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 […]

Crisis communication: count the cost or feel the value?

Last month the Halifax announced that it would be paying customers around £500 million in compensation following a piece of confusing communication about mortgage rates. But assigning a definitive financial measure to the value (or, in this case, the cost) of communication is not always quite so easy. Often though, we need evidence to demonstrate […]

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, […]

Toyota and BP highlight the importance of effective crisis spokespeople

BP and Toyota suffered 2010’s most damaging crises, and it’s tempting to think that these were very modern crises played out online in the Twitterverse.  But there was a common problem that afflicted both organisations which shows that 21st century crisis management is not just about online communication: ineffective media spokespeople make bad situations worse […]

In a crisis, the Scouts are right: Be Prepared!

PR people looked on as two of the world’s most admired companies – BP and Toyota – suffered terrible crises this year, and wondered “could we be next?”.  Hopefully many have now moved on to considering what they could do in the light of these catastrophes to reduce their potential for reputational damage.  An earlier posting identified denial […]

How communicators can prevent corporate denial in a crisis

On March 31 2010, BP was the UK’s biggest company.  Six months later, it has lost around one third of its value.  In 2009, Toyota was the world’s eighth most valuable brand according to Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” league table.  2010’s league table shows that Toyota has slipped to eleventh having lost 16% of its […]

Re-writing the CEO job description to ensure reputation protection

The role of the CEO in corporate reputation protection has been headline news as the BP crisis rumbled on and Tony Hayward excelled in the role of pantomime villain.   Events of the last three months have made it abundantly clear that crisis management (and more especially crisis communication) is an essential part of being a […]

Please help me reduce my crisis management income

When organisations like BP and Toyota suffer crises I make money.  I get phone calls from company executives asking me to help them fight fires, communicate with stakeholders and preserve their reputation.  It’s the ultimate distress purchase and the cost of this support is rarely an issue.  As a consequence, it can be a lucrative area […]

Narrow approach to crisis planning leaves reputation in short supply

According to a BBC news story Buddhist monks have been engaged to rid a Chinese factory of evil spirits following the death of worker, the tenth employee to fall from a building at the factory.  Rumours are spreading of a suicide cluster caused by unreasonable workplace pressure, an allegation denied by the company’s  founder.  The […]