Volkswagen: a long road to recovery

By Dominic Cockram

220px-Volkswagen_logo_2012.svgIt has certainly been a busy few days for the VW crisis management team. If they had a mature and practiced crisis preparedness capability in place then hopefully they will have been hard at work for some time now. Suggestions are that others did have some foresight that all was not well in the industry from the roadside test reports, so there may have been some early work going on.

But, in facing this potentially overwhelming corporate crisis, how should VW set about managing the crisis, identifying their priorities and ensuring their reputation recovery? Continue reading

The Crisis Press Conference: Why and when?

PressConferenceBy Andy Cuerel

Crisis communications and media relations can take many forms – and the press conference is not always the right answer. In part as a result of US Whitehouse coverage and any number of Hollywood blockbusters, you would be forgiven for thinking that the crisis press conference is the default option for every mass communication. In reality this couldn’t be further from the truth as for all the apparent benefits, there are a number of tiger traps to catch the unwary and ill prepared.

Continue reading

When horseburgers hit the headlines: Lessons in crisis management for suppliers

tesco-value-horse-burgersBy Dominic Cockram

Last week it was discovered that several ‘beef’ products on sale in UK supermarkets contained horse and pig DNA. The story immediately hit the headlines with #horseburger trending on social media within hours as outrage at retailers and terrible puns abounded in equal measure. A recall on the affected products was immediately issued, but the response thereafter has seemed rather like a game of pass the blame.

What can manufacturers and suppliers learn from the #horseburger fallout?

1.     The big brands don’t have your back: Reputation and consumer confidence is the cornerstone of big name brands, and they will have no qualms about turning against suppliers to protect their name. Tesco was proactive Continue reading

The 8 1/2 Cs of Crisis Communications

CBy Dominic Cockram

Corporate Communications is a minefield, and never more so than in times of crisis – take a look at Toyota, G4S and Progressive Insurance to see just how wrong it can go. As experts in Crisis Management, we have seen many companies and clients experience the unpredictable current of crisis comms; here we share with you our top 8 (and a half!) ‘C’s to guide you through the storm.

  1. Be Clear – don’t confuse your audience with technical or legal jargon; be honest and transparent in what you are doing and why you are doing it
  2. Be Consistent – this is a core element of trust, confidence and credibility, so ensure that key messages are consistent across all media (traditional and social platforms) and internal comms Continue reading