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The role of Public Relations in Risk and Reputation

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This is a presentation I delivered to the annual Commercial Law Network conference in October 2019.
It looks at the role of public relations in risk and reputation and talks about organisational challenges and how to overcome them. It also cites a huge opportunity for lawyers and PR professionals to work more closely on risk and reputation management, with clearly defined roles.
If you want to check out my business and experience head to www.aura-pr.com and please do get in touch if you'd like to chat about I can help you come up with a risk and reputation strategy, covering internal and external factors.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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The role of Public Relations in Risk and Reputation

  1. 1. risk, reputation and public relations
  2. 2. Today's Presentation About Laura and Aura Public Relations and Brand Determining Risk Technology Managing Risk Crisis Management Resilience Edelman Trust Barometer Turning challenges into opportunities
  3. 3. AURA PR Consultancy and Professional Development
  4. 4. Established Aura in 2008 PRCA Dare Awards winner 2018 & 2019 Sir Stephen Tallents Medal 2019 Industry awards judge Former CIPR Board Director and Council member Chair of CIPR Fellows' Forum Recognised PR blogger
  5. 5. Public Relations is about reputation - the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding (and trust) and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics. CHARTERED INSTITUTEOF PUBLIC RELATIONS
  6. 6. SpinSucks Modern public relations - integration
  7. 7. Who determines reputation?
  8. 8. Society, your stakeholders, anyone who comes into contact with the brand.      A strong, positive reputation translates into long-term value in an organisation represented by confidence in brand equity, intellectual capital, sustained earnings and future growth. Reputation is likely an organisation’s most important asset.
  9. 9. Who are your stakeholders?
  10. 10. Who is responsible for reputation?
  11. 11. how do you benchmark reputation? ? a.     Risk and Value b.     Competence c.     Transparency d.     Public Relations – relationships, influence and trust
  12. 12. OPPORTUNITIES & RISKS INFORMATION & TECH Social media AI and Data Cyber security and attacks ACROSS PLATFORMS AND CHANNELS... THINK OF NEW TECH SUCH AS VOICE ACTIVATION... <<<<<<
  13. 13. Risk department, PR (as often used solely as press office rather than public relations), Communication often sits under marketing in more traditional organisations, so there is a disconnect between all essential functions. REPUTATION CAN MAKE AND BREAK ORGANISATIONS WITHIN A MATTER OF HOURS W H A T ' S T H E C H A L L E N G E ?
  14. 14. THREE THINGS TO CONSIDER SOCIAL MEDIA EVERY NANO SECOND CONTENT IS PUBLISHED ACROSS EVERY CHANNEL PHONES ENABLE RECORDING IMAGES AND VIDEOS AND IMMEDIATELY PUBLISH ONLINE CITIZEN JOURNALISTS *THEY* SEE AND THEY HAVE THEIR OWN VERSION OF EVENTS, BUT IT'S STILL PUBLISHED AURAPR(SCOTLAND)LTD THEY ONLY SEE WHAT
  15. 15. What's the social impact? Society is watching...
  16. 16. DISCONNECT No consistency between disciplines POOR UNDERSTANDING OF SOURCE OF REPUTATIONAL RISK AND HOW TO MANAGE Not skilled or experienced in this area and don't bring in skilled resource to advise e.g. PR consultant LOW AWARENESS OF COST OF IMPACT o   Market value o   Loss of customers o   Lack of trust  o   Loss of supply chain o   Business growth set backs o   Internal culture change o   Staff loss Why organisations find it difficult
  17. 17. Assessing the risks WHO ARE YOUR STAKEHOLDERS what potential risk do they a) carry and b) how would a crisis impact them? Cause and effect... LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED Do the same wiht the services you provide, the health and safety risk assessments, the staff you employ... INSIDE-OUT AND OUTSIDE-IN APPROACH It works both ways Aura PR (Scotland) Ltd
  18. 18. ISSUES MANAGEMENT Before a crisis hits IDENTIFY WHAT OR WHO IS IT CAUSING THE PROBLEM CONTAIN CONTAIN IT BY ADDRESSING AS AN ISSUE RECOVER AURAPR(SCOTLAND)LTD TURN THE SITUATION AROUND BEFORE IT TURNS INTO A CRISIS
  19. 19. CRISIS COMMUNICATION When a crisis hits, do you have a crisis plan in place? This is developed by the leadership and risk and public relations team. Right people are involved at the right time, with the right amount of information and the right checks and balances carried out, with the right communication at the right time, on the right channel, to all stakeholders
  20. 20. Identify, adapt, respond, protect, LEARN Assess likelihood and impact High Risk – if a high-risk situation arises, then it’s a crisis situation and you need to get the crisis plan in motion Moderate Risk – if it’s moderate, it has the potential to reach high risk very quickly Low Risk – label as an issue and address
  21. 21. What are the red flags?
  22. 22. How public relations professionals manage the communication process...
  23. 23. MESSAGE AND LANGUAGE Tone, sensitivity to audiences, in-line with business comms strategy CHANNELS PR pros know channels and how they work and how best to leverage them MEDIA Media relations is bread and butter for PR pros Skills and experience TIMING Knowing when to communicate is everything PURPOSE PR pros exist to ensure the organisation represents the interests of it's publics
  24. 24. Skills and experience ETHICS Complete transparency APOLOGETIC If you got it wrong, you need to admit to that and apologise MONITORING PR pros have tools to monitor channels and brand sentiment
  25. 25. It doesn't have to be a terrorist attack to be a crisis...
  26. 26. PREPARE COMMS FOR DIFFERENT AUDIENCES Different messages and tones for different audiences PREPARE CEO FOR INTERVIEWS Own the story. PR pros will advise on the best approach, what to look out for in interview techniques with the media and how to move the interview on. WHAT ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE AFFECTED?E.G FAMILY. It's not just people directly involved who are affected... showing a human side and empathy is everything to those affected in some way. So what? Go back to your risk assessment and review...
  27. 27. RESILIENCE STAKEHOLDER MAPPING RISK ASSESS CRISIS PLAN AURAPR(SCOTLAND)LTD TEST COMMUNICATE THE PLAN KEEP TESTING TRAINING
  28. 28. Globally, 75 percent of people trust “My Employer” to do what is right, this is significantly more than NGOs (57 percent), business (56 percent) and media (47 percent).
  29. 29. "Building resilient trust through meeting employee expectations." Employees are potentially a brand's highest risk during an issue or crisis, often the cause of the crisis
  30. 30. INTERNAL COMMUNICATION IS FUNDAMENTAL That doesn't just mean communicate between departments. It's part of stakeholder engagement and the overall PR strategy. Employees are the biggest asset to the business and have a huge potential to make or break reputation.
  31. 31. The opportunity? Great communication requires PR professionals to be inspiring, empowering and confident. What happens if we don't communicate?
  32. 32. Ideal scenario Incident / issue occurs Plan kicks in and crisis team congregates. Time is of the essence to address or start responding and communicate with stakeholders. PR and lawyers work together to fact find and share findings. PR starts to draft statements, takes down social posts scheduled, manages message on website etc. Media, staff and/or citizen journalists are on the case Time is of the essence to update stakeholders. PR follows crisis PR plan and coordinates communication with emergency services PR team and/or client CEO. PR continues to draft communication messages as the situation unfolds.
  33. 33. If you don't have a PR strategy in place for public relations, that means you won't have one for issues or crisis... That's when you start to understand the impact of poor communication and lack of strategy on your business.
  34. 34. SCENARIOS M&AS CLIENT BUSINESS FAIL SLANDER AURAPR(SCOTLAND)LTD DEFAMATION EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL
  35. 35. aura-pr.com hello@aura-pr.com Questions?

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