Imagine that one day you wake up to find that your brand’s web domain has been seized by the FBI and there is a warning blazoned across the page alleging the brand and its customers have committed federal crimes—and that prison time and fines may be involved. Reputation trouble doesn’t get much worse than that. But this was exactly the situation PokerStars found itself in.
PR pros know that having a Crisis Communications Plan (CCP) is critical. The more difficult task is keeping the plan’s steps top-of-mind for rapid recall when you need them. Chances are your CCP is sitting on a shelf somewhere. This article provides a handy checklist of CCP steps as well as a step-by-step approach to handling crisis communications in a way that will be easy for staff to remember.
Social media can be a blessing and a curse. While it provides an information dissemination platform that an organization can use to communicate with its stakeholders during a crisis, the fact that anyone with access to the Internet or social media can broadcast information about the crisis and an organization’s actions or inactions can result in the dissemination of misleading information. This article provides guidance for using social media in a crisis environment.
Spokespeople may be making poor choices this week, but PR and communications teams are demonstrating that their crisis plans are robust by taking quick, decisive action and communicating it to the public effectively. With influencer marketing on the rise, more PR departments large and small should keep these incidents in mind as potential crisis models to anticipate—and responses to emulate.
While it’s still difficult to distinguish all the facts in the airline industry’s latest crisis, there’s enough material available so that we can extract several lessons. Speaking of lessons, those who make a living teaching PR have to be thankful for the wealth of material the airlines have provided them in just the past six months. Since the only freebies airlines provide regularly are small bags of peanuts and soft drinks, PR teachers might consider making a charitable donation to the carriers.
Several situations last week prompted us to think about how brands respond (or don’t) to situations that could become crises. Ken Peterson, communications director of Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Bell Helicopter CCO Robert Hastings urge brands to include an evaluation process in their emergency plans to determine whether or not a situation is a crisis. This evaluation process should include monitoring social conversations and news coverage. That’s step 1 at the Aquarium, Peterson says. Step 2 is an initial assessment to “ramp up or stand down.”
It’s generally accepted that brands are highly vulnerable to crises. We’ve all heard the maxim, “It’s not a question of if your brand will experience a crisis, but when.” The good news is that since communicators work across the enterprise, they are well placed to know where a crisis might erupt. But how about when it doesn’t take an experienced communicator to know that a brand might be vulnerable? We look at two incidents where issues have arisen and brands might be tempted to act.
A ransomware attack ravaged the globe May 12 in the form of WannaCry, a program that spread itself through a Windows networking protocol. There was a patch, but that was no help to the countless users who had not updated and installed it. Much of the blame for this has fallen on Microsoft.
You don’t have to look far to find examples of people and organizations screwing up. So as tempting as it may be to pile onto Uber’s woes or the latest airline mess, Katie Paine uses this edition of Image Patrol to look at the follow-up to crises. What you do is very important, but so is how you respond, ie, the way people and brands say they’re sorry – or don’t.
With the swirl of information inundating consumers sometimes important notices get lost. This can be a dilemma for communicators who often are charged with alerting the public about a product recall, an event that can do serious damage to a brand’s reputation. An expert in such matters, Michael Good provides brand communicators with tips for combatting product recall fatigue.