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Issues and Crisis Management Sue Wolstenholme CIPR Chartered Practitioner.

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Presentation on theme: "Issues and Crisis Management Sue Wolstenholme CIPR Chartered Practitioner."— Presentation transcript:

1 Issues and Crisis Management Sue Wolstenholme CIPR Chartered Practitioner

2 Publics  Share:  Problems  Concerns  Pleasures  Issues

3 But not Necessarily:  Age  Gender  Race  Ethnicity  Employer  Location

4 Publics  Define the publics’ position  Latent  Aware  Active

5 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

6 Workshop  Identify publics!

7 Aristotle’s 3 Pillars  The sharing of pleasures  Being useful to one another  Being committed to a common good

8 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

9 Life cycle  Life of an issue  Emerges  Public Debate  Codification  Legislation

10 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


12 "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

13 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

14 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


16 Nakumatt  47 missing  Riot police  Locked doors  No apology  No problem

17 Crises can come from many directions directions  Service failure  Contamination (accidental or deliberate)  Natural disaster  Health/safety issues  Blackmail  Terrorism

18 Crises can come from many directions  Scandals  Harassment  Discrimination  Lawsuits

19 www. Tell Shell - Tells Hell  Blogging  Just doing it!  Capitalism and corporations are under more pressure now than at any time since the Great depression - John and Thompson (2003:1)  Estonia

20 Trust

21 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



24 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

25  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.

26  No training  Nowhere to park  Staff two hours late

27  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.

28  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

29 Arla Foods

30  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

31  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

32  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.

33  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

34 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

35 Some underlying causes  Low morale  Poor housekeeping  Staff quality (Training)  Cost cutting  Arrogance  Rapid change  Complexity Bland in Strategic Public Relations, MacMillan

36 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

37 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……”

38 Take control  Tell it all  Tell the Truth  Tell it quickly  Michael Regester  And keep listening

39 People want to talk And people will talk to almost anyone!

40 How does it feel?

41 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

42 Preparedness - The plan!  Stop or continue?  Send half the staff home?  News media, VIPs  Who needs to know?  Testing, testing  Leave money until later

43 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

44  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

45 Two plane crashes Only one chairman

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