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 […]

Nigella’s reputation re-launch provides lesson in crisis management planning

The new year presented Nigella Lawson with an opportunity to begin a new phase of reputation management for “Brand Nigella” following a challenging 2013. With last year’s court case behind her and a new TV series about to begin in the US, Nigella transitioned from crisis communication mode by seizing the opportunity to set the […]

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. […]

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 […]

5 reasons why the BBC crisis is so damaging

No one disputes that the BBC is currently facing one of the biggest crises in its long history.  But what are the ingredients that define the magnitude of the issue it faces?  Here are five reasons why the crisis is of such huge proportions: 1) The people factor This is a crisis which has enormous […]

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 […]

How Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary turns every media interview into an opportunity

Ryanair polarises opinion.  Its success shows that its low prices are attractive to many passengers, but the airline has attracted criticism for its customer service, advertising campaigns and pricing structure.  As a consequence it is often in the position of having to protect its reputation or engage in issues management (and occasionally crisis management too). […]

Proof (almost) that swift and open crisis communication preserves business value

I’ve long been an admirer of the work of Oxford Metrica which focuses on the impact of a crisis on the value of a business.  It shows that the way in which a business responds to a crisis (not the fact of the crisis itself) defines the extent to which value is lost – or […]

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 […]