Watching Mr Bates vs the Post Office and the long overdue response from the Government I’m reminded about the power of TV and its reach – 9.2 million people watched the first episode, and that was before people started really talking about it.
Yes, there are lots of means to get publicity for your cause these days but there is nothing more convincing than real human stories, told well, through public service broadcasting.
Ooooh to have been part of the team uncovering that little nugget.
These dramas and investigations take big teams of highly talented individuals, they take money (so lacking in journalism these days) and they take a collective will to ‘out the truth’ even when it can be months and years to gather the evidence you need.
My advice to any business on the receiving end of one of these investigations is take it seriously, if they’re coming for your response, they’ve already got the evidence they need and the truth, well the truth will always out, even if it takes 25 years.
“There’s no escaping it, if you run a high-profile business or organisation you will face a reputational issue in the short or medium term. We asked former BBC Watchdog producer Abby Mangold about the changing media landscape and its impact on how leaders prepare for and handle the toughest challenges.”
The Hunch is a Podcast about data and technology. They love educated guesses and gut instincts, too. The Hunch asks experts to predict what’s coming down the line with a focus on the ‘when?’ and the ‘why?’
How do you avoid on camera confrontation when cameras turn up unannounced?
Following a sharp rise in YouTubers and TikTokers turning up unannounced at client offices and sites – often trying to provoke reactions from unwitting staff, we’re increasingly asked for our advice on how to support teams on the ground.
Watch Abby explain our top tips for avoiding on camera confrontation.
What do you do when you discover one of your employees has behaved inappropriately? How do you respond when people challenge your business practices on social media? What do you do when you get a customer complaint? The list could go on.
Using experience and nous to assess and respond to live issues, based on the specific set of circumstances is absolutely the way to go in an emerging crisis.
Recently however, clients have asked us to compile a “playbook” of responses for the most frequent and reputationally damaging issues, after we’ve completed a reputational risk audit of their competitors and the wider sector.
A playbook is more than collating your “lines to take” or communications responses. Done well, this live document should become part of the Communications Team’s armoury with which you can effectively respond to issues as they develop. The playbook provides important insight such as :
stakeholders, reactions and patterns in their responses
social media activity including trends, keywords used and priority channels
topics which cause the most activity
duration of interest
as well as the existing communications to help build a response
All too often the post-crisis sands of time slip away and soon the next issue is upon you. Taking time to stop and reflect on how you responded and what you can learn should be part of the ‘playbook’.
By taking a quick and thorough sweep of actions post-issue you will assess; did we get our message out there or are we just repeating the same old tired platitudes which don’t cut it with our customers / stakeholders.
Questions to ask post-event are:
did our last response achieve our objective
are our response times working
are the comms consistent with commitments made in the past
is now the time to review our corporate key messages to make them better reflect our current reality and after effects of an issue
Your playbook is the bible you refer to so the next time you’re challenged about the business, you approach it kitted up with knowledge from previous experiences as well as a starting form of words to use in response.
A candid comment from the former US President giving a rare window into decision making and leadership during an exceptional moment in modern history. Over 90 minutes, the documentary 9/11 Inside The President’s War Room scrutinised the 24 hours after the terrorist attacks on New York’s Twin Towers which claimed thousands of lives, impacting across the world in ways we are still discovering today. The programme featured interviews with the then President, his accompanying entourage that day and decision makers elsewhere, inside a bunker below the White House.
In bringing together these perspectives, it helped join the dots between the multiple ripple effects of this crisis.
The nature of leadership, or as one presidential aide put it “You are who you are. Whatever you’ve got in you will come out in a moment of crisis.”
The importance of working technology, including a good TV, which was incredulously lacking in Air Force One, making them reliant on patchy signals as they flew over major cities, to get rolling TV news updates from the ground.
The exposure to misinformation and miscommunication, such as a caller warning about a threat to Air Force One, who was in fact misreported by the person on the other end of phone. “The amount of information that is wrong, when you are in a moment of crisis, the filters are down, people let information through just in case, is staggering.”
And even flickers of tragi-comedy, such as a mistaken overdose on anti-anthrax medication, having missed the prescribing advice of the President’s physician. This staffer was unharmed although remains known as the person who tried to OD on the President’s jet.
Huge congratulations to one of my former bosses, Neil Grant, for Executive Producing such an astonishing piece of TV – the programme afforded a rare insight into a crisis, even more so given the global magnitude of those 24 hours. This is a must watch for all leaders and their teams for its historical significance, and because it demonstrates how we must prepare for challenges and then face into the force of the moment, by drawing on the collective expertise and insight in the room.
Tips from media interviews with Senior Business Leaders: a year of learning in the virtual room
Global Media and Entertainment; Health, Sports and Fitness; High Street Brands, City Law Firms and Entrepreneurs. Over the last 12 months we’ve trained senior leaders from some of the world’s biggest and most successful brands.
When we pivoted to virtual media training, we never imagined the roll call of people we would work with. And yet a year on, we have had a privileged and unique insight into a diverse roster of senior leaders from many industries.