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 […]

Getting your crisis communication priorities right

When Tony Haywood said that he’d like his life back, a catastrophic crisis got much worse.  When Maclaren announced a recall of supposedly dangerous pushchairs in the US, but failed to do so in the UK, there was public outcry.  When Kraft indicated that it would keep Cadbury’s Bristol factory open but then announced its closure once […]

News from BP and Toyota reveals the long term cost of ineffective crisis management

BP and Toyota are living proof that a mis-handled crisis causes long term damage to a business’s reputation.  It’s not just the enormous drain on management time and the cost of putting an incident right in the short term that make crises so harmful.  It’s the after effects that linger and taint a business for months, […]

Reputational risk – the human factor

News about Steve Jobs’ health-enforced absence from Apple and its impact on the continued success of the business shows just how important the human element is in reputational risk management.  The problem is that too many businesses choose to ignore it. It’s relatively easy to contemplate operational risks – fire, flood, IT failure – especially if […]