Palm oil and the slippery issue of online crisis management

By Julia Ruane, When an issue starts trending online a good PR team gets creative fast, finding ways to maximise its popularity to build engagement with their audience. Remember Oreo and their Superbowl blackout tweet? But the best PR teams do more than that – they don’t just look at how the rising trend could bring […]

Crisis Comms perspectives: long memories and legal restrictions

By Jonathan Boddy, Two things have caught my eye in the news of late.  Both of these items, whilst not central to the immediacy of a crisis, in their own way have an important and significant impact in the wider aspects of dealing with incidents and crisis communications. A great deal of attention is rightly […]

TSB’s poor communication could cost the bottom line

TSB crisis communication TSB crisis demonstrates the needs for public relations to be integrated within all elements of the business After two days of down time, for a major system upgrade, Friday 6pm until Sunday 6pm, TSB crisis hit and it came under attack (yesterday, Tuesday, 24 April), as it still didn’t have the system up and […]

Six top tips for communicator credibility in times of crisis

Authenticity. Understanding. Trust. It’s what every professional communicator strives for, and it’s never more important than in times of crisis. By Alison Arnot FCIPR, CIPR Trainer and Director at Catalyst Communications, As PR professionals, we know the reputational harm a poorly managed crisis can have, and we know that equally, there are benefits to be seen […]

Does your board have what it takes to deal with a crisis?

“Irrespective of gender, do we think enough about the required traits for crisis management when we’re hiring? Secondly, assuming the crisis manager is not the ultimate leader, won’t the crisis manager’s style end up responding to the leader’s behaviour and expectations? If these are the right questions, then it follows that the “crisis” traits need […]

Oxfam: Crisis comms can only buy time – not a second chance

Is reputation management the most important thing in crisis communication or is it fixing the underlying issues? This was a question I was asked by someone I respect a lot, a former journalist, and I thought it deserved further exploration – something that we can all think about and try to answer. The view about […]

Is your crisis plan fit for purpose?

By Alex Black, Head of Crisis and Issues at communications agency Launch There is an old saying – “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”. Attributed to a nineteenth-century Prussian military commander, it’s been adopted and adapted by everyone from modern management gurus to disgraced boxer Mike Tyson. Tyson’s version was more visceral: “Everyone […]

Are women better than men at handling a crisis?

Are men better at handling a crisis than women are? Are women indecisive and less reliable than men? Do women generally seek others’ approval before they make a decision? Is women’s inclination to listen to diverse view points seen as a gender weakness? According to Dr Therese Houston, women generally advance in leadership roles when […]

Simulating a crisis equips you to deal with the real thing

The first time most brands get to put crisis theory to the test is when it happens for real. All the scenario planning, desktop workshops and crisis management plans in the world can’t prepare you for the sheer volume of people you have to deal with on social media, or the exhaustion of a team […]

Two airlines, one PR crisis. But who was left flying high?

By Julia Ruane,  One thing an airline can’t be without is pilots. Unfortunately for both Ryanair and American Airlines this year, scheduling ‘snafus’ meant that was exactly what they would be without. As a result, hundreds of thousands of passengers were affected across both sides of the pond. Each airline had potentially a major PR […]