Among the worst feelings in the world is the dread-inducing pit in your stomach when something goes terribly wrong on your watch.
You have a short window of time before a misstep or otherwise short-lived emergency turns into a reputation-damaging catastrophe. When crisis strikes, the right partner can help manage the volatile process of controlling the narrative and protecting your reputation.
When a young child wandered away from a child care facility, we got a call. A bystander found the child a few blocks away, called the police and the girl was safely reunited with her parents—but the company’s image was now teetering in the balance.
The phones started ringing. Facebook notifications piled up. News crews appeared across the street.
We counseled our client through those formative hours and days after the incident, including:
The objective: Don’t let a bad situation get worse.
Big missteps call for swift action and tough decisions: The company terminated the two employees responsible for supervising the child that day.
By quickly taking action and developing messaging that was direct, human and that accepted responsibility, we helped the child care provider shape media coverage and online perception of the incident.
The result: The small business weathered the storm and continues to thrive today.
Sometimes a crisis comes in the form of a lawsuit. We’ve worked with several clients who have pursued or have been the target of litigation.
One such client was a corporation seeking to sue a major competitor for anticompetitive practices. We worked with the corporation’s president and developed a public relations strategy to position the legal action as a positive move (an anti-monopoly aim to bring much-needed competition), not a negative one (company can’t compete, so simply sues competition).
The objective: Get ahead of the press to maintain more control of the message.
Our strategy was to hit hard, seal any potential “leaks” and reinforce the narrative across all platforms with:
The result: The case was resolved amicably and settled out of court.
When confronted with a high-pressure situation or emergency, companies tend to freeze and shut down all communications in an effort to stop the bleeding—but that is often when communication is most critical.
It’s important to have a partner to think through the issues, provide an outside perspective and help you with a plan of attack that will minimize damage and ensure you come out the other side as strong as possible.
Michelle Calcote King
Principal & President