The press doorstep – can you handle it?

The press doorstep - can you handle it?

Only watch this if you KNOW how to handle a doorstep*

The infamous doorstep only ends when the journalist leaves with something.

A no comment, a closed door, or in this case a response.

Managing a doorstep takes some well thought through choreography.

*Full disclosure, this one features my Dad, Tom Mangold, in action on BBC Panorama in 1997 so I may be biased.

The Post Office, Boohoo and the moments I miss investigative journalism

Investigative Journalism

It’s times like these that I miss making TV.

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.

Meanwhile, a BBC investigation has found that Boohoo put ‘Made in UK’ labels on clothes made overseas.

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.

Accepting and solving a communications training challenge from a global client

Global Client Challenge

Challenge accepted…

Loyal global client presents a new challenge.

“How do we grow our crisis comms resilience as a new team in multiple continents, time zones & cultures”

We got to deliver our solution at their European HQ. The energy, positivity & comments in the room suggest we exceeded expectations.

Job done.

This was followed by a welcome moment to reflect on where the training goes next while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

‘I really don’t want to speak to you again this year’.

Mangold Consultancy Christmas

No offence intended. None taken.

When clients chose us as their 24/7 crisis comms support, we get that a good Christmas for them means not speaking to us.

But if they do, we’re here. Poised with slightly wonky paper hats.

And to anyone else in need of 24/7 crisis comms support on speed dial…You know where to find us!

Happy Christmas to our wonderful team, clients and wider network – may 2024 be everything you wish for.

What everyone must say and do in a crisis

Let's talk… warts and all…

In a crisis, being open and honest with each other is rule number one

Or as one client recently put it brilliantly – “Let’s talk, warts and all.”

Honesty defines how an organisation manages a crisis AND then how its people recover from the impact

Whether you create a safe space, share skeletons, speak up or speak out – always be honest.

Why treat journalists like a friendly dog?

The Hunch Podcast with Abby Mangold - Staying ahead in the reputation game

Who’s the best person to put forward in a crisis?

How does good crisis comms impact the bottom line?

And lessons from NatWest, the British Museum, BBC and Nike

I had a fab time talking to Mark Schmid on his podcast The Hunch about all of the above, and more.

Listen below or follow this link to The Hunch Podcast Episode with Abby Mangold.

“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?’

The car crash interview always begins with… no practice

Jess & Abby Mangold from the Mangold Consultancy

We have known each other our whole lives and professionally for almost a decade.

We have run multiple training sessions BUT…

We still rehearse, every time, individually and together, dropping in the odd mistake to see if the other is actually listening!

It’s all about the practice, so when we do it for real we are focussing on the people we are training and what’s going on for them.

There is no corner cutting. And as sisters, we would be the first to call each other out if we were to try!

Make the time, do the practice, make every interview worth it.

Avoiding on camera confrontation. Advice for reception & security teams

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.

How to avoid on camera confrontation

What’s the point of media training?

The media Training was so useful…

What’s the point of media training? Actually, this great comment from a happy client sums it up perfectly.

Our media training has always been about the live interview experience, a bit of a grilling and lots of confidence boosting to produce your best performance.

You never know, when it comes to the real interview, you might just enjoy yourself!

Recharged for Autumn – bring it on

Jess & Abby Mangold are Recharged for Autumn - Bring on September!

Is it just me or does anyone else still get that beginning of term feeling?

The end of a holiday is never a highlight. But with plenty of behind the scenes Mangold Consultancy gubbins completed over the summer we are now rested and recharged for a busy Autumn.

Bring it on.

Crisis Communications Playbook

Crisis Communications Playbook

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
  • key journalists
  • 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.

Background image by Joanna Kosinska , book composition by Studio JERO

Do you know how to identify a crisis?

Can you identify a Social Media Crisis?

This blog was first published on the Brandwatch Blog.

A single social media post can now do as much damage to a brand’s reputation as a front-page article in a national newspaper. This shift from offline to online has forced brands to rethink how they manage a crisis and made social intelligence one of the most important and undervalued tools in the modern crisis management playbook.

With 95% of business leaders saying their crisis management capabilities need improvement, it’s clear that businesses are struggling to adapt. One easy win is to integrate social listening into their crisis management capabilities.

The adage knowledge is power has never been more true. Understanding what is being said about your brand, in every corner of the internet, is paramount. Brands failing to track conversations, mentions, keywords, and relevant issues are blind to the crisis that lurks around the corner.

Thankfully, there has never been a better time to understand what people are saying about your brand online. Social intelligence gives brands a critical edge and is the greatest early warning system of a potential problem coming their way. Used correctly, social intelligence is the 24/7 team member who you’ll come to rely on in good times and bad.

Not every negative social media mention represents a crisis

Unexpected situations outside a brand’s control happen every day. We see this at Mangold Consultancy with all types of brands, as we support them getting their crisis management preparation in order. It’s inevitable that people will say things online about your brand you wish they didn’t.

What’s important is knowing how to distinguish between isolated negative comments which can be managed in-house away from public scrutiny, and an emerging crisis that requires immediate action in a public setting.

Defining a crisis and understanding the situation

When a situation occurs (something unexpected that should not be happening), understanding the source and spread of the information is critical.

If the situation is known only to those inside your organization, and people outside your organization:

  • won’t get to hear about it or
  • don’t need to know about it or
  • won’t have a strong reaction if they do hear about it

you’re dealing with an incident.

But if the outside world…

  • knows about it and is concerned or will likely find out and have a strong reaction to it
  • and this situation poses a risk to reputation and the credibility of your business

then you’re dealing with a crisis which needs to be managed internally and externally.

Incidents can be managed as normal and require no special measures. A crisis must be managed immediately, with swift action from multiple areas of a business, often with a public response.

The importance of speed

The quicker an issue is known, the faster a response can be initiated.

The Incident management procedures and protocols we create, help our clients to pre-plan, rehearse, and stress test and should be activated as soon as an incident occurs to avoid a crisis.

The most common reason for a small-scale or isolated incident turning into a larger crisis is a slow or inadequate response (eg lack of action internally to correct a situation, failure to respond to a social media complaint, falsehoods posted online, or a slow rise in negative sentiment on a specific issue).

Social listening is your automated early warning system

Using a social listening platform like Brandwatch Consumer Research to monitor keywords, track conversations, and scan for sensitive issues is like having a new team member who spends all their time searching for potential risks. But unlike you or I, this team member never sleeps! They monitor millions of conversations across multiple platforms in real-time, 24 hours a day, and alert you when something is happening you need to know about.

But that’s just the start. Your new team member shows you who is talking about you, where, and what impact they’re having. They also show you when an issue is evolving, who is joining in, and how it’s spreading across different platforms. This is all essential information when planning how to respond.

Sounds nice, right? We could all do with a team member with these skills and stamina.

At Mangold Consultancy, Brandwatch Consumer Research is that member of our team. It gives us unprecedented insight for our international and national clients – from the FMCG sector to the health sector. It informs our crisis and corporate communications counsel with a depth of detail our clients truly value.

The reality is that without even the most basic social listening in place, you run the risk of being forced onto the back foot when an unexpected situation occurs. Your ability to react quickly and take action to reduce reputational damage has gone – this is not the place you want to be when negativity spreads like wildfire on social media.

Data-driven decision making

Social listening provides a data-backed evidence base for your organization/brand to make decisions. All too often in a crisis it’s easy to think you must be doing or saying something to actively manage it. This is not always the case – sometimes you need to be patient, but without knowing what is happening in real-time, it’s impossible to make decisions with certainty.

Source Fire image by Max Kukurudziak. Phone image by Jeremy Bezanger. Composition by Studio JERO

Thirty seconds to own the room – star presenters at the Earthshot awards

looking into space by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

The Earthshot Prize

The inaugural Earthshot awards ceremony rang out last weekend, fuelling climate conversations among global audiences. The Royal headliners and rock star performances, couldn’t outshine the creative ingenuity of the winners who each earned £1m to expand their climate saving plans.

Continue reading “Thirty seconds to own the room – star presenters at the Earthshot awards”