I have seen some brilliant emails and posts in the last few days – from my local Indian restaurant, Haweli, to Sainsbury’s, to other small business owners like me. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small; clear, regular and relevant communications are critical.
As we all adjust to the new “normal” personally and “business as usual” professionally, it occurred to me that there are some really simple tips for communicating in a crisis.
Continue reading “How do you keep communicating when the crisis is never-ending?”
Take one senior politician, one well-known and much-loved brand, and add social media. Stir together and what do you get?
That’s right, the perfect recipe for a Twitter storm.
That’s exactly what happened to Yorkshire Tea this weekend when Rishi Sunak MP, the Conservative MP for Richmond (in North Yorkshire as it happens) shared an image of himself making a cup of tea, standing next to a giant bag of the famous Yorkshire brew.
Continue reading ““Be Kind” – Yorkshire Tea give a reputation management masterclass all brands should follow”
Bafta is axing celebrity goody bags from this weekend’s ceremony. Opting instead for gifting wallets made from recycled plastics. It’s a timely plot twist to the 2020 award season. The buzz of a new bag – the colour, the look on the arm, the cramming of essentials into one place, is the ultimate pleasure purchase. But against heightened ethical and environmental consumer standards, is it possible for a Tote to do greater good?
Continue reading “Baftas, Bags and B Corp”
Social media companies are some of the most powerful and influential business entities on the planet. Their decisions shape how the world communicates and how we as individuals consume information. Unlike most large-scale global commercial industries, social media is self-regulating. This puts social media companies in a unique position of global responsibility.
A new report published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists last week said social media companies should be forced by governments to hand over their data for independent research into the risks of social media use. Continue reading "Social Media & Mental Health: Why social media companies should (but probably won’t) act responsibly and lead the conversation on mental health"
“Those difficult situations, they don’t frighten me… never waste a good crisis. When you have a crisis, then you have the fantastic platform for change”.
The refreshing perspective of Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury in the Sunday Times, provides a timely excuse to consider the good that comes out of the bad, for crisis comms professionals.
Continue reading “Never waste a good crisis…”
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.
Continue reading “That Newsnight Interview – Think; Stop; Look and Listen; Wait; Look and Listen again; Arrive Alive”
🎙️🎥 There was an irony to our latest media training client turning up late… they’d been delayed by Extinction Rebellion protesters; we were about to media train them on their new plastics initiative announcement. Continue reading "Protestors and Plastics"
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?”
We all have foibles when it comes to good service. Loud background music in your favourite restaurant – no thanks. Unsuitable substitutes in an online shop or a sell-by date less than 24 hours after it arrives. To me, these are like sour milk in my tea. A complete turn off, which could turn me to the Oat-side. Continue reading "Customer service – You say it best when you say nothing at all"
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"
Over the last few weeks there seems to have a been a flurry of “recorded statements” in response to major crises. To be clear, rather than put someone forward to be interviewed by the press, the boss records a statement and it’s posted on the website or via social channels.
Continue reading “The pros and cons of video statements”
You could be forgiven for thinking one news story last month was a digital-misprint. “Grenfell council spends more than £90k on bosses’ bonuses.” But closer reading revealed the headline was correct.
Continue reading “Money talks – what to say on pay, bonus and funding?”
A top-floor view overlooking London’s windswept skyline. This was the suitably dramatic backdrop as big brands meet to discuss industry regulation last week.
Chairing the discussion at PrettyGreen’s agency Breakfast Briefing, I spoke to guests involved with some of the most recognised and well-loved products. Continue reading “Talking regulation with big brands”
I love my job but I cannot talk about it. Success in crisis and corporate communications comes when no-one reads, tweets or hears about my clients. It is the curious and at times conversation-stopping nature of the job, that most of the time, the less I say the better.
Continue reading “Success in my job – What our clients say”
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"
When I first joined Facebook I trusted the platform and genuinely thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. It was so interactive, I could store and share photos of my young kids with friends (yes, I was that parent) and catch up on what everyone was up to from the comfort of my then small London flat. A few years later it seemed to be THE place to get breaking news which was always relevant to what I was interested in, thank you algorithms.
Over the last 10 years though that trust has been eroded. Continue reading "Facebook: can I trust you again? A personal perspective."
Mangold Consultancy made a welcome return to Marlow FM’s The Buzz last week, opening 2019 with lively discussions about the high street, Chinese economics and speaker confidence. I was one of two guests on the weekly show, invited to look at topical business stories and forecasts for 2019. Continue reading "Radio Waves"
Since political turmoil before breakfast became the new normal in 2018, reading the runes on anything other than tea is a high stakes game. But having digested the best news round ups, here are a few boiled down forecasts to consider for crisis communications and reputation management in the year ahead.
Continue reading “Making predictions – a fool’s game you cannot afford to miss?”
Local newspapers have long teetered on the edge of survival, at risk of relegation to a picture postcard England past, where cub reporters cover village fetes, write the splash on local crime and all before tea time. So the announcement that local publisher Johnston Press is being bought out has triggered further analysis on the future for local news. Facebook has stepped up with a suspiciously well time announcement of £4.5m, to hire and train 80 people as community reporters. Johnston Press is reportedly one of three local publishers in conversation with the social media giant. Continue reading “The Business of Local Newspapers”
Less than a week after revelations about the financial future of Patisserie Valerie made headlines, executive chairman Luke Johnson gave an interview to the same newspaper where he regularly contributed a business column.
The move navigated some tricky reputational waters and a creeping narrative about British retail and high street horror stories. Continue reading “Pattiserie Valerie – Serves up a showstopper interview”