MEDIA & MARKETING: How to Handle Company Crisis; Elisabeth Lewis Jones, Director of Liquid Public Relations, Looks at the Art of Crisis Management

The Birmingham Post (England), November 13, 2006 | Go to article overview

MEDIA & MARKETING: How to Handle Company Crisis; Elisabeth Lewis Jones, Director of Liquid Public Relations, Looks at the Art of Crisis Management


Byline: Elisabeth Lewis Jones

It's an incredible statistic but today more than 80 per cent of senior executives in Europe expect to handle a major crisis during their career.

With the dominance of our 24/7 media and the immediacy of the internet, stories both good and bad, can be sent around the world in seconds. This thirst for news, coupled with a demand, by an increasingly sophisticated public, for organisations to be seen to be acting responsibly, has meant that companies and individuals need to be transparent in their approach and prepare properly for a crisis situation.

This preparation ranges from not just a planning manual or a table top exercise but to the careful management of an organisation's image and reputation long before a crisis ever takes place.

How the media and stakeholders then treat a crisis depends not just on the handling of the situation but by the external image and reputation of an organisation in the first place.

Much research has been done in to why organisations, in today's health and safety conscious environment and with complex communication procedures, suffer a crisis.

Corporate culture is one of the main factors.

When we think of a landmark crisis - the good, British Midland, the bad, Ratners, and the ugly, the Paddington rail crash - it is widely believed that they were most powerfully defined by the culture of the organisations concerned and the attitude of senior managers within them.

Yet there is growing evidence that companies and individuals can survive a crisis and bounce back from it bigger and better than before. …

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