escalated online […]

Six principles for reputation management in a transparent world

My previous blog posting looked at the dramatically different context for reputation management in an era of total transparency, and the challenges this presents to leaders wishing to communicate and build trust with stakeholders. Here’s a copy of the full presentation from my session with Common Purpose: [slideshare id=12209887&doc=march282012commonpurposejh-120329100211-phpapp01] Against this background, successful reputation management […]

First Steps to Protect Your Corporate Reputation

If you’re a regular reader of this blog and already have robust crisis management plans in place, you are excused from reading this post!  Whilst it would be nice to assume that most organisations are in this happy position, it would also be naïve.  So what should an organisation that has developed a positive reputation […]

Lessons from Greg Smith’s letter of resignation from Goldman Sachs

When considering customer backlashes, boycotts of products and services or anger spread throughout the media and the internet we tend to focus on consumer facing organisations. These companies are all too aware of the possible reputational risks and most are prepared for the online battle to protect their corporate reputation and brand. They tend to […]

Claire’s crisis communication response: designed for success?

Claire’s, the accessories and jewellery retailer, has found itself cast in the classic role of corporate Goliath, supposedly trampling over a much smaller rival following allegations that it copied the product of an independent designer. It’s an impression unlikely to win friends and one which the company would wish to shake off.  Its crisis communication […]

C4 Dispatches results in two very different issues management strategies

When a  TV documentary team goes undercover to expose malpractice in your sector, important decisions need to be made about your issues management strategy. So it was fascinating to observe how Viagogo and Seatwave adopted entirely different reputation protection strategies when Channel 4′s Dispatches looked into the “the great ticket scandal”.  Using secret cameras, reporters […]

Social media policy is first line of defence for online crisis management

A series of YouTube videos by an American Airlines employee have added to the issues management challenges of a company already facing an uncertain business future. The humorous videos by a flight attendant parody the firm’s management and reveal the content of an internal memo sent to staff.  A discussion is developing on as […]

Crisis management 2012: are you prepared?

The first few weeks of 2012 have seen a succession of businesses in crisis management mode as they fought to protect their reputations in the face of challenging events and issues. Whilst the Costa Concordia disaster filled the news for weeks and required concerted crisis communication, RBS faced an issues management challenge over executive pay, […]