Fact: Virtually all communications professionals working in the 21st century will deal with a crisis at some point in their careers.
Why? Because crises are inevitable in an age of social media. Two-thirds of CEOs in a recent PwC survey said they had experienced a crisis in the last three years; more than half had already experi-enced at least two in the last three years. In a separate Deloitte study, 87 percent of executives cited reputation risk as more important than any other strategic concern.
Blink OnDemand Crisis PR™ today debuted the world’s first-ever crisis PR planning and response software system. Company President Laurel Kennedy described the software system as “ushering in a New Age for crisis public relations.
One court reigns supreme when it comes to judging corporate and brand reputation—the Court of Public Opinion. In this court, rulings are swift, often harsh, and carry long-tail financial consequences. That’s especially true in the food sector. According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), almost one quarter of food manufacturers facing a product recall over the last five years lost US$30 million on average, and more than half estimated the cost at anywhere from $10 million to as much as $100 million from a single incident.
It’s impossible to prepare for and manage a crisis concurrently.
Ice cream and listeria. Baby food and glass. Sprouts and E. coli. These days food and beverage processors are ground zero for brand reputation and media relations. When things go wrong, people want to hear first-hand from the folks responsible for both the problem and the solution.
The immediate crisis has been handled, but the corporate brand is damaged. How does a company repair a tarnished reputation? Once lost, how does a company rebuild brand equity? While the acute phase of crisis communication is well documented, crisis recovery is less understood and equally critical.
You have to feel a little sorry for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
Even as Boston College officials raised the number of students to more than 140 that have been felled by norovirus after eating at a Chipotle in Boston, Steve Ells, the fast-casual chain’s chair, founder and co-CEO was on the Today show issuing his first televised apology as the company continues to grapple with ongoing reports of foodborne illness.
Subway’s handling of news about its spokesperson points out important steps any restaurant should take.
Most restaurant operators know that each day brings with it the possibility that a crisis will occur. It’s not a question of if, but when.
News this week that the home of longtime Subway brand ambassador Jared Fogle was the target of a police investigation is a perfect example of the type of crisis that can occur, says Laurel Kennedy, principal of the crisis management firm Blink, which specializes in food channels.