That Newsnight Interview – Think; Stop; Look and Listen; Wait; Look and Listen again; Arrive Alive

Photo by Matthew Feeney

Prince Andrew would have done well to follow the Green Cross Code as he stepped into the path of the oncoming Newsnight interview. There has since been much scrutiny of the Royal’s press advisors and why they failed to follow the basics when it comes to media handling in a global reputational storm.

Taking time to stop, look and listen to external communications advisors during a crisis is critical to long term reputation. Like a friendly Green Man, people like us, reiterate life outside the crisis bubble and wider public perception both in the moment and the hours, days and weeks to follow.

Surviving a crisis means understanding how the situation will play out in the real world and how people perceive you as a result. Forget this at your peril. Just last week, we were advising a major consumer brand, facing speculation about their future and press calls for senior level comment. Knowing the rumour to be untrue, the temptation is to go on the record, and go hard. But that impulse needs to be tempered against public perception where aggressive denials can be misconstrued as a business in the death throes, prompting a stampede of consumer confusion.

External voices, like ours, outside the senior team help you navigate through the complicated landscape, delivering added value, as trusted advisors.

One of Prince Andrew’s PR hires reportedly left after his advice for low key proactive activity with charities, to rebuild reputation, was ignored. We will never know whether this tactic would have worked. But it is safe to say that as interest in Prince Andrew grows, legal commentators fill the airwaves and he steps back from Royal duties; his media handling constitutes a major road safety fail.

Featured Image by Matthew Feeney

Doing the doorstep challenge – can you win when cameras arrive unannounced?

Doorstep Challenge

Most people over 30, remember the well-known washing powder ad, which challenged unsuspecting mums to a live clothes wash, to see whether the product delivered its ‘whiter than whites’ promise. This was a filmed doorstep where everyone was in on the gag. Viewers understood it was an advert, just as the at-home victim knew their kitchen would appear on national TV. Continue reading “Doing the doorstep challenge – can you win when cameras arrive unannounced?”

Are you prepared for a social media crisis? Here’s 7 tips you need

We all know the feeling.

Your phone pings, then again… and again… something has happened.

Twitter is “blowing up” says the voice on the other end of the line. Five minutes later; “it’s all over Facebook”. The on-call Press Officer rings next; local media want a response to the hundreds of comments on Twitter.

So, what’s your next move?

If you’re asking this question now, it’s too late.

Continue reading "Are you prepared for a social media crisis? Here’s 7 tips you need"

Managing Reputation – Warning strong stomach required to read on

zero food standards rating

In among political break-ups and breakaways, a commitment to clean up take-aways is hardly big news - at first glance.

And yet the pledge by Just Eat to remove any of the 29,000 UK restaurants registered with them, who score a zero food hygiene rating, gives food for thought. The food ordering app is investing £1m in hygiene and safety standards. Restaurants that fail to make the grade by 01 May will be kicked off the app and any new entries must score ‘generally satisfactory’ for hygiene.

Continue reading "Managing Reputation – Warning strong stomach required to read on"