When crisis hits! the importance of being prepared


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Crisis communications preparedness for communicators and PR professionals. First presented in Singapore on Nov. 5, 2012.

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When crisis hits! the importance of being prepared

  1. 1. When crisis hits! The importanceof being prepared.Presented by Yeow Mei LingManaging Consultant and Crisis Communications Practice LeadText100 Global Communicationsmeiling.yeow@text100.com.my
  2. 2. “Good reputations can take centuries to build, but just seconds to destroy”
  3. 3. What is your reputation worth? “Corporate reputation is a more important measure of success than stock market performance, profitability and return on investment. Only the quality of products and services edged out reputation as the leading measure of corporate success.” World Economic Forum “30% - 50% of a company’s value is in intangible assets.” Ernst & Young, Measures that Matter
  4. 4. Crisis Communications Preparedness:The Purpose• Marketing builds business value• Crisis and issues management seeks to preserve business value• Poorly handled crises affect trust ― and the bottom line: – Share price – Loss of sales, contracts, goodwill, partnerships – Price erosion – Interrupted/damaged organizational performance• Thoughtfully handled crises are an opportunity to: – Present the true soul of the company – Prove management’s integrity – Build and preserve credibility and trust with major stakeholders
  5. 5. What can go wrong?• Act of God, business catastrophe, terrorism• Employee (mistake, miscommunication, litigation initiation, IP theft, criminal activity, dissatisfaction)• Product, service or technology (network outage, service failure, downtime)• Management, leadership, company performance (resignations or shareholder/board pressure to resign, fraud, corporate investigation, personal indiscretions, earnings miss, financial malpractice)• Consumer, community or pressure group action or legislation• Accident or negligence (causing illness, injury, fatalities, damages, loss)
  6. 6. .. .Multiplied by unprecedented market turmoil Corporate Restructuring Merger transparency Shareholder Value Low Bankruptcy Morale Hostile takeover Declining revenue Unhappy employees Disgruntled customers Office closure Product failure
  7. 7. ...Compounded by new worldwide dynamics Changes in Technology EMPOWERMENTTRUST More choice, more voiceConfidence ineach other, FRAGMENTATIONnot institutions Bigger cake, thinner slicesChanges inSociety Changes in Business
  8. 8. Can make a bad situation much, muchworse…• Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill• Tony Hayward appeared unsympathetic and attempted to shift blame• BP was too transparent in its attempts to manage its reputation• People thought BP cared more about fixing its image than solving the problem
  9. 9. Can make a bad situation much, muchworse…• Sony repeatedly hacked• Customer details shared• PSN knocked offline for extended period• Sony downplayed severity of problem• Official communication was sparse and vague• No details or timeline for situation resolution
  10. 10. SONY
  11. 11. And can have a far reaching impact… TAIWAN FOOD SCARE
  12. 12. What are your risks?• What external and internal factors could represent a crisis for your business?• Define three major risks that you feel could affect your business.• Consider how prepared you are to deal with these events from a communications perspective today.
  13. 13. Types of crisis Sudden Accident, death, bomb, fire, serious product failure Smoldering Resignation, product faults, legal actions, complaints, quality issue, unethical corporate actions, accountancy malpractice, poor financials
  14. 14. Dealing with a crisis • The ultimate objective: issues Pre-existing don’t reach crisis proportions relationships of trust and goodwill • Very few crises are total Strong values and company culture surprises • A crisis is the latest possible point at which a response can  Skilled crisis prevention, take place preparation, handling and communication • Prior to this point, somewhere, someone (usually senior management) knows about the probability of a crisis
  15. 15. Who owns the crisis? Operational Communications Operations Internal communications Security CEO communications Manufacturing Marketing/branding Facilities Physical recovery Investor relations Crisis Management Team Management and leadership The key is effective Overall responsibility coordination of the Official positioningmanagement, operational and communications Business leadership response to the crisis Spokespeople
  16. 16. 10 guiding principles of managing a crisis1. Have a clear process2. Know how to analyze the situation3. Develop clear objectives and strategies4. Ensure smooth logisticsAction principles:5. Speed6. Consistency7. Candour8. Control9. +1Establish:10.Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms
  17. 17. New Era Crisis Communications
  18. 18. Social media crises rising
  19. 19. Bad customer experiences
  20. 20. 31%%6
  21. 21. What employees are doing
  22. 22. Social media can make a bad situationmuch, much worse…
  23. 23. A case studyNational Australia Bank
  24. 24. Another case studyDBS Bank Singapore
  25. 25. Building blocksfor crisis preparedness Building Blocks, Holger Zscheyge, http://www.flickr.com/photos/zscheyge/49012397//
  26. 26. New era of crisis comms workflow Map and monitor social andRevise crisis plan, traditional media preparation and LISTEN channels monitoring REFINE PREPARE Create a crisis communications plan and train executives to Conduct engage immediate debrief on resolution REVIEW CRISIS ENGAGE Manage dialogue with Internal & external stakeholders and communities
  27. 27. Buzz Analysis What is the size of the conversation around your brand? What topics are generating buzz LISTEN around your company?  Identifying Buzz: we identify which topics are getting the most attention in online discussions and why.  Influencer Analysis: our experienced analysts deliver in-depth qualitative analysis of the online voices with the most influence on your brand. Influencer Topic Driver Analysis What do influencers think are the key issues? Influencer Lists Who’s driving discussions around your brand? Influencer Dashboard What was the tone of influential posts toward your company? How often do they discuss competitors?Audience Segmentation and Community Mapping What types of online communities are discussing your company or products?
  28. 28. New era crisis communications workflow LISTENREFINE PREPARE Outputs • Crisis communications plan and spokesperson / community owner training program including: • Comprehensive DARE-based crisis communications plan including social and traditional media, influencer andREVIEW CRISIS channel engagement strategy (includes internal influencers) • Established ownership and coordination policies ENGAGE • Executive and spokesperson training • Social media policy creation • Pre-engagement with influencers • Pre-established presence in key communities
  29. 29. New era crisis communications workflow LISTENREFINE PREPARE Outputs • Manage dialogue with Internal & external stakeholders and communities including: • Social and traditional media outreach and response to all stakeholders • Real time conversation and media monitoringREVIEW CRISIS • Management of social and traditional media newsrooms • Creation and management of crisis ENGAGE micro sites • Strategic communications counsel • Senior consultant joins crisis management team
  30. 30. The new era of crisis comms Monitor multiple channels through social media Vigilant dashboards and RSS Internal is as critical as external – ensure all Internal vs. external audiences are engaged appropriately Crises don’t wait for news cycles – monitor and Real time respond 24x7 All channels feed into each other – ensure your 360 degree message is consistent Not all channels and influencers are created Amplified equal – find those that amplify Speak with a human voice – that’s what your Authentic communities use
  31. 31. In short, be prepared...• Identify your crisis communications team• Have clear guidelines for internal and external comms• Identify spokespeople• Train spokespeople• Establish crisis notification systems• Identify and know your stakeholders• Anticipate crises (scenario planning)
  32. 32. How do you improve yourorganisation’s preparednessquotient?
  33. 33. First..• Conduct a crisis communications audit – Hot spots (vulnerability audit) – Existing structures and processes – Readiness and gaps
  34. 34. Second..• Develop clear guidelines, best practices and policies – Crisis communications manual – Crisis reference kit – Roll-out to core team(s)
  35. 35. Third…• Conduct crisis simulation workshops – With comms team or with wider crisis management teams and committee
  36. 36. What is crisis simulation training?• A real live simulation exercise to experience the pace and passion of a crisis with particular focus on internal and external communications• A great opportunity for individual brand communications teams to work side by side with each other and develop a regional/ global team mentality• The chance for communications staff who may not always deal with the media directly to get a taste for press office lifeA boost to any public relations professional’s ability to manage the media in a situation that could happen! 3
  37. 37. Workshop series #1: Semiconductorcompany• ‘As live’ crisis management simulation (part of internal team building programme).• Text 100 developed a crisis around a fictional fire at the company’s largest fab facility: Large fire spreading! Toxic cloud and missing, presumed dead, staff members.• In London, Paris and Munich, the communications teams were given imaginary roles to play facilitated by Text100 consultants .• Pressure from concerned relatives and industry bloggers to broadcast, print and online media.• Workshop objective – To create a life-like crisis situation and see how each team reacted, learning from any shortcomings in the Company’s infrastructure.
  38. 38. Workshop series #2: Regional Bank• Simulation workshop followed completion of crisis audit and development of group CC Guidelines• Conducted over separate full-day workshops in TH, Indonesia, SG and MY.• Scenario: Banking platform failure with no ATM & online transactions, no payroll transfers, no access to online information, eve of a long weekend, long cues, irate customers.• Simulation collaterals included mock news and social media monitoring alerts, mock TV coverage, blog posts.• Designed to provide a test bed and pressure cooker environment with breaking news, ambush interviews, trending twitter conversations, blogs and queries from authorities.• CMT involvement (with Chairman/CEO) for decisions, approvals and media engagements.• Actual best practices from ‘as live’ scenarios used to fine tune guidelines and drive home best actions.
  39. 39. Fourth• Review, refine, refresh regularly – Review with new crisis scenarios and industry developments – Refine policies, processes and guidelines – Refresh with existing and new team members
  40. 40. Summary• Social media has changed the nature of crisis management communications forever• However, the principles of crisis management communications remain fundamentally the same• It is more critical than ever to understand your company’s channels of influence, especially your employees• You can’t rely on news media as the sole channel for crisis communications• Constant monitoring is vital• Authenticity is currencyBeing prepared is a weapon in the comms arsenal!
  41. 41. There’s an up-sideThoughtfully handled crises are anopportunity to:• Present the true soul of the company• Prove management’s integrity• Build and preserve credibility and trust with major stakeholders
  42. 42. Thank YouText 100 Copyright:This document, and the ideas contained herein, is wholly owned by Text 100. Text 100retains all rights to the materials, including, but not limited to all copyright, trademark,trade secret, and other proprietary rights, however denominated. Text, photo, graphic,audio and/or video material shall not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewrittenfor broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Noone shall be authorized to reproduce, prepare derivative works based upon, distribute,perform or display any portion of this document without first obtaining the writtenpermission of Text 100. Materials must not be used in any unauthorized manner.