Visit London is the official visitor organisation for the capital Our job is to bring people from all over the world to London
We have faced many consumer crises – very few of our own making! Global Industry Many crises in this decade Foot and Mouth 9/11 SARS Bird Flu Gulf War Terrorist incidents July 2005 Bombings – estimated to have cost the industry £560m
Added to this is a new focus on public money.... Particularly on Members of Parliament but more widely to all organisations that receive money from the UK taxpayer Under scrutiny in a way that’s probably never happened before
3 rd threat to our reputation is the complexity of the city Who “owns” the brand of London? How do we control areas that are not our’s but have an impact? Even our own suite of branding was confusing.......
Our brand story: “London offers its visitors and inhabitants more choices and opportunities than most other places in the world. This multitude of possibilities can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming but we think that the fact that London spoils us with choices is one of the marvellous things about it. Our aim is not to define and prescribe what London is – we highlight and make accessible what’s right for any given person or organisation that comes here. It’s our job to know what’s going on and we help Londoners and visitors alike make the right choices. London is whatever you want it to be.......
No person, no organization, has a reputation so fine that it is immune to reputation threats from within or without. The actions of every employee and contractors considered, de facto, to be part of your organization have the impact to promote or damage your reputation.
Supports sales efforts Supports how your staff feel Supports customer loyalty Supports banking and financial relationships
Domino Pizza faced a crisis when two employees were filmed messing around with food and then putting the film on YouTube A study by BrandIndex in the days following the Domino’s crisis found that overall, national perceptions of the chain’s quality fell from +5 positive to -2.8 positive. A huge drop in positive perception in 48 hours? For a multi-billion dollar company, that’s serious consequences.
So, what IS reputation?
Loved and hated in equal measure – the man who is threatening to introduce charges for using the bathroom But incredibly successful And utterly clear and consistent in his approach To the extent that a consumer TV programme in the UK divided the public panel into those who love and those who hate flying Ryanair It is difficult to assert that his brand and his brand values are not well understood
Your brand is your personality and personalities – just as we ourselves - are often misunderstood It is our responsibility to make sure our brands are understood and not for consumers to work it out And this puts immense pressure on us to be clear and consistent about brand values and to communicate them continually And nowhere is this tested more than in a crisis
Where can a crisis come from? You will know from your own business, your own life and from the news. Crises can come from anywhere. Staff Natural disasters War Operational mistakes Marketing mistakes Accounting procedures If we always knew where they were going to come from, there would be no crisis management manuals and specialists in handling crisis communications Definition I prefer is a quote from JFK
OPPORTUNITY! While a badly managed crisis can leave a brands reputation at rock bottom, if a company’s crisis communications planning is rigorous then some positives can be gained from even the worst event. Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has said the Cumbria rail crash marked &quot;a very sad day&quot;, and paid tribute to the actions of the driver and emergency services. Sir Richard cut short a family holiday to see the scene of the accident and visit the hospitals treating those injured when the London to Glasgow service derailed at Grayrigg, near Kendal. &quot;It is a very sad day because of the loss of one life and the injuries caused to other people,&quot; he said. He said the actions of the emergency services, the RAF and the police in dealing with the crash had been &quot;wonderful&quot;. And he hailed the driver of the train, Iain Black, who was badly injured in the crash, as a hero. And, when a police officer at the crash asked why the CEO of a major company would travel to middle of a rain swept field in England, Branson replied, “Because if I was the parent of one of the kids involved in this accident, I’d damn well want the boss of this operation to be here.” Classic crisis response: acting quickly, taking control, expressing concern
Another text book crisis management BA38 from China landed hundreds of yards from the runway at Heathrow due to iced fluid in the wings (?) Co-pilot successfully landed the plane with only minor injuries to passengers Opportunity to emphasise training, experienced and committed staff
The other brush stroke: DANGER Look at changing landscape we’re in One hostile and/or ego-driven person with a computer and some Internet savvy can do a huge amount of damage to any organization. Damaging information present on the Internet spreads virally, being reprinted by other websites or even news organizations regardless of accuracy. Ignoring it will only make matters worse. Everyone is a “journalist” but without a journalistic code Everyone who owns a computer, owns a TV station. Our reputations are in danger of being manipulated, for good, or bad, by anyone skilled in using one.
A classic crisis comms top ten -5 before, 5 during Start buy-in from the top. If crisis preparedness does not receive the full support of an organization's leadership - particularly the CEO - the organization will not be prepared, even if they have some plans on the shelf and a bit of training to go with it. ............but the reality is that all staff should understand and know their role during a crisis Audit your vulnerability – give yourself a very hard look in the mirror and just imagine that any of your working practices could appear on the front page of a newspaper Plan – definitive and regularly updated plan, identifies crisis comms team, roles and responsibilities and contact details Map your stakeholders, how to communicate with them in a hurry and notification procedures Practice, practice, practice – desktop exercises, role playing – all important aspects, especially where your day to day working lives do not include many opportunities for real crisis management.
DURING Act quickly and take control - if you hide from the media or fail to feed this ever-hungry beast, it will seek alternative comments and arrive at speculative conclusions that may not be in your best interest. Show concern and demonstrate action Communicate frequently, including stakeholders and staff – not just media – even if it feels like there’s nothing new to say, say that. “ Recruit” third parties – pundits etc. Brief with your messages before and then during. Deliver your brand values – set everything you say in the context of your company’s brand values which are hopefully well understood. This is not the time to define them, but it is the time to reinforce them as we’ve seen with BA.
Abraham & Harrison http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2y3zlszook We mentioned Proactively seek out potential crises or small scale crises that could become bigger. Celan the crime scene – there are specialists out there who will track down references to your company and seek to limit their effect. You can also buy out domain names that could hurt you – wehatelondon.com, dontgotolondon.com Make sure your search engine optimisation is up to scratch so that your favourable articles, blogs, information is first Encourage staff to be bloggers, promoting your brand values and adding to the positive amount of information in the super highway
The right environment – a press release to broadcast media does not deal with a gossip story generated on Twitter. Unlike traditional crisis management, which typically requires procedures for press conferences and written releases, in social media you have to be ready to make multi-media content. And if you have to go through your Web design company or IT Department to make that happen, you’re dead. Maybe you should be training corporate officers on how to use a Flip camera and upload video, and to use Wordpress? If you can’t get a video from your CEO on YouTube within 3 hours, anytime of the day or night, you’re not fully prepared. Are you? Communicate – regular updates even more important in this environment where even a few hours is stale. Monitor – RSS feeds, Google alerts come into their own Crisis is a time for humanity and showing concern and consideration. Too many stilted corporate comments still appear
IN A RECESSION – Hill & Knowlton 1 - assess your strengths and weaknesses Step back and reassess your company in a new light Focus on your primary objectives and don't cloud the issues. You will be in a better position to react quickly and effectively to new developments. Know what you're up against by running a risk audit. Develop a plan that analyzes the risks that your company faces and create scenarios. Regularly monitor media. Hold internal brand communication workshops to reassess your brand strategy and determine if changes are needed. 2 - Keep talking Don't let your customers hear nothing from you. Take advantage of the downturn in marketing investment to lead the dialogue. Maintain relationships by managing expectations and not making too many promises. Can you be honest, confdident and direct? Can you let your customers know what challenges you face and how they will be overcome? 3 - Leaders must be front and forward Leaders who are visible and available project confidence. Profile your CEO as a thought leader. Can you use the recession to differentiate yourself that continues into the future. 4 - Focus on staff Companies don't create a brand experience, people do. Use internal comms to keep staff motivated and engaged. 5 - focus on the influencers Use social channels and networks to engage 6 - Make creativity a top priority. Those companies unafraid to innovate will be the leaders after the recession.
Crisis and Reputation Management
JOB TITLE SPEAKER NAME COMPANY NAME Ken Kelling Communications Director Visit London
CRISIS AND REPUTATION Ken Kelling, Visit London
TOP FIVE - BEFORE <ul><li>Start “buy-in” from the top. </li></ul><ul><li>Audit your vulnerability. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan rigorously. </li></ul><ul><li>Map your stakeholders. </li></ul><ul><li>Rehearse “what if?” scenarios. </li></ul>
TOP FIVE - DURING <ul><li>Act quickly and take control. </li></ul><ul><li>Show concern / demonstrate action. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep talking. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Recruit” third parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate your brand values. </li></ul>
THE NEW (MEDIA) WORLD Online reputation management during a crisis is like tidying the house during an earthquake.
NEW TOP FIVE - BEFORE <ul><li>Seek out crises. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Clean the crime scene”. </li></ul><ul><li>Dominate search results. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff as online reputation managers. </li></ul><ul><li>Promote positive online links. </li></ul>
NEW TOP FIVE - DURING <ul><li>Respond in the right environment. </li></ul><ul><li>The new tools – multimedia. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate and update continually. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor. </li></ul><ul><li>Lose the “formality”. </li></ul>
IN A RECESSION <ul><li>Assess strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep talking. </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders must be visible. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on influencers. </li></ul><ul><li>Make creativity a top priority. </li></ul>