10 Commandments of Recall
Crisis Management
Presented by
Susan Tellem, APR, RN, BSN
Tellem Grody Public Relations, Inc.
Doesn’t matter what your product is
…
Recalls follow the same pattern
…
Remember…be prepared
You are most at risk without
systems in place before a crisis.

Many companies believe “It will
never...
First steps first …
Call your lawyer
Call your insurance company
Call your PR/crisis management firm
Once you’ve made the calls …
Start Implementing the
10 Commandments of
Recall Crisis Management
Commandment #1
Rapid response minimizes damage
The minute you smell a rat, don’t
shrug and say, “It’s only a tiny rat.”
Ha...
Commandment #2
Have that product recall plan ready
It’s not good business to “Wing it when
the bad thing happens.”
Policie...
Commandment #3
Follow the Feds

Follow the lead of federal authorities.
• Federal agency has specific guidelines for
commu...
Commandment #4
Train. Train. Train again.
Train two teams – corporate managerial and
manufacturing.
Media train the spokes...
Commandment #5
Backup your systems

Sin of presumption…
- computer systems will not work
- crisis team not available
Commandment #6
Stakeholders need to know…
Know your audiences.
Rumor mill runs rampant. Stem by making
updates available.
...
Commandment #6
Stakeholders need to know…
Develop special communications for highly
disgruntled customers and distributors...
Commandment #7
Apologies must be sincere
Be open and transparent.
Public nature of a recall means that all information wil...
Commandment #8
Media relations is key
“A lie travels around the world while
truth is still putting on her boots.”
Mark
Twa...
Commandment #8
Media relations is key
• A firm or industry that is not forthcoming with
information of who knew what, when...
“No Comment”
is not an
option
Commandment #8
Media relations is key
• Stonewalling and “no comment” don’t work
• Lack of engagement is passivity which
i...
Commandment #8
Media relations is key
• Satisfy public’s right-to-know without
compromising case or victim’s rights
• Alle...
Commandment #8
Media relations is key
• Establish recurring methods of contact
• Releases or statements
• Website, texts, ...
Commandment #8
Media relations is key
Expected results…
• Media inquiries redirected to PR team or
consultant relieve mana...
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Social media is key:
• Offers affordable method for connecting
people during a crisis...
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
1) Lighting Fast Word of
Mouth
2) Ultra-transparency
3) Interaction, dialogue >
messa...
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Interaction and dialogue is key
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
More than 80 percent of internet users
start session with a search
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Develop your voice and distribute
it to channels via a blog,
Facebook, Twitter, YouTu...
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Don’t do things that you’ll regret!
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Commandment #9
Don’t be “antisocial”
Monitor what is being said
Paula Dean monitoring on TweetReach was huge:
93.7k contri...
Commandment #10
Launch recovery ops immediately
Start a recovery phase as soon as the
problem emerges.
• Establish dialogu...
Commandment #10
Launch recovery ops immediately
PR should craft recovery messages
• Personal apologies if appropriate
• Re...
Where to find us…
Website – blog
tellemgrodypr.com
Like us on Facebook:
TellemGrodyPR
Follow us on Twitter:
@tellemgrodypr...
10 Commandments of Recall Crisis Management
10 Commandments of Recall Crisis Management
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10 Commandments of Recall Crisis Management

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It doesn't matter what kind of recall a company faces - food, clothing, drugs, pet products - there are some hard and fast steps to consider when the bad thing happens. This is a presentation that Susan Tellem, APR, RN, BSN gave at the Supply Side West Conference in Las Vegas on a panel with recall specialist and attorney Steven Shapiro at Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman..

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10 Commandments of Recall Crisis Management

  1. 1. 10 Commandments of Recall Crisis Management
  2. 2. Presented by Susan Tellem, APR, RN, BSN Tellem Grody Public Relations, Inc.
  3. 3. Doesn’t matter what your product is …
  4. 4. Recalls follow the same pattern …
  5. 5. Remember…be prepared You are most at risk without systems in place before a crisis. Many companies believe “It will never happen to us.” But prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
  6. 6. First steps first … Call your lawyer Call your insurance company Call your PR/crisis management firm
  7. 7. Once you’ve made the calls … Start Implementing the 10 Commandments of Recall Crisis Management
  8. 8. Commandment #1 Rapid response minimizes damage The minute you smell a rat, don’t shrug and say, “It’s only a tiny rat.” Have lists of home and cell phones, emails, vacation schedules, etc. Put that policy manual to the test with rehearsals. Don’t say “We’ve done the same thing for X years and we’ve never had a problem.” Or “we follow the strictest government regulations.”
  9. 9. Commandment #2 Have that product recall plan ready It’s not good business to “Wing it when the bad thing happens.” Policies should be reviewed every year or more since the communications pipeline is rapidly changing – social media turned response time on its head. Policies should cover operational, legal and public relations component internally and externally.
  10. 10. Commandment #3 Follow the Feds Follow the lead of federal authorities. • Federal agency has specific guidelines for communications • These include what media outlets must be notified (AP) • What language must be used
  11. 11. Commandment #4 Train. Train. Train again. Train two teams – corporate managerial and manufacturing. Media train the spokesperson, on camera rehearsals, message points. Don’t offer Mike as a spokesperson because he went through a recall before, or he likes to speak in front of audiences, or he’s the boss’ son. Must be quick on their feet, put two sentences together and have authority.
  12. 12. Commandment #5 Backup your systems Sin of presumption… - computer systems will not work - crisis team not available
  13. 13. Commandment #6 Stakeholders need to know… Know your audiences. Rumor mill runs rampant. Stem by making updates available. Slide show; email blasts; social media updates; press releases; statements; keep interviews by others under control. •Vendors •Media •Shareholders •Employees •Retailers •Distributors •Sales •Consumers
  14. 14. Commandment #6 Stakeholders need to know… Develop special communications for highly disgruntled customers and distributors. In this Age of the Internet, and in a litigious society, a few angry people can make waves completely disproportionate to their numbers or even to the injury suffered (if any). The recall process should include an "Escalated Cases" team to focus on such complaints when they're received.
  15. 15. Commandment #7 Apologies must be sincere Be open and transparent. Public nature of a recall means that all information will eventually be shared publicly. Don’t say that you’re committed to safety if you just poisoned 200 people.
  16. 16. Commandment #8 Media relations is key “A lie travels around the world while truth is still putting on her boots.” Mark Twain
  17. 17. Commandment #8 Media relations is key • A firm or industry that is not forthcoming with information of who knew what, when will experience loss of trust. • During a crisis, necessary for company to talk about the science, discuss risks and tell what is known, what is unknown. • Ability to be nimble is essential. • Media has changed enormously in the past decade.
  18. 18. “No Comment” is not an option
  19. 19. Commandment #8 Media relations is key • Stonewalling and “no comment” don’t work • Lack of engagement is passivity which invites “media frenzy” • You can be overwhelmed, discredited or demoralized if you do not have a crisis plan to handle the media
  20. 20. Commandment #8 Media relations is key • Satisfy public’s right-to-know without compromising case or victim’s rights • Alleviate media overload with printed statements as handouts • Coordinate any direct contact staff with the media (have strict rules about talking to press) • Work closely with legal counsel
  21. 21. Commandment #8 Media relations is key • Establish recurring methods of contact • Releases or statements • Website, texts, Twitter, Facebook, Apps • Database distribution • Build and update media database (they’ll come to you) • Return calls promptly, but manage expectations on big news days • Learn the value of “no news” to media
  22. 22. Commandment #8 Media relations is key Expected results… • Media inquiries redirected to PR team or consultant relieve manager and staff • Media assured of receiving latest and most complete information • Press briefings focused and informative • Improved coordination between media, PR, legal, executive team
  23. 23. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial”
  24. 24. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial” Social media is key: • Offers affordable method for connecting people during a crisis • Listens to find out what your audience is saying about your brand • Keeps a close eye on those who complain • Provides a fast way to dispel misinformation • Using a website to reach people in a crisis is not enough
  25. 25. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial” 1) Lighting Fast Word of Mouth 2) Ultra-transparency 3) Interaction, dialogue > message delivery 4) Search Engine Reputation
  26. 26. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial”
  27. 27. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial” Interaction and dialogue is key
  28. 28. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial” More than 80 percent of internet users start session with a search
  29. 29. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial” Develop your voice and distribute it to channels via a blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. • Update regularly. • Use video to portray the human element. • Don’t lose control of your message • There’s even an app
  30. 30. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial”
  31. 31. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial” Don’t do things that you’ll regret!
  32. 32. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial”
  33. 33. Commandment #9 Don’t be “antisocial” Monitor what is being said Paula Dean monitoring on TweetReach was huge: 93.7k contributors sent 233.1k tweets with an overall reach of 73.6 million.
  34. 34. Commandment #10 Launch recovery ops immediately Start a recovery phase as soon as the problem emerges. • Establish dialogue with groups to demonstrate openness and commitment to public safety and health. • Internally, plan for reentry to the market, logistics and how new risk management strategies will influence other business activities. • If there was media attention around the crisis event, the 1-year anniversary will often spur further coverage. Be ready.
  35. 35. Commandment #10 Launch recovery ops immediately PR should craft recovery messages • Personal apologies if appropriate • Reputation monitoring • Coupons • Ads • Special events
  36. 36. Where to find us… Website – blog tellemgrodypr.com Like us on Facebook: TellemGrodyPR Follow us on Twitter: @tellemgrodypr @SusanTellem Call us – 310-313-3444

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