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BREAKING THE BAD NEWS – PROTECTING YOUR REPUTATION BREAKING THE ...
BREAKING THE BAD NEWS – PROTECTING YOUR REPUTATION STEPHEN WEDLICK Senior Account Director (Crisis & Issues Management Specialist, Fenton Communications The Famous Five 1. Acknowledgment 2. Anticipation 3. Assessment 4. Escalation 5. Action 2 Acknowledgment - half way to a fix What is a crisis? How do I recognise it when I see it? How do I convince the team/MD/the Board that action and $$$ are needed? How should I prepare for It? Does reputation really matter in the end? Can communications resolve a crisis? 3 It’s all in the Anticipation What are your information sources? What are your red flags? OK - you’ve seen a flag flapping then what? Who is responsible? 4 Assessment minus U Level of Risk Definition Examples Level 1 – Contained Risk Short term, small number of Limited negative media stakeholders involved or coverage, angry member minimal impact on threatening to go public, reputation mistakes in information sent to members Level 2 – Significant Risk Multiple stakeholders Media coverage of poor impacted, potentially comparative serious reputational damage performance, internal to the business fraud, major governance issue Level 3 – Potential Crisis Threat to viability Another year of negative (profitability) of the returns business 5 Escalation means ownership 6 Lights, camera, action… 1.Who is important to you? 2.What do you need to say to them? 3.What is the best way to say it? Your challenge is to take control of the crisis 7 Actions speak louder 1. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients/employers/members/prospects 2. Be strategic in your communications - agree on measurable objectives, plan for the long term,target your messaging, prioritise stakeholders and key actions 3. Choose appropriate battlefield 4. Be honest/accept responsibility for actions within your control 5. Use language that meets the needs of your audiences 8 Respect for clients = loyalty = $$$ 9
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