A girl in the magical world of PR!

Are you PR professional? a PR student thinking "how on earth am I gonna make it in this industry?"Whatever you are you might find something interesting here...! This blog will be updated in a weekly basis with all the PR issues that interest us! (In simple words! Otherwise go read a book!) Welcome!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Crisis Management - When the going gets tough the tough get going

"In a crisis, don't hide behind anything or anybody. They're going to find you anyway. "

                                                                                    Paul Bryant

One of the greatest challenges that an organization or a company will face  at some point is a crisis. And when you hear the word crisis, don’t start thinking about people getting poisoned or large oil slicks in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Because unfortunately nowadays there are so many different kinds of crises that the communications team should bear in mind. What about the Domino's fiasco? Wait what? You’ve never heard of it? Well you were probably in a place in 2008 where there was no internet ,no TV,  no radio , no newspapers. Even if I can’t find a single reason why you ‘ve missed it I bet that you will find really interesting what follows.  This scandal is the epitome of how a crisis can harm a worldwide reputable brand using the new tools of our era: Social media. That is why it would be really interesting to see how its communications team handled the situation. So first of all Domino’s reacted to the incident immediately. They presented an apology by targeting the same audiences that had already watched the video,  not only with a press release but with statements from Domino’s president.In addition to this, the video that showed all the hideous acts of these employees was removed from youtube and of course these people were fired. I guessed you saw that coming! So far, the reaction of the Public Relations team seems like is the best that thay could have. But they also did something that I personally think that it wasn’t such a good idea. They banned video cameras from every store. Well to me seems like they feel that they have something to hide! Probably they should have just allow cameras to prove to the public that this was just an isolated incident. But again, what do I know?

So what are the lessons to be learned in those kinds of situations? There are hundreds of do’s and don’ts  in crisis management  but I’ll just share with you the three most important: First of all to monitor ALL social media. Whether you like it or not, this is the reality now. So make sure you keep track of everything that is being said about you, and respond immediately using the same channels. Another thing that is very important: Be honest. Because even if you are not one day the truth will be revealed. I know it sounds like a line from a movie but that is the truth.Be prepared for what follows a crisis and coordinate all the responsible people so they can handle potential questions, doubts or actions that may arise. 

Despite the fact that a crisis can define the further route of an organization, there is a great chance that good things can come out of it. It is a chance for  the organization to emerge stronger and to establish itself in  a new way in the public's minds. So, the results of a crisis can be either catastrophic or beneficial. It all has to do on how the communications team will react. And since it is certain that a crisis will happen eventually we'd better be ready! What do you think?

I upload this video just to show the good work of Domino's communication team. Once you watch it it will impossible to imagine how some people still order food from this store! (I take no responsibility for the reactions that you may have after watching this video)

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