contact +44 (0)131 669 5190 - e-mail

CIPR Accredited Practitioner
PHPR animated banner

News

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Crisis? What Crisis? Crisis PR



I've noticed a lot of customer relationship problems being labelled "crisis" by digital experts.
Left unresolved, they undoubtedly have the potential to have a negative impact on the business. With good management, however, the business can often come out of such incidents with an enhanced reputation as a caring organisation, willing to listen and respond to customers, and to make changes based on their feedback.

But are they crises? 

The defining nature of a crisis is that it is unexpected, otherwise it is not a true crisis: just a management challenge.
Customer complaints are often fairly predictable if the basic processes involved in the marketing, sales, payment, supply and delivery plus aftercare pipelines are examined in detail.
As long as you have effective monitoring in place and act effectively and quickly, they become management issues.

Crisis PR

To be crisis resilient demands regular analysis and planning to create a heat-map of different levels of threats to help protect the business. Plus scenario practice sessions. That all sounds like big company stuff, but it doesn't have to be very complicated to make a difference. I know of not-for-profit organisations that have screeds of crisis planning material. And large companies that can crunch a likely scenario down into just a page or two of key issues and key messages. Which do you think would be more effective?

Why should you bother with crisis planning and practice? 

Crises don’t just happen to larger companies. For example, even a small cafe or food shop has the potential to kill vulnerable customers with food poisoning.
Or what if someone was badly injured or killed on your premises?
Making it up as you go along is not a great option in these circumstances, even for cool, calm, collected heads.
In these cases, the first priority is sympathy for the family and friends from your highest level.
But forward practice and preparation will help.

Be Prepared

You may not know the actual crisis coming down the line, but having good relevant background material and pictures to post, and help you answer enquiries, will help you retain your position as the main information source in your particular crisis.
You can also plan ahead to make sure that all the relevant people know at all times how to quickly cancel automated social media posts that are making your company look as if you are all oblivious to the problem. You can also plan how to quickly set up relevant dark tabs on social media.
For larger or higher profile organisations, having a dark site up your sleeve that can be quickly adapted to the particular crisis will help to avoid giving an uncaring "business as usual" impression. Know who authorises and effects that dark site deployment (and the back-up people if the key people are out of the office).
Plus how you are going to man the keyboard and phone 24/7 if need be to answer queries and issue updates? Who is authorised to speak? What instructions do you need to give to staff re social media and other communications channels? Do you have the right policies and guidelines in place? Sorting all that out during a crisis where seconds count is not an option.

Protecting Reputation

There's also a lot you can do on reputation management in advance. Joining the relevant trade or professional body (or other relevant qualifications provider), attaining the appropriate qualifications, maintaining any CPD requirements and going public on these activities shows you are staying up to date.
Obtaining relevant awards and kite-marks show that you are not just adopting industry standards: they show you are an externally endorsed outstanding example in your field. Awards and kitemarks demonstrate that you successfully seek out and adopt best practice to improve and certify working systems and practices. Making that activity known on your website and release boilerplate will help to defend the business reputation.
Of course an ill-judged remark on social media when handling a complaint will put a dent in the reputation, but it's also an opportunity to prove you do care, by getting on top of it.
And a crisis may seriously damage a business, but a reputable business with the kite-marks and awards will often get the benefit of the doubt - unless an independent investigation proves otherwise. But if best practice is encouraged and celebrated, that is less likely to happen, so awards and kite-marks are not just a self congratulation exercise. They are a useful reputation defence strategy.

No matter what you do, an actual crisis won't exactly match your practice scenarios.
In a true crisis a shedload of crisis experience will help, but in its absence, planning and preparing, plus good reputation management could well make the difference between saving a business - or not.



PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  

PHPR Ltd on LinkedIn

Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

Labels: , , , , , , ,

posted by Penny Haywood Calder at > 0 Comments

 

Bookmark and Share

 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Wonder why clients do well with PHPR's B2B international PR?


























PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  

PHPR Ltd on LinkedIn

Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

posted by Penny Haywood Calder at > 0 Comments

 

Bookmark and Share

 

Friday, 21 November 2014

Are you setting up a Better B2B Business in 2015 today?

PHPR red in night jungle shot



The nights are getting longer, but there's no need to feel  in the dark about your publicity! Now's the time to begin to think about next year, before the party season starts, so you can get a head start on 2015.

For B2B businesses:

  • Maybe things you usually do aren't working any more? Are you as clear as you can be about what you do, or has the message got more complicated over time? Go back to basics and get your 7-word summary - including an emotional hook sorted out and work from there
  • What's your conversion rate of new business enquires vs actual conversion to sales? That statistic tells you whether you need to take action and provides a baseline to work from.
  • What's your referral rate like? Do you have a Referral Plan - that's often the fastest way to boost a business . We have over 100 referral tactics and most are do-able immediately and won't make you cringe. It's not all about content marketing and social media. People come first and the rest are just tools. But check out Dan Pink's TED talk about why money doesn't necessarily motivate (and can do the opposite) if you were thinking about paying referral fees... 
  • Is it time to look for new things that work - having conversations with existing clients is a great way to find out what they're using and resolve to meet clients on their chosen platforms, or events or.... 
  • No idea why you are beating your head against a brick wall with some potential clients when you have a great solution for them? Sign up for a free Future Sales Factory session to see how you are missing out on half of your true potential clients. It's an eye-opener, I promise and we are not affiliated or in any arrangement with them at all.
  • Ditch the "7 steps to a successful business" generic approach. Bottom line? There is no one-size fits all magic formula for business success. What works brilliantly for dyslexics (and dyslexics are often brilliant communicators) won't work for people who rely on their notes. And vice versa. Like most common sense, it seems obvious, but it's only by playing to your people's strengths that you will create sustainable and authentic content and publicity. Maybe you will find you need to plug some gaps, but that can often be done cost-effectively on an ad hoc basis. 
  • Not making the most of social media and other publicity channels because you have too little time? Take a half a day out to work with us on "doing more with less in 2015" session to get powerful content and authority behind your business to create a platform for success. Practical fusion of strategy and tactics tailored to personally suit your people. Including a 90 day publicity plan, with monthly follow-ups to hold you accountable.

If you want any help, call my PA on  0131 669 5190 to express interest in "A Better Business in 2015", starting with that call today. I'll get back to you to fix a date on either side of the festivities.

And whatever you get up to, have a brilliant 2015, starting from today!







PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  

PHPR Ltd on LinkedIn

Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

posted by Penny Haywood Calder at > 1 Comments

 

Bookmark and Share