As a BBC producer I heard many outstanding female voices – from presenter Anne Robinson cross-examining CEOs on BBC Watchdog, to numerous female Executive Producers standing up to big bullying businesses trying to kill a great story.
I was part of production teams crafting complex programmes in challenging circumstances. These experiences shaped my own voice, including in the media training room, where I support people preparing to go on the record or in day to day interactions providing crisis management and corporate communications support.
Continue reading “Who’s talking now?”
Good biscuits plated up on arrival and participants hovering at the door ahead of schedule. Throw in a tailored crisis simulation – part challenge, part playing to individual strengths – and all the positive omens are there for a good training day.
Continue reading “Why good biscuits won’t cut it in a pandemic – putting our crisis comms tagline to the test”
As COVID-19 silently crept onto our shores you may have been in regular crisis meetings as the virus’ huge impact took hold. Now, you may well be moving from that heightened crisis state to living with the new “normal”, whatever that looks like for your organisation.
As we all bed into week 5 of the lockdown we thought we’d share some insights on how to adapt from crisis to business-as-usual with some suggested next steps and evidence from our client work.
Continue reading “From COVID-19 Crisis → Business-As-Usual”
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’s reputation management masterclass”
Why social media companies should (but probably won’t) act responsibly and lead the conversation on mental health
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”
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”
Credit to BBC Watchdog for their investigation on last night’s programme which lead to BMW announcing a recall of hundreds of thousands of cars.
The truth is that no one really knows what goes on inside an organisation during a crisis, apart from the people managing it. There are often multiple business objectives which reach far beyond being featured on the programme. Continue reading “Kudos to my ex colleagues at BBC Watchdog”
Fly on the wall TV, sometimes known as ‘obs docs’ (observational documentaries), are familiar fodder for prime time television. They have bred their own genre of satire, such as W1A and anti-heroes like Malcolm Tucker. But there remains some uncharted territory, and done right this obs doc would be a real eye opener. Inside a Crisis – The Comms Insider – impossible to make, impossible to get legal to sign off and impossible to resist for fly on the wall fans.
Continue reading “Inside a Crisis”
The commitment involved in starting a new business is phenomenal. Winning new contracts, wooing clients, honing your product and getting your name out there. Building a reputation demands time, attention to detail and preparation.
The 100% organic skincare line launched by one beauty innovator had been long in the planning. Products that were clean, kind and ethically sourced – all grounded in an “on-trend” concept, aimed at legions of health and wellbeing devotees. And as the range gained traction, tweets, likes and shares, everything seemed to be on track. But just as the business plan was exceeding year one expectations, a supplier down the chain was exposed for using non-organic base ingredients. The same ingredients now found in the 100% organic skincare line. One negative review became two. Malicious tweets followed and libellous Facebook posts began to unpick hard earned customer loyalty and reputation. Continue reading “Why Small is Beautiful in a Social Media Crisis”