Reputation management in an era of total transparency

This year’s TrustBarometer from Edelman shows that trust in chief executives has plummeted: only four in ten people view CEOs as “credible spokespeople”.  This finding underlines the enormous challenge that businesses face in achieving successful reputation management today. It is also the background against which I led a workshop for business leaders at a recent […]

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, […]

Why Blackberry’s crisis communication response is so damaging

Blackberry looks set to once again prove the crisis communication adage that it’s not really the crisis which damages reputation, it’s the way in which you respond to it. On this basis, Blackberry is set to suffer major harm to its reputation (and its business fortunes)  based on a tight-lipped approach to communication and a […]

Reputational overdraft hinders UBS in crisis communication efforts

With news that a “rogue trader” is responsible for a $2 billion loss, it is clear that Swiss bank UBS faces a huge crisis communication challenge.  A number of factors make this challenge even tougher than might otherwise be the case. Preserving UBS’s reputation Reports that the unauthorised trading was not picked up by UBS’s […]

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 […]

Crisis communication – why the dustpan and brush no longer works

I attended a conference earlier this week at which the head of corporate communications from a UK police force described the overwhelming media interest in a high profile murder investigation.  In particular, she  explained how the names and personal details (not necessarily accurate) of two people were communicated by the media within hours of their arrest […]

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  […]

Sony’s approach to crisis communication fails to reassure PS3 owners

Sony is not the first company to suffer from hacking, nor is it the first to lose the email addresses (and possibly credit card details) of its customers.  So why are publications like the Financial Times suggesting that its reputation could be seriously damaged?  The answer lies not so much in the security breach of […]

PR will eat itself

Communication professionals like myself have long fought to establish PR as the equal of advertising.  This has led to countless debates about effectiveness, return on investment and evaluation. Now that the battle is won (I think), have we actually shot ourselves in the foot? I ask this question as a result of talking to a regional newspaper […]

Reputation under fire: grin and bear it or take the offensive?

A recent article in the Economist reported that the best response to inaccurate online rumours was to ignore them, and instead communicate a barrage of good news.  This, the article contends, is the best form of issues management. I only half agree. Certainly, building a positive perception based on a strong and compelling corporate narrative […]