Pennsylvania Credit Union Association PR Crises Strategies


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PR Crises Case Studies for Credit Unions

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Pennsylvania Credit Union Association PR Crises Strategies

  1. 1. Crises Communications and the Media Mike Lawson DML Communications
  2. 2. What is a crises? <ul><li>An unanticipated event that threatens the reputation of an organization. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Types of crises? <ul><li>Natural disaster </li></ul><ul><li>Economic disaster </li></ul><ul><li>Technical issues </li></ul><ul><li>Human error </li></ul><ul><li>Executive wrong doing </li></ul><ul><li>Legal issues </li></ul>
  4. 4. Crises externals <ul><li>Risk-averse audience </li></ul><ul><li>Audience has little faith with business spokespeople </li></ul><ul><li>Media look for conflict to create stories </li></ul><ul><li>Competitors will take advantage of plight </li></ul><ul><li>Debating the issue shows guilty defensive position </li></ul>
  5. 5. Crises Negative Results <ul><li>A single incident can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Damage company reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Damage company profits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Damage company integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Damage company confidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimately driving away your audience </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Famous Crises Examples <ul><li>Exxon Valdez </li></ul>
  7. 7. Exxon Valdez — Failure <ul><li>Tanker runs aground spills 11 million gallons of crude oil in Prince William Sound, Alaska </li></ul><ul><li>Dead: 500,000 birds; 4,500 otters, 14 killer whales </li></ul><ul><li>Exxon chose to ignore criticism, didn’t communicate openly, shifted blame, refused to acknowledge extent of damage (legal) </li></ul><ul><li>Paid nearly $10 billion in fines and damages </li></ul><ul><li>Company simply failed on numerous fronts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>showed little leadership; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>failed to show concern; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>failed to involve media; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>failed to respond to activists </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Famous Crises Examples <ul><li>Tylenol </li></ul>
  9. 9. Tylenol — A Success Story <ul><li>People died from taking cyanide-lased capsules </li></ul><ul><li>Tylenol acted quickly, proactively pulling their product from the shelves without being forced to do so </li></ul><ul><li>They communicated openly and often with the public and had an investigation </li></ul><ul><li>Tylenol was found innocent upon concluding the investigation </li></ul><ul><li>Tylenol had a favorable brand image with the public because they pulled their product from the shelves quickly and communicated frequently with public </li></ul><ul><li>Following the crises, Tylenol added safety seals on their bottles to prevent any further tampering </li></ul>
  10. 10. Famous Crises Examples <ul><li>JetBlue </li></ul>
  11. 11. Jet Blue — Gets It Right <ul><li>Passengers stuck in Jet Blue planes on tarmac for up to 10 hours because of bad weather </li></ul><ul><li>Angry passengers’ reaction spread quickly via online channels and media </li></ul><ul><li>CEO takes blame head on — admitted it took too long to help those passengers </li></ul><ul><li>CEO then announces $30 million investment to revamp procedures and create passenger bill of rights </li></ul><ul><li>“ We’re going to offer something that no other airline will offer customers. We’re going to be held accountable.” </li></ul><ul><li>Jet Blue CEO, David Neeleman, on The Today Show </li></ul>
  12. 12. Famous Crises Examples <ul><li>Ford/Firestone “Blowout” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ford/Firestone = Failure <ul><li>Number of consumers died because of tire blowouts in Ford SUVs </li></ul><ul><li>Both companies claimed innocence and blamed each other </li></ul><ul><li>Both companies did not communicate openly or honestly with the public </li></ul><ul><li>Both companies implied lack of concern for their customers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They ignored the deaths and injuries of their customers to protect their bottom line </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As a result, Ford and Firestone’s response, or lack thereof, to this crises alienated their customers and suffered serious damage for years afterward </li></ul>
  14. 14. Famous Crises Examples <ul><li>Shot by Dick Cheney </li></ul>
  15. 15. Shot by Dick Cheney <ul><li>Shot his friend with a shotgun in a hunting accident </li></ul><ul><li>Did not communicate with public nor the administration right away </li></ul><ul><li>Story took on a life of its own </li></ul><ul><li>Appeared he was hiding something </li></ul><ul><li>Cheney finally addressed the public but was too little too late </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, Cheney’s mistake continues to be the butt of many jokes to this day </li></ul>
  16. 16. Other Famous Crises <ul><li>Katrina (natural disaster) </li></ul><ul><li>Enron (creative accounting) </li></ul><ul><li>Major League Baseball (steroids) </li></ul><ul><li>Jack in the Box (e coli) </li></ul><ul><li>Wendy’s (found finger in chili) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Recent Crises Examples <ul><li>U.S. automakers travel to Washington, D.C. for bailout meetings in their corporate jets </li></ul>
  18. 18. Recent Crises Examples <ul><li>Financial services meltdown (U.S. economy) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Recent Crises Examples <ul><li>Credit union corporates (U.S. Central, Western, Members United, Southwest, etc.) </li></ul>
  20. 20. To Avoid a Crisis Panic <ul><li>Have a Plan! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies that incorporate effective crisis communication strategies into their disaster recovery plans have a greater chance of mitigating negative media and public perceptions and enhancing their long-term credibility. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. A Good Crisis Plan Requires… <ul><li>Honest self-assessment of yourself and your organization to recognize potential pitfalls: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are the gaps that potential problems could sneak through? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are the execs who say the wrong thing to the wrong people? (Don’t let them talk!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your business practices that could be considered unethical? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your essential services that could be knocked out by natural disaster or hacked? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Appoint Good Spokespeople <ul><li>Determine who needs to be involved </li></ul><ul><li>Two spokespeople and two assistants to cover incoming requests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensures at least one person will be available for media requests </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan should be able to quickly and systematically add key personnel in case crises escalates </li></ul>
  23. 23. Get the Facts <ul><li>Early access to the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how” of a crisis situation allows key spokespeople to better respond to media queries and disseminate the most appropriate information to the public. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Provide Candid Responses to Media and Public <ul><li>Don’t avoid certain topics </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t avoid questions by not answering directly </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t answer a question that could compromise an ongoing investigation — but clarify why </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t know the answer to the questions, tell media that you will provide them with the information as soon as it’s available </li></ul>
  25. 25. Key Messages for Media and Public <ul><li>Rehearse or discuss possible crises situations </li></ul><ul><li>Determine key messages in each situation — and stick to them </li></ul><ul><li>All statements to the press should incorporate your key messages </li></ul><ul><li>Messages should be crafted to portray a corporate image that is responsive, stable, and proactive </li></ul>
  26. 26. Communicate Effectively to Media and Public <ul><li>Respond quickly, accurately , professionally with care </li></ul><ul><li>Be accessible! </li></ul><ul><li>Treat perceptions as fact </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Note the other side’s concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Make no public confrontations </li></ul>
  27. 27. Crises Communications in Today’s World <ul><li>Advent of Social Media… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crises can erupt with unprecedented speed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public has an insatiable thirst for news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now anyone can break news in a blog, Tweet, YouTube video, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Porous boundaries between social and mainstream media </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Crises Communications Changing <ul><li>Social Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows new crises to occur </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opens new channels to communication with audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t have to rely solely on media to distribute message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowers the cost of outreach while reaching more people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. How Fast is Social Media? <ul><li>US Airways into the Hudson River </li></ul><ul><li>43,000 views of Janis Krums’ TweetPic photo within first 4 hours </li></ul>
  30. 30. YouTube & Home Depot <ul><li>Environmental group tried to upstage Home Depot’s CEO at annual meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Member of group unfurled banner reading, “Dam Home Depot, Protect the Rivers of Chile!” </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental group believed Home Depot could stop the dam project in Chile but wasn’t doing enough and was using wood directly harvested for the dam project </li></ul><ul><li>Home Depot immediately released video on YouTube explaining its side </li></ul><ul><li>Home Depot does not buy any wood related to the dam project </li></ul><ul><li>Home Depot’s video controlled message to the public rather than go directly through the media </li></ul>
  31. 31. YouTube & Home Depot
  32. 32. Twitter & Ford Motor Co. <ul><li>Ford’s head of social media, Scott Monty, discovered Twitter messages stating Ford was going to shut down a popular fan site </li></ul><ul><li>The dispute prompted 1,000 complaints overnight </li></ul><ul><li>Monty immediately responded to the complaints on his Twitter page and on Ford’s page as well </li></ul><ul><li>Monty made frequent updates to the website’s fan base </li></ul><ul><li>Informed fan base that Ford lawyers thought the website was selling counterfeit goods with Ford’s logo and wanted the site shut down </li></ul><ul><li>Monty convinced the lawyers not to shut down the site because it was legit </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of the next day, the situation was resolved </li></ul><ul><li>Website’s creator renewed faith in Ford — thanks to Monty’s immediate response </li></ul>
  33. 33. 5 Steps to Manage a Crises <ul><li>Be prompt in addressing the public and media upon immediately discovering the crises </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain your honesty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The public is more willing to forgive an honest mistake rather than a calculated lie </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be as informative as possible to quell any rumors </li></ul><ul><li>Show the public that you care and are concerned </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Again, the public will be more forgiving about a caring company </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Maintain a two-way relationship with the public </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to them and be proactive in your communication </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. 6 Crises Responses <ul><li>You can attack your accuser to eliminate their credibility </li></ul><ul><li>You can use denial claiming no crises exists </li></ul><ul><li>Justification — where you claim no serious damage was done or the victim was at fault </li></ul><ul><li>You can use ingratiation to appease your audience </li></ul><ul><li>You can use corrective action to “right your wrongs” </li></ul><ul><li>You can provide a full apology asking for forgiveness </li></ul>
  35. 35. The Three C’s of Credibility in a Crisis <ul><li>During a crisis, effective spokespersons must, primarily through their non-verbal cues, leave their audiences with the impression that they are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compassionate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confident </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think &quot;Rudy Giuliani&quot; on and after 9-11 </li></ul>
  36. 36. Questions? <ul><li>Mike Lawson </li></ul><ul><li>DML Communications </li></ul><ul><li>760/845-8146 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
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