Transcript of #CommsChat on crisis comms continued…

This week's chat

 

  1. Really useful this eve. Do follow it Mons at 8pm

  2.  

    gutted I missed tonight about crisis comms will you be doing another one on that topic soon?

  3.  

    thank for another interesting one!

  4.  

    Thank you to everyone who joined in with tonight’s hope you found it helpful. Goodnight all, see you next week; same time 🙂

  5.  

    If anyone on is interested here is a recent blog on crisis comms

  6.  

    Good idea Henry, intrigued to see how this plays out!

  7.  

    Thank you for joining us 🙂

  8.  

    Ducking out of early, thanks for another great discussion guys – tweet you next week!

  9.  

    this is really important

  10.  

    Great conversation. Thanks for discussing. Be interesting to pick this up in a month’s time again! Good night.

  11.  

    A6 Long-term effects are proportional to depth and seriousness of problem. AMC Gremlins have been a joke for 40 years & counting.

  12.  

    that is a lot of staff!

  13.  

    CEOs have to remain linked to the shop floor or frontline

  14.  

    6 totally depends on how that crisis was dealt with!

  15.  

    True, a bit of empathy and speaking ‘human to human’ is so simple, but it doesn’t always happen!

  16.  

    Internal comm is always paramount. Keep everyone fully informed and assume leaks.

  17.  

    so true

  18.  

    Corporates need to have a trusted whistleblowing process and employee social media guidelines in place

  19.  

    6 – depends on the issue and the response – dealt with well impact can be minimal

  20.  

    Definitely, especially with 575k employees!

  21.  

    that is ok if that is fact – no room to hide with SM

  22.  

    4 step one is always – always – acknowledge the issue, whatever it is. The sooner the better.

  23.  

    Not quite "no comment," but one response is, "I don’t have more information for you at this time."

  24.  

    internal comms perhaps even more important then?

  25.  

    Some things you can’t control. Staff needs to know and understand facts before they freelance.

  26.  

    surely a no comment would generate more questions

  27.  

    Surely the key in all this is for the company to have a heart and recognise the impact

  28.  

    A5 Prepare generic statement that includes company’s three key messages. Then adapt for specific crises.

  29.  

    Clear documentation within the company that details procedurs & examples of a previous crisis and how it was handled.

  30.  

    I wonder if staff have taken to making comments via social media

  31.  

    MT : A4: Don’t retreat into bunker: every day seek way to communicate what you’re doing to fix it. Never ‘no comment’.

  32.  

    as well as the basics, have clear roles and responsibilities, things you can test so people know what they need to do

  33.  

    RT : A4: Don’t forget internal comms. Make sure your staff are well briefed and know what is expected of them

  34.  

    Maybe a risky choice. In crises it’s imperative to speak with one credible voice.

  35.  

    RT : Fill the silence before someone else does

  36.  

    A4 Be transparent and credible as facts emerge, and never give the impression this is all there is. It’s your credibility, too.

  37.  

    There’s heavy union representation and even council of Lower Saxony have 20% share in VW.

  38.  

    Fill the silence before someone else does

  39.  

    always beware the emporer’s new clothes within the workforce

  40.  

    Is there a representative from the workforce (outside of HR and Comms)? Perhaps they ned their own spokesperson?

  41.  

    A4: Do not retreat into bunker: every day seek new way to communicate what you’re doing to fix it. Never allow a ‘no comment’.

  42.  

    Yes, if a culture issue, you’re foolish to assume you uncovered the only problem in the company.

  43.  

    What tragic about Challenger was groupthink culture and lack of challenge. Same for VW?

  44.  

    these are the times when comms teams can really show their worth

  45.  

    I can see that, think back to the Challenger disaster managers & engineers knew of their issues

  46.  

    I wonder whether there shld be reaction from the workforce – they’ve been let down by leaders and they will be most affected.

  47.  

    A4: Don’t forget internal comms. Make sure your staff are well briefed and know what is expected of them

  48.  

    4 – take control, demonstrate honesty, move quickly, then start to rebuild but only after acknowledging the issue

 

Transcript of #CommsChat on crisis comms

This week's chat

In light of the Volkswagen scandal, on this week’s #CommsChat we talked about the communicator’s role in steering an organisation through some of its most challenging times. We spoke about the different types of crisis situation and how best to manage communications in those instances.

Here are some of the highlights:

  •  they seem to be doing “the tried and tested” CEO resigning, releasing statements, cancelling big events etc
  •  I guess the big difference is VW has deliberately deceived its stakeholders. May be harder to bounce back
  •  A2: Leaders at fault – through decisions and culture. No one felt able to speak up against this practice.
  •  4 – take control, demonstrate honesty, move quickly, then start to rebuild but only after acknowledging the issue
  •  A4: Do not retreat into bunker: every day seek new way to communicate what you’re doing to fix it. Never allow a ‘no comment’.

 

 

 

  1. RT : Agreed, I suspect this is a wider issue, public trust in the whole industry affected!

  2.  

    T3 You exercise for worst-case scenarios, but tough to do if problem is endemic throughout the company. Catastrophic failure.

  3.  

    Totally agree

  4.  

    Agreed, I suspect this is a wider issue, public trust in the whole industry affected!

  5.  

    I suppose in some ways it’s just another case of corporate corruption.

  6.  

    you definitely need to listen to your comms people

  7.  

    What about the trust of internal stakeholders? Employees ?? Their trust may be hard to win back also

  8.  

    A2 Find and release the facts as soon as verified, emphasizing what VW is doing to correct the problem and its culture.

  9.  

    A3: and make sure you have a great lawyer (sorry couldn’t help myself!)

  10.  

    2/2 … Maybe the rebuild of trust won’t be such an epic task?

  11.  

    at heart it is a reputational crisis that should be prepared for in some form

  12.  

    Agreed definitely more to be done!

  13.  

    1/2 Regulators and stakeholders rightly outraged. I’d speculate that many customers though couldn’t give two hoots..

  14.  

    A1 The VW fraud is so massive and the credibility hit so huge, any steps are good but damage will long linger.

  15.  

    yes, seems an extraordinary decision to take, which makes me think that it’s been done before by others.

  16.  

    Is there any real way to prepare an organization for this type of crisis? Communication failed somewhere

  17.  

    A3: Crucial to have muscular comms challenge function at senior (pref board) level in any crisis – esp when reputation involved

  18.  

    but is now the right time or do they have more work to do to acknowledge the scale

  19.  

    A3: Prevention is always better than cure… Don’t rig your car emissions!

  20.  

    Acknowledging the crisis and communicating the broken trust is one thing but have they communicated how they will rebuild?

  21.  

    3 – you have to have the right culture, relationships and confidence in the comms advice

  22.  

    yes, cover up must of went to the core. I’d of though a comp like VW would of had huge emphasis on value of bribery, etc

  23.  

    2- it is important to remember that something in the corporate DNA allowed this to happen

  24.  

    A2: Huge trust issue, needs openness in response. Feeling that VW housecleaning is going on behind closed doors.

  25.  

    It affects so many customers across so many markets. I think they don’t know the impact. Diff type of crisis

  26.  

    From a technical comm standpoint communication & trust is key. Think back to the Challenger disaster & how NASA handled it

  27.  

    A bit late but interested in the subject so joining

  28.  

    A2: Leaders at fault – through decisions and culture. No one felt able to speak up against this practice.

  29.  

    Does anyone have experience of managing comms in a similar situation? (No names necessary!)

  30.  

    indeed. Reliability brand severely compromised

  31.  

    yes, it would be. I’m comparing to BP few years ago,they seem to be leading with more authentic admissions

  32.  

    Definitely, the trust issue is so much worse than had it been a natural disaster or similar

  33.  

    A2: With honesty. Investigate non-compliance, highlight wrong doing and demonstrate how this is being addressed

  34.  

    I guess the big difference is VW has deliberately deceived its stakeholders. May be harder to bounce back

  35.  

    Hey ! New to ? Please join me on 5th – 9th October (3pm GMT) for some great beginner !