Lexington crisis communications workshop for sport: how to protect your brand

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Jo Bullen and Caroline Nagle from Lexington Communications discuss how to protect your brand. …

Jo Bullen and Caroline Nagle from Lexington Communications discuss how to protect your brand.

Presented at the Sport and Recreation Alliance's Sports Summit 2014.

More in: Sports , Education , Business
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  • 1. Crisis Communications: How to protect your brand Sports Summit 2014 Jo Bullen and Caroline Nagle
  • 2. Who are we? Jo Bullen Issues management expert with nearly 20 years experience Caroline Nagle Crisis management expert from public to private sector
  • 3. Agenda for next hour • Knowing when you’re dealing with an issue and when it’s a crisis • Protecting your brand • What to do when an issue hits • Breakout • Questions
  • 4. ISSUE VS CRISIS
  • 5. What is an issue? An issue is a non-acute risk to an organisation’s strategic, commercial or reputational interests that, left unmanaged, can escalate to a crisis. Internal drivers: • Performance • Behaviour • Supply chain • Change External drivers: • Politics & policy • Societal impact • Affects whole sector • Impacts multiple stakeholders
  • 6. Examples of issues
  • 7. What is a crisis? A crisis is a highly-unusual situation or incident that presents a significant and immediate commercial, reputational, financial or strategic risk to your organisation that must be dealt with decisively and effectively. External incident: • Security • Natural events • Terrorism External issues: • Policy & politics • Regulator Internal incident: • Safety Internal issues: • Behaviour • Governance
  • 8. Examples of crisis
  • 9. Example crisis: Qatar FIFA bribes • The Sunday Times published emails from Qatari officials to African FA members detailing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes at the time of the 2022 World Cup vote • The news broke on 1st June and was instantly picked up by news outlets all over the world • Many high profile football officials are now embroiled in this ongoing scandal
  • 10. Lifecycle of an issue - FIFAGravity of Issue Time Vulnerability/ problem Issue Problem not addressed/solved Growing internal/ external concern Discussions among key influencers The issue hits top-tier media Issue is out of control – Risk of inappropriate response Potential damage to business and reputation Crisis Growing social media noise Accusations of corruption during Qatari bid not addressed at the time Triggered media speculation including a Sunday Times investigation The Sunday Times publish emails alleging bribes were made
  • 11. How the media behaves Fast moving Needs new angles 24/7 Multi- platform Blame/Victim Bad news makes great news
  • 12. Knowing you’re in crisis  Key stakeholders are involved or impacted  It’s been picked up rapidly and widely by national media or is leading the news agenda  The authorities need to be involved  Location affected (e.g. strike/accident)?  Interested parties are commenting publicly  Wide spread debate on social media, trending on Twitter
  • 13. Taking time to breathe Don't believe the first thing you hear -- the sky may not be falling Is our organisation the sole focus or is this wider? How much trouble are we in? Establish the facts Act like a journalist -- ask questions, ask questions, ask questions
  • 14. PROTECTING YOUR BRAND
  • 15. Risks and issues planning Horizon scanning and scenario planning Develop positioning and communications strategy Stakeholder audit and outreach Crisis & media training Crisis response testing
  • 16. Being prepared Crisis communications manual Define the leaders Process / roles & responsibilities Core crisis team contact details Key messages and FAQ – don’t start from scratch with each crisis Key facts & figures Support materials
  • 17. Proactive Issues Management Gravity of Issue Time Vulnerability/ problem Issues Prevention Issues Management Crisis Management Issues are managed/ controlled Crisis is avoided/contained to issues management Issues Prevention Issues Manage- ment Crisis Manage- ment
  • 18. Theory into practice Gravity of Issue Time Vulnerability/ problem Issues Prevention Crisis Management Problem persists Issues are managed/ controlled Crisis is avoided/contained to issues management News of Ryan Giggs’s affair comes out Manchester United PR response Sift focus from private life to football Issues Manage- ment Crisis Manage- ment
  • 19. WHEN AN ISSUE HITS
  • 20. Awareness during a crisis Information is often the first casualty of a crisis Issues broaden beyond the facts or the incident - they call your whole reputation into question Facts often become distorted and exaggerated Emotion overtakes fact and objectivity is lost
  • 21. If a crisis hits Alert - follow crisis comms guidelines Define audiences - who needs to know? Start writing - clarifies thinking Three key messages easy to understand - details go under those messages
  • 22. Always be Honest Clear Quick Humble Demonstrate leadership and authority
  • 23. The don’t forgets Always • Know what is victory • Understand that sometimes the best work never sees print • Keep it simple – no corporate speak or jargon • Protect leadership • Rapid response to media is important but don't let media pressure skew decision-making process • Keep communicating Remember internal • Employees best source of information to family and friends • Be prepared to deal with internal rumours, keep the message consistent • Communications acts as outside spokesperson -- leader communicates to employees • Internal communications can quickly become external communications via social media – have a policy in place Watch-outs • The lawyers and regulatory – be appropriate and honest • Group-think • Losing your head – maintain serenity • Lack of relationships
  • 24. If you’re in charge? No surprises Play a key advisory role Provide timely accurate information – don’t speculate No-one changes your questions – they help you with the answers
  • 25. Post-crisis 1. Evaluate and learn lessons 2. Understand what went wrong & change 3. Win back trust and reputation Manage crisis well Stakeholder outreach Rebuild internal reputation Say something new Make changes
  • 26. And finally • Don't be surprised and be prepared • Anything can happen and usually does • Know the facts first • Communication is a boardroom issue
  • 27. BREAKOUTS
  • 28. Crisis simulation • Situation – You are Head of Comms for the Lawn Tennis Association – a private email from your Chief Executive has leaked to a national newspaper containing sexist comments, the story appears. – A group of former tennis professionals lead by Sue Barker have called for the Chief Executive to resign over the emails as it’s causing negative publicity ahead of Wimbledon – You’ve just been in a meeting with the under fire CEO who has refused to resign and you have a long list of journalists who require a response • Where would you start?
  • 29. QUESTIONS?