Presentation on theme: "Credibility inspiration credibility inspiration credibility 危机的情、理、法给企业公关的挑战和机遇 Tackling the law, the mind and the heart: challenges & opportunities for."— Presentation transcript:
credibility inspiration credibility inspiration credibility 危机的情、理、法给企业公关的挑战和机遇 Tackling the law, the mind and the heart: challenges & opportunities for corporate crisis communications International Forum on PR & Advertising: Crisis Management and Integrated Strategic Communication City University of Hong Kong Chris Liu, Executive VP, Greater China, Ketchum December 7, 2008
credibility inspiration credibility inspiration credibility Legality vs Reason vs Emotions : Melamine and financial crises
On Sept 30, HK media reported the product recall of Cadbury was due to doubt against ingredients reliability, without referring if it is due to Melamine. On the contrary, Sing Tao reported Cadbury spokesperson from UK admitted the BJ-produced products contain mere level of Melamine Sing Tao Daily, Sept 30, 2008 Apple Daily, Sept 30, 2008 Cadbury: Half-baked Disclosure
On October 6, statement made by Cadbury to reinstate their products withdrawal was due to quality and safety. No melamine was mentioned in the statements.
CCTV Dialogue with China top 3 brands CCTV 2 Dialogue with leaders of China’s top 3 milk brands, Yili, Mengniu, and Guang Ming Efforts of full acknowledgement and brand rehabilitation; live demo of drinking their milk samples Pledge of quality assurances for consumers; not just government approvals Though more powerful than words, the “actions” are rather fortuitous by now Rehabilitation would take more corporate actions and much longer
Internet WOM Driving Public Debate in China An Sept 20 IRI internet WOM research based on monitoring 200 Chinese portals and 30000+ blogs, BBS and SNS: Internet debate on the milk issue flared and peaked at about 58%, comparable to Sichuan earthquake. Serious public concern expands quickly from Sanlu Group to the entire Chinese milk industry, and links to Chinese product safety in general. Netizens WOM driving national public confidence in domestic milk industry to the minimum level. Negative WOM on top three: Yili, Mengniu and Guangming surged to nearly 90%. Even “clean” brands like Sanyuan were effected. Negative sentiments spread towards international brands such as Mead Johnson with their announcement of price raise.
Bank of East Asia bank run rumor (Sept 2008) First bank run rumor in HK a week after Lehman Brothers collapse; Debate on scale and timing of response; Issue with message delivery of spokesperson at press conference
Observations Speed and proactive preparedness is top priority Both being broader-based crises (at least for HK- based companies), one industry and the other global financial Both touches some raw nerves of concerned publics sensitivity and compassion in messaging and delivery is vital Address the contextual implications: melamine: babies’ health (emotions prevails); financial turmoil: legal and regulatory
New Challenges for Corporate Communication Companies need to build trust by aligning words and actions to earn the reputation required to be successful; At times of crisis, ensuring this words- actions consistency and addressing the right cultural and emotional contexts become even more critical
Communicating in this tumultuous time Reinforcing trust becomes paramount –Stay close to the defined publics –Focus on corporate actions/behavior, not just communication –Be transparent; show compassion for affected audiences –Strategically use CEO to build corporate credibility Maintaining the employee bond –Be proactive and forthcoming in clarifying company position –Be direct and honest –Stay focused on the core task –Say “Thank-you” and encourage feedback
Communicating in this tumultuous time (cont’d) Reassuring investors of management control –Identify investor concerns and address them clearly –Articulate corporate strategies on short- and long-term impact –Communicate CEO’s reassurances on business focus and measures to address potential impact
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