How many crises might have been averted just by asking a few more questions and offering a couple of clarifying points? The author provides some key lessons.
Recent attacks have become bolder and more sophisticated and include invasions of government agencies, healthcare providers, schools and organizations of all types and sizes, including the likes of Twitter and Microsoft and the National Basketball Association. But while most attacks are against large, well-known brands, small business also is a big target for bad actors. The ransomware attack on one of the United States’ largest fuel pipelines is an all-too-frequent reminder that more needs doing. Now.
One of the communicator’s domains is online, where, among other things, they monitor social conversations about the company. As such, corporate leaders see them as having intimate knowledge of social and they’re the first call where online risk is involved.
This month’s Crisis Averted shows how a terrific campaign for a lucrative product can go awry quickly. The story touches on a bevy of things: crisis readiness, immediate and more measured reaction to crisis, #MeToo, cancel culture, media, social media, tremendous irony and a large cast of characters.
With so much reporting of how botched crisis response can harm companies and organizations, why do we continue to see so many crises mishandled? Crisis veterans Ayme Zemke and Gene Grabowski dive into this complex topic.
PR agencies are working on tools and processes to curb the spread of disinformation. PR trade groups and agencies recognize disinformation as an issue that clouds their clients’ messaging. Recently Ruder Finn and Edelman joined the ranks of those offering tools to combat disinformation and identify sources of some of the noise.
The idea for this month’s Crisis Dialogue springs from something we hear often from crisis pros: ‘That person/company is difficult.’ So, we talked with Chanel Cathey, founder/CEO, CJC Insights, LLC, and Daniel Roberts, a corporate crisis specialist, about handling uncooperative executives during a crisis.
While we lack data on it, we’ll guess that with so many employees working from home since the start of the pandemic, the already-sparse scheduling of desktop crisis drills has contracted even more. One of the characteristics of crisis is an uncanny ability to arrive according to its schedule, not yours. As a result, a PR crisis strikes when the CEO is in a remote part of China negotiating a deal or the COO is on a ski vacation in Aspen and has gone off the grid. As such, the most realistic crisis-readiness exercises, pre-pandemic and now, were and are conducted with staff situated in various locations.
“Sticky” crises require near-immediate response and might compel crisis managers to explore and understand emerging crises’ breadth and scope. These additional complexities and communication demands influence the way crisis managers prepare for crises. Leadership requirements during sticky crises and diversity were some of the areas examined in a survey from Crisis Insider parent PRNEWS and UGA’s Crisis Communication Coalition. More than 400 PR pros were surveyed in early spring 2021. We provide several highlights.