Archive for the ‘Crisis PR’ Category

Advertisements that pull at your heartstrings – are they only for Christmas?

May 18, 2017

McDonald's

This morning, like most other mornings people are continuing to find things to give out about.

I’m very much about voicing your opinion when necessary, but sometimes I feel it can all be a tad dramatic! This time one of the world’s favourite fast food joints, McDonald’s was under attack for their newest advertisement, which is now tactlessly titled the “McDonald’s Dead Dad Advert”, making it easier to find online for those interested.

What is the advert about?

The advert shows a boy who was clearly very young when his dad passed away and is intrigued to know more about him – what he was like, what sports he played etc.

His questions are his way of finding out how similar they might have been.

However, his mother depicts a person that he is nearly nothing alike. The boy seems disappointed but not upset at his findings but then just as he sits to enjoy his Fillet ’O’ Fish meal his mum tells him that what he has ordered was his dad’s favourite too and that he always got the tartare sauce on his chin.

The camera then cuts to the boy with tartare sauce on his chin, his mum smiling and looking out the window fondly remembering that moment she shared with her husband.

Watch advert here:

The commotion:

I’m not going to go into much detail on what people are saying about the advert, it’s pretty 50/50 but you can read up on this online for yourself. However, there were enough complaints for the advert to be banned.

According to The Journal.ieMcDonald’s said “t had not meant to upset anyone, but “wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives — both in good and difficult times.”

McDonald’s said today it was withdrawing the ad “completely and permanently” and would “review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.”

You can read the full article by clicking here:

My view:

So this brings me to my point, would this be more acceptable at Christmas time?

Let’s not forget EDEKA the German supermarket Christmas advert which shows a grandfather faking his own death which was also controversial but in a weird way somewhat humorous OR Lidl’s Christmas advert that showed a family celebrating the special time of the year but missing their Grandmother at the table.

You can view these videos by clicking on the links below:

The German EDEKA advert and the Lidl advert.

Both adverts show bereavement in a different way as does the McDonalds advertisement but they are all asking us to remember our loved ones that can’t be here with us anymore.

I personally think that the complaints are a complete overreaction. It was a well thought out advertisement showing a very personal side to what some families go through every day. It was upbeat, not at all morbid and I did not get the impressions that they were trying to say that McDonald’s fixes everything. I felt that they were showing how the brand is very much a part of nearly every family.

The boy’s newly discovered likeness to his father is a fond memory that his mother has, and is now something they can both share together – this connection could make their relationship as mother and son stronger.

The trip to McDonald’s could be one of many and a way for them to hang onto a shared memory – what is so bad about that?!

Not to get all morbid, but death becomes a part of everyone’s life at some stage and while right now you don’t need to experience it directly, if an advertisement can shine a light on the part of death that shows a family connection, nostalgia and shared memories then I’m all for it.

Of course, the ironic thing about it all is that McDonald’s as a brand is still grabbing the media and public’s attention.

So whether you like the ad or not they’ve created awareness for their brand while promoting a meal that probably isn’t on their most ordered list! It might not be how they wanted to receive this attention but it is still publicity at the end of the day!

Do you think McDonald’s were right to shut down their advert?

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications in our Dublin office. Fuzion provide Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Social Media Management services from our office in Dublin and Cork.

Melania Trump, Dolce & Gabbana’s Hot Mess

January 27, 2017

Melania Trump D&G Dress

Melania Trump wore a stunning black Dolce & Gabbana dress at an event in Palm Beach, Florida on New Years Eve last. She was accompanying her (shy and often misunderstood!) husband, Donald Trump and the dress was pretty, elegant and quite sexy all at the same time.

Edel Cox from Fuzion did a blog post ‘When Fashion Meets Politics in December ’16 if you’d like a read more of the interesting topic that is fashion and politics.

The photo of Melania in the classy long black dress was everywhere, quickly, and Stefano Gabbana, one half of the dynamic Italian fashion duo, Dolce & Gabbana, picked up on Melania’s dress as soon as the pictures were published (it’s unclear whether he sent it to her, or she bought herself).

Stefano posted a picture on his Instagram account calling Melania a ‘beautiful woman’ and a ‘#DGwoman’ soon afterwards. Very quickly  the fangs were out and followers, who may or may not have been genuine customers erupted in anger at D&G’s positive recognition of Melania.

Over 1,000 followers and fans reacted.

Melania Trump - USA

Social Media Fashion Catfight

Comments by the D&G audience included those who believe Melania should only wear American brands, to those who said her wearing it and the subsequent post was ‘offensive to the core’.

One woman said ‘Yuck. I think I just bought my last Dolce piece’ to which Gabbana replied by writing: ‘Great.’ He also included a heart emoji.

So disappointed‘ said one person.

I don’t care‘ replied Gabbana.

Stefano GabbanaGabbana lashed out  “How many stupid and ignorant people r on Instagram!!!!

Please if you don’t like my post unfollow me … thank u ❤”

Please don’t buy anymore of my fashion please!!! I don’t need an ignorant costumer!!!” before adding that he sees it as “just one dress” and therefore not a political talking point.

He shot back to one poster with the simple comment – ‘Ignorant

And then there was the person who told Gabbana: “Clearly I can’t buy your clothes any more. Good luck“.

Gabbana responded by writing: “good luck you too”

(the spelling and broken English above is his, not mine!!)

Later in the week Gabbana continued to post stories about the uproar over him pointing out that Melania, a former model, wore one of his dresses and looked good in the frock.

Some commentators did separate fashion and politics but in my opinion this negative reaction is bad brand news for D&G, particularly because of the way Gabbana handled it (or didn’t).

Brand Value

Surely this brand, being around for as long as it has, knows how to talk to people, customer or not, in a professional, polite manner?

Surely they are mature enough as individuals and a brand to rise above taunts and manage such social media chats without getting bitchy and offensive to anyone?

Or perhaps Stefano Gabbana is following Donald Trump’s methods and just being direct, extremely open and somewhat offensive – like it or not?

However surprising this fashion fight was to read, it’s very surprising that Stefano would stoop so low as to insult people, customers or not, in such an angry, aggressive and frankly, immature way.

I think this social media behaviour, being extremely rude to your audience is an awful one and although I’d still love to own some D&G (who wouldn’t!), it leaves a bad taste with me that a designer would get so personal, and then unapologetic and stubborn, with his audience.

Is he or the brand so big that it can simply tell people to stop buying it because they’re annoyed ‘in the moment’ with some negative remarks?

I don’t think any brand is that big that it can be so unpleasant with those who engage with it. The feeling I got from Gabbana’s overall  tirade on Instagram last week was that he came across as being arrogant and totally superior to everyone and I don’t think that should be in anyone’s communications strategy: angry, ’in the moment’ or not, whatever he was feeling it personally himself – don’t let it out there.

An online audience following, engaging with a brand or business is highly valuable – word of mouth, ambassadors, influencers are all in there and a business needs to care for this community and treat it with respect, which hopefully leads to an understanding of the brand, loyalty, and sales.

I would have thought Gabbana would have been well advised by his digital marketing professionals on how to handle bad press online and not get so overheated.

Melenia Trump wearing Ralph Lauren

(this time she is wearing the American brand, Ralph Lauren)

Aftershock

After the shock of reading the posts by D&G I’m assuming that they are typical red blooded, fiery Italians (which is mostly great!) and at the end of the day, it’s their business and they can feel and communicate the way they want to, about people making negative remarks online.

However I do think this kind of irrational behavior makes me, and perhaps many lose a good dose of respect for them. If they don’t value (customers) relationships, on or off line, why would anyone, customer or otherwise, feel good about buying or wearing their clothes? Or perhaps the exposure this got in global media was just the hot topic focus D&G wanted on the brand in order to stand out… would we dare ask him?!!

Great advice for Stefano (we do think it is great that he participates personally online – it’s a “real brand”) would have been to embrace the visibility and the free coverage that Melania Trump brought to the brand, be happy that a beautiful woman who has the world spotlight on her is choosing your brand over others. Then let anyone who wants to get upset about it have their voice but you stay out of it and maybe, just maybe..shut up!!

A simple piece of advice that we give clients about negative comments online is that very often the best thing to do is just..ignore them.

Anna Wymes, Fuzion CommunicationsAnna 

Anna Wymes is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

Why is there so much industrial unrest?

November 7, 2016

Teachers Strike in Ireland

Strikes, conflicts, confusion and chaos – they’ve become the norm in Ireland over the last 12 months.

Although, the economy is continuing to strengthen and our unemployment rate continues to fall, we as a country are in the midst of one of the most significant periods of turmoil and industrial action in recent history.

As I write the first Garda strike in the history of the state has been narrowly averted – that inferno’s been quelled, now back to the next blaze that rages with the ASTI who plan to return to the picket line in the coming days.

Gardaí, teachers, bus drivers, postal services, nurses, midwives, train drivers – those who we as a society depend most on are those who are pushing, or have been pushed so far as to feel they’ve no other choice but to down tools.

How did we get to this point? Could it have been avoided? 

Are any lessons being learned?

It’s too simplistic to define the industrial actions simply as pay disputes. There are a myriad of reasons why the disputes get that far – workers feeling disenfranchised, unequal, undervalued, employers remaining firm yet feeling threatened.

Feelings, attitudes, perceptions and actions are all based on communication, or a lack of. It underpins everything.

Internal communication and engagement is essential and the most effective way to prevent, identify and resolve discontent in the workplace. It makes a workforce feel engaged and valued.

Could the industrial actions have been avoided with more and better communication?

Just recently I wrapped up on a project with a major international organisation that began as one, altogether different and modest brief, but developed month-on-month to be something bigger and better with far greater and long-lasting benefits and effects for both the company and its staff.

Working with an external communications agency brought value to the corporation in terms of identifying and strengthening weaknesses with fresh and innovative plans and activations.

It was a really interesting project to work on particularly as it often required at short notice a change of plan and time lines in the context of the company’s matrix organisational structure.

Adaptability, reporting and communication was hugely important, not only on our behalf but within the organisation of what we were hoping to achieve, why and how we were going to do it.

The investment of time and resources on this communication was invaluable and while the project has drawn to an end, it’s legacy remains in the innovative approaches taken to internal communication and the platforms available for two-way communication, which will continue to be utilised by the organisation going forward.

Communication is not all about talking – listening can be all the more powerful and effective.

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn Twomey

Aoibhinn Twomey is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design  who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Defamation and your reputation

August 11, 2015

Defamation

This week we had to deal with a potential defamation scenario for a client because of some of their online activity.

In this case they had received a solicitors letter accusing them of defamation because of something that they had posted in a personal blog post. This whole area is very interesting because it deals with the most valuable of assets,”your reputation” and it also had the element of online, which makes it even more intriguing.

Your Reputation

Your good reputation is one of the most precious assets that you have and it is in your interest to protect it at all costs. A good reputation is built up over time and it comes about from how you conduct all aspects of your business including the delivery of your products and services, how you treat your customers, your suppliers and your team and how you interact with the general public.

A good reputation will win you business, it will attract customers who will want to do business with you and it will give suppliers, banks, investors and landlords that necessary trust so they are happy to deal with you. If something does go wrong, as things often do then a good reputation will protect you because people will know that you are to be trusted and that whatever has happened you will sort it out.

A lot of the work we do with clients can be described as reputation management. We work hard to ensure that all the great things that our clients do are publicised and if potentially damaging incidents occur then we make sure that these situations are carefully managed so that any damage is limited.

A reputation often takes many years to build, but this can be destroyed easily in just moments by circumstances.

Defamation

Because your reputation is such a precious asset it is only right that their is legal protection available to you, should anyone ever defame you.

We have found that defamation can be quite a misunderstood term as many feel that it applies whenever someone ‘says something bad about you‘  which is certainly not the case.

A few elements must normally be in place for something to be deemed as ‘defamation’:

Precise information – You must know exactly what has been said or publicised about you and be able to demonstrate this.

Clearly identified – The parties claiming to be defamed must be clearly identified in the offending publication.

False statements – It can only be deemed as defamation if what has been said is largely untrue. You might not like what is being said about you but if it is true this is not defamation!

Publication – It is only deemed as defamation if the publication of the remarks was relatively wide. Being overheard by a few people would not be enough.

Defamation

Online dimension

The online environment makes this whole area even more complicated.

Does a post on a blog or on someone’s social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn carry as much weight as an article in a newspaper, some other publication or a comment on radio or TV? If I have 6,000 followers on twitter and someone else has 100 is a false statement by me a bigger misdemeanour?

It’s all a question of distribution and how many people may have seen or heard the false statements and then someone has the tricky job of assessing how much potential damage has been done by the false statement.

Another tricky dimension with the online environment is that if others make defamatory comments about someone on your ‘platform’ (blog/discussion board) then you could be liable as you did not remove the offending posts.

Defamation is a notoriously difficult area of law so even when all the elements are in place anyone considering a case in this area must have deep pockets and lots of time on their hands before considering legal action. (Check out some of the cases that have been tried in Ireland).

Our client

With the scenario that we had to deal with this week none of the critical elements were in place so our client had nothing to worry about and certainly nothing that would damage their own reputation – in fact it was quite the opposite.

In this case one of the people involved had written a blog post about the personal impact of an incident whereby they had been seriously wronged. They never once mentioned who the offending party were in their post and they were 100% truthful in what they had said.

Ironically the offending party ‘recognised’ themselves in the post and cried ‘foul’ and immediately ran to their solicitors who were happy to claim defamation, which it clearly was not. In this case the solicitor should have known better than to make such an incorrect and unprofessional accusation – is this a defamatory comment?

I’m always amused to see how it’s nearly always the ‘offenders’ who get most vigorous about protecting their rights!

Your good reputation is hard earned and it is a precious asset of huge value to your business. The best advice is to manage your reputation carefully so no one ever has a reason to say something bad about you.

If someone is making false, damaging accusations about you then you do have a legal mechanism but make sure that all the right elements are in place before going down this potentially costly and distracting road.

Your good reputation is everything.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Reputation Management and Crisis PR services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Dunnes Stores – Building your Reputation

April 2, 2015

Dunnes Stores Strike

It was a strange thing – I heard news of the Dunnes Stores strike first thing this morning on Newstalk and immediately without hearing any of the detail I was on the side of the workers.

I wondered why did I think that automatically?

The truth is I never hear any good things about the company.

I don’t hear about charities they support, I don’t hear about a focus on Irish products,  I don’t hear about how they work closely with suppliers, I don’t see them being helpful on social media, I don’t hear about how much they contribute to the Irish economy and I don’t hear about new jobs that have created.

Instead I remember the strikes of old and the trouble and controversy that the company has had down through the years.

This doesn’t mean for a second that they do none of these things – it just means I don’t know about the good things they do and as a result when I hear a negative about them I tend to believe it.

When we use the words ‘building your reputation‘ it is a powerful analogy because your reputation is something that is built over time.

It is a culmination of all of the things you do; how you look after suppliers, your team and most importantly your customers. It also includes how you interact with the general community – while we are all in business to make a profit it is vital that we respect our environment and those around us and genuinely try to be a good, responsible corporate citizen.

Besides doing good it is vital that this is communicated clearly and effectively so that people understand that this is a business that genuinely cares about something more than just making money.

When an ill wind blows it is vital that your reputation has been built carefully and robustly so that it can withstand it easily and that you will have the support of your customers, investors, the media and the general public in these circumstances.

There is a strike at Dunnes

If a good job was done here our first thought when we hear this should be “They are a great company who are really responsible and fair – there must be two sides to that story

Build your reputation … it will protect you

Greg Canty

Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland offer a full Crisis PR Service. Deirdre Waldron, (Partner) heads up the Crisis PR team, which includes former journalists, media training and social media expertise.

 

 

 

No make-up selfies and the science behind getting your charity’s voice heard.

August 5, 2014

Bra Colour campaign - Breast Cancer

Last year Facebook fans were subjected to a strange bra colour status update craze that took the social networking world by storm. The campaign saw Facebook users inundated by intimate details of their friends’ bra colour, which, it transpired, was all about raising awareness for breast cancer.

No makeup selfies campain - Irish Cancer SocietyThen there was the hugely popular #nomakeup selfie in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, which saw thousands of women, including a number of well-known Irish celebrities, posting bare faced pictures of themselves on social networking sites, although often masked by very flattering filters! The clever campaign, which piggybacked on the burgeoning obsession among young women with the self-portrait, raised a staggering €500,000 for the charity.

It didn’t take long before these trends went viral, particularly when it was taken up by our small pool of Irish celebrities, and the stories started to appear in the media.

That’s one way to hit the headlines when you are looking to fund raise and raise awareness of your existence, but what can you do when you want the Government to sit up and listen to your charity’s most hard hitting issues?

Recently, here at Fuzion, we took on a very worthwhile campaign on behalf of a charity client whereby we facilitated a mass media and lobbying campaign for the return of Discretionary Medical Cards to children with Down syndrome.

The outcome of this was in the region of 15,300 people with an acute or life-long medical condition-among them hundreds of children with Down syndrome- who lost their Discretionary Medical Card, or GP visit card, after an eligibility review between 1 July 2011 and 31 May 2014, had them returned.

Communications Planning and Execution

Employing the services of a skilled Communications Expert is essential for any such lobbying campaign to prove a success. A communications expert is the manager, the gatekeeper between you and the media, the person who adeptly deals with the manifold complexities of any charity, such as members’ individual needs, stakeholders, ethics and rivalry for resources among branches.

Any skilled communications person knows, particularly since the advent of social media, that it is the court of public opinion which wins out on the day, so if you have a communications expert who can get the media on board with your cause and can consistently provide case studies, interviews, sound bites and hard hitting statements while running a concurrent digital and social media campaign you increase your chances of success exponentially.

Medical Cards returnedParents whose children were affected by such a cruel and senseless measure as having this vital lifeline snatched away from them, with allegedly little attempt at sensitivity from officials, were justifiably insensate with rage. In these crisis scenarios it can be difficult for parents to remain focussed on the global issue and to shout from the same script as they desperately fight for their individual child’s needs.

A communications expert is the cool head in the eye of the storm facilitating media coverage, updating social media sites, lobbying government officials and often most importantly regularly updating members and stakeholders on exactly how hard the charity is working to effect change to avoid dissension within the campaign ranks.

Another critical element that a communications expert can provide is solid media training for nominated spokespersons. If you have been granted a five minute slot on a prime time radio or television show to communicate the key messages of your lobbying campaign then you need to be more than prepared for any kind of curve-ball the presenter might throw your way, and they do so regularly.

A charity’s hard fought campaign against a piece of government legislation can be crushed by one sloppy and incoherent interview.

A typical response from well-intentioned Charity CEOs provides succinctly the reason why your spokespersons should receive professional training in how to speak to the media: “I talked to that reporter for over an hour and he didn’t mention anything about what the campaign is all about!

A knowledge and communications expert can bring awareness, greater understanding, cohesion and focus to charities which are member focussed and disparate in nature. A knowledge and communications expert can also help such an organisation to win the trust of stakeholders.

Organisations who win are those who communicate openly and often both internally and externally, have a clear and committed communications policy and regularly assess their own performance.

Following a series of recent high-profile scandals in the charity sector now, more than ever, it is essential that each and every charity has their communications strategy in order and that is overseen by a skilled professional.

Edel O’Connell is a Senior Account Manager with Fuzion PR working from the Dublin office.

Fuzion are a PR firm in Ireland with offices in Dublin and Cork

PR – Advice in a Crisis

March 21, 2014

BP - Crisis

We take out insurance policies to protect ourselves if anything goes wrong – being ready to deal with a potential crisis in your organisation might be just as important.

Every organisation needs to be aware of its vulnerabilities and have a plan in place to deal with a crisis situation.  With the advance of social media, where and how a crisis develops is ever more complex and the speed factor can make it more challenging than ever before.

No organisation can afford to hide in a crisis as it has the potential to damage relationships with clients and stakeholders, wreak havoc on an organisation’s reputation, seriously effect revenue and in the worst cases result in closure.

Planning in Advance

We work with our clients in advance of any potential crisis, planning such things as:-

  • Reactive Statements
  • Preparing spokespeople to deal with the media: Media Training
  • Monitoring traditional and online media
  • Devising an action plan that will be put into place should the potential crisis become a reality
  • Developing an Internal Communications Strategy to include communications to relevant stakeholders
  • Crisis Social Media Strategy

Crisis PR - Fuzion PR We have worked on a number of high-profile national and international crises and we have also worked on other situations where the crisis didn’t materialise due to strategic planning, internal communications and careful management.

Sometimes you do need some luck on your side but you find if you do the right things you end up being lucky!

PR Advice

If there is a potential crisis in your organisation here is some practical advice:

  • Involve your PR company as quickly as possible – let them deal with the media, you have a crisis to sort out!
  • Be frank and open with the PR company –  trust them.
  • Should a crisis involve potential litigation, involve a legal expert to ensure that any PR messages/statements will not compromise any possible legal proceedings.
  • Always keep the lines of communication open between you and your PR agency – if something new arises the agency should be one of the first to know in order to anticipate media queries.
  • Ensure that all members of the organisation are aware of any public statements and are briefed as to the contents, so that that the message is uniform at all times.
  • Where possible a staff FAQ document should be distributed to equip the team on how to handle any enquiries from the general public; this will also help with Internal Comms and staff morale
  • At no point should any member of the organisation issue the words, “no comment”- it speaks volumes on what you may or may not be trying to hide!!
  • Always refer any press queries back to your PR company who can act as your “gatekeeper” and allow them to manage communications with press.
  • Agree a nominated spokesperson who will be quoted in all statements, and is in effect ‘the human face’ behind the crisis. As much as possible this needs to be the MD or CEO of the company.
  • The PR company should be ‘on call’ at all times during the initial crisis stage.
  • Immediately establish a news monitoring service to catch all stories relating to the incident
  • Monitor on-line mentions, comments, opinions and with your PR company agree a strategy around social media engagement during a crisis.

Our last big piece of advice is to always try to communicate the positive things about the organisation even during the crisis. Do this while the media are interested in your story – it’s too late after!

I sincerely hope you never find you or your organisation in a crisis situation but if you do I hope you find this advice useful.

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron

Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland offer a full Crisis PR Service. Deirdre Waldron, (Partner) heads up the Crisis PR team, which includes former journalists, media training and social media expertise.

Storming the Recession?

September 13, 2011
Perfect Storm

Navigating the Storm

At the beginning of 2009 I wrote this article for a few publications – this was written when “panic” was at a peak and we were all scrambling and desperately trying to find solid ground as the earth was crumbling under our feet:

Storming the Recession (Feb 2009)

Right now the country is gripped not only by Recession, but by Depression. The fear is absolutely tangible with everyone, as we face the storm that is raging all around us.

The money men are telling us to chase our debtors aggressively, delay our creditors as much as possible and cut back on spending.  That’s fine if we all existed in isolation of each other but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this approach will have everything grinding to a halt in a very short space of time.

Instead of this negative approach how about, rather that defence, think attack and work towards Storming the Recession?

Let’s work hard – carefully but positively; let’s deliver great service to our customers instead of just good service and let’s keep our eyes wide open to spot the unique opportunities that will present themselves in this unique climate – can we allow ourselves to keep an open mind to the many opportunities that are out there?

Your approach to Marketing Activity will be a key factor.

If you cut back on your Marketing activity where will this leave your business? What impact will it have on volume?  Will you fall behind your competitors, lose your footing in the marketplace and could it damage your business in the long term?

Also, if your competitors pull back from their activities does this present you with an opportunity?

Without a doubt business will not come as easy as it has in the recent past.  You will need to be more pro-active than before, as your competitors could well be chasing your customers more aggressively than ever before.  Can your business really afford to hide at the moment?

Accepting that the financial health of business may have changed you should re-evaluate your activities and seek better value from your Budget:

  • Advertising – Evaluate effectiveness & negotiate (never has there been a better time to bargain!)
  • Bring PR into the mix – Achieve valuable editorial
  • Promotions – Get your message out there through prize giveaways, often this can be achieved with no media cost
  • Direct Marketing – Communicate directly to your target audience
  • Customer Database – Ensure your database methods are in order so you can communicate economically and build customer loyalty through communicating information and offers
  • Cross Selling – Increase business with customers by attracting them to other services
  • Review – Make sure you are recording the results of your campaigns
  • Team Review – All your staff should fully understand your objectives
  • Web Optimisation – Ensure that your website is in order and that your prospective customers can find it easily.
  • Business Network – Increase your network of contacts proactively by joining and participating in business networks such as the Chamber

Storming the Recession is a positive strategy to deal with the current climate.

By delivering great service, operating as efficiently as possible, and by not hiding in the marketplace, you will be in a position to take advantage of the unique opportunities that will present themselves during this period and ride out this storm.

Have you stormed the recession?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

p.s. with the benefit of hindsight I would change none of the advice given except that Social Media has become huge in this time and I would add the full embracing of these free platforms this to the mix.

Opportunities in a Crisis?

March 29, 2011
Crisis PR

Crisis PR - Manage the situation

Hopefully you will successfully manage to steer yourself away from any Crisis situation for you or your business.

However, if you are misfortunate and some Crisis situation occurs that is going to lead to quite negative publicity then we would recommend that you approach it with a really positive frame of mind – I know, this seems unusual and under the circumstances it may seem impossible to do, but ..

You must manage your reputation at all times, even in a crisis – this is Crisis PR

Our positive Crisis PR approach in these situations is to:

1. Accept that what has happened has happened – you probably can’t change this but you can change what you do and how you behave from here on in. This will influence how people will view you and the situation.

2. Get all the facts, 100% with as much clarity as possible – capture this in writing and share it with everyone involved.

3. Don’t ignore the media – get someone (a PR company is normally used to doing this) to field all calls, taking their details and assuring them that you will get back to them with a statement. “No comment” is a wasted opportunity to give your side of the story.

Your voice and your message are so important.

4. Concentrate on the message – with someone else fielding your calls you can concentrate on getting your message right. We would advise doing this with the assistance of an outside source who can bring objectivity to the issue – a PR company used to dealing with the media and crisis situations would be recommended.

5. Be honest – the very worst thing is to get caught out with misinformation. Be sure of every thing you are saying. If unsure of anything don’t comment on it until you are sure. If you get caught out all credibility is lost.

6. Written statement – once you have your message agreed capture this in a written statement, which can be issued to press. With a written statement you are totally limiting the chance of being misinterpreted.

7. Don’t talk to press – When we say this we mean at least not until you are ready to. In a “crisis” situation people can be very upset and may be unable to actually “talk”. Written statements should suffice until you are ready to talk. When you are ready to talk be clear about your key messages, write them down and rehearse them. A little role play beforehand is a good idea and will help in getting this right and avoiding little traps.

8. The Press want a story, help to write it – even in a crisis you can leverage the situation and include positive messages and initiatives about you and your business. The crisis may be awful but when there is an appetite for a story we would advise taking this opportunity and using it to “sell” some positives. This could include changes that are being implemented as a result of the crisis or even previous success stories or investments that the business has made. Paint as positive a picture as possible. The media are competing for stories and will be delighted to get a different angle on the situation – this could be a positive angle.

9. The story has a shelf life – all stories have a shelf life and will eventually be replaced by other stories. Recognise this shelf life and use this period to include those positive initiatives and actions in your statements. When the shelf life has expired it may be impossible to communicate the positives – the media will have lost interest and your opportunity could be gone.

10. Measure the temperature – during the immediate post crisis period carefully measure the press coverage about the crisis and also use online tools to capture what is being said by people generally. Gauging the temperature correctly can influence the content and timing of statements and positively contribute to the success of your “Crisis PR” campaign.

11. The Legal advice – The legal guys have their job to do and we have ours. By all means the two need to work closely together but this can only happen with a practical understanding of each others objectives.

All press is good press? – we wouldn’t go along with that idea but we do advise staying calm, dealing with a crisis positively and making the very most out of a bad situation.

A vital step is to bring in outside professional help to assist with this process as early as possible.

That’s us!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion


%d bloggers like this: