But not Necessarily: Age Gender Race Ethnicity Employer Location
Publics Define the publics’ position Latent Aware Active
Publics If you spend a month showing genuine interest in someone else’s concerns you will be likely to form friendship If you spend 10 years only putting forward your own concerns you might be very lonely
Aristotle’s 3 Pillars The sharing of pleasures Being useful to one another Being committed to a common good
Issues Management Issue….an unsettled matter which is ready for decision Trends….detectable changes which proceed issues Howard Chase. Issue management - Origins of the Future. Issue Actions Publications 1984
Life cycle Life of an issue Emerges Public Debate Codification Legislation
Dialogue A conversation with a centre, not sides the intention of dialogue is to reach new understanding and, in doing so, to form a totally new basis from which to think and act. Isaacs, Dialogue - the art of thinking together, Currency Doubleday 1999 :19
"Good name in man and woman, dear My Lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls; He that steals my purse steals trash […], But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed." Iago
Reputation A survey of the top 250 UK companies in 2000 revealed that damage to reputation was the biggest business risk managers faced. In times of increasing competition, what the public perceives is prominent. The focus has shifted from what a company does to how it does its business. Smith, W. (2003) Give yourself a good name, p. 28 compare findings of Gatewood, R., Gowan, M., Lautenschlager, G. (1993) Corporate image, recruitment image and initial job choice decisions, p. 414–427 Fombrun, C., van Riel, C. (1997) The reputational landscape, p. 6 Cf. Money, K., Gardiner, L. (2005) Reputation management: ignore at your own peril, p. 46 Money, K., Gardiner, L. (2005) Reputation management: ignore at your own peril, p. 43
Reputation By generating a positive reputation, a company can, moreover, gain competitive advantage, because from the customer perspective, a good reputation reduces the perceived risk of buying a company’s products and services. Reputation is something that has to be earned, but cannot be bought. Henry Ford - "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." Reputation is the result of a company's former actions, but at the same time, it has an expectational quality. Roberts, P., Dowling, G. (2002) Corporate reputation and sustained superior financial performance, p. 1077 Dowling, G. (2002) Creating Corporate Reputations: Identity, Image, and Performances, p. 23 Ford, H. (2005) Quotations of Henry Ford, p. 21 Compare Dowling, G. (2006) Reputation risk: it is the board’s ultimate responsibility, p. 62 Lewellyn, P. (2002) Corporate Reputation: Focusing the Zeitgeist, p. 447
It can happen to… types of crisis prone organisations Destructive - exploitative, uncaring ‘little to be done’ Tragic - understand the need to change but just don’t seem to be able to - culturally or in resource terms Ian Mitroff quoted in Risk Issues and Crisis Management, Regester and Larkin, Kogan Page 1997
Terminal 5 Planned for 20 years at a cost of £4.3bn Should not have happened - Made it worse - read a short script and then ran away Take more radical steps Do not stint on the need for goodwill
On the operational side, there were technical errors, mechanical failures, and little system testing. On the management side, there was arrogance, complacency, poor communication, and a refusal to listen to staff and technical experts. Staff were poorly trained, morale was low, and goodwill had long evaporated.
No training Nowhere to park Staff two hours late
Passengers said no one was on hand to help and there were no announcements or information on monitors and websites. By 5.30am on first day, 200 passengers had queued for information on cancelled flights, with only two of the 26 information desks operational When BA and BAA executives finally emerged, they misjudged the mood badly by mentioning "teething problems" associated with a "bedding-down period". Eventually, a full day aftere the fiasco, BA's CEO admitted, the opening was "Not our finest hour." He offered a "promise to do better" and disappeared.
Tens of thousands of BA customers were affected by the chaos, many of whom have vowed never to use the airline again. BA's shares fell 3% on T5 opening day, wiping £90m off BA's value
Cooperative of dairy farmers Based in Denmark September 2005 Cartoons appeared in Jyllands-Posten Boycott across Middle East 40 years of building the company in the middle East came to a stop in 5 days Although the Arabic people demanded an apology from Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Denmark's prime minister) explained that freedom of speech was under firm protection in his country and any complaints should be handled in court
Political boycott was not in the emergency plan Annual report for 2004/5:"prioritis[ing] the area through significant investment and a doubling of production in Saudi Arabia over the next five years.” Competitors were fast to fill the empty shelves €70 million 450 mil DKK in 2006 Removed from shelves in over 50,000 stores 300 million litres of milk had to be rerouted National support lost
Arla managed the struggle in the Middle East by extensive communication towards all involved publics– owners of the company, local staff in Saudi Arabia, business partners abroad, politicians in their home country, media in both environments and journalists as well as other mediators who could have had a possible impact on business relations. An additional means was the demonstration of their corporate social responsibility Multi-national conference in Copenhagen Creating a cooperation with the Red Cross for a determined project in Darfur.
About 16 months later, the company shows first records of improvement: "We're approaching the normal amount of sales. I think by the end of 2007 we will be back on 2005 levels.” Astrid Nielsen
Whatever…. “How people react to crises provides one of the most powerful windows, if not the most powerful windows, into the souls of people and their institutions.” Ian Mitroff quoted in Risk Issues and Crisis Management, Regester and Larkin, Kogan Page 1997
Some underlying causes Low morale Poor housekeeping Staff quality (Training) Cost cutting Arrogance Rapid change Complexity Bland in Strategic Public Relations, MacMillan
What do you do if it happens? Having sorted out your approach with the lawyers and insurers….. Apologise Inform Never speculate, argue or make defensive excuses
It will be back! On Anniversaries During any resulting inquests or legal cases When reports are published If anything like it ever happens elsewhere When ever your organisation is mentioned you run the risk of being “the company who……”
Take control Tell it all Tell the Truth Tell it quickly Michael Regester And keep listening
People want to talk And people will talk to almost anyone!
Levels 1. International interest, Royals/VIPs, two weeks+ 2. National interest, VIPs, two weeks 3. National interest, VIPs, few days 4. National interest, one day 5. Local interest, few days
Preparedness - The plan! Stop or continue? Send half the staff home? News media, VIPs Who needs to know? Testing, testing Leave money until later
Preparedness - The plan! Audit The Team People - map under groupings (policy areas, publics) Environment Senior decision makers - include and involve them and their ideas, make them feel part of the plans
People revert to what they know - police, health staff etc and communication often not included Build a partnership with the public Meticulous attention to detail at every stage Ask the children - if they matter
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