An interesting Â´compare and contrastÂ´case study from the LA Times of how two different companies handled emerging PR disasters: toymaker Mattel used a copybook PR disaster response (congrats to CEO Robert Eckert), while US financial services outfit Countrywide only succeeded in blotting theirs (could do better for Countrywide spokesman Rick Simon).
As the LA Times scribes wrote, “A crisis can happen to any business. But how a company responds offers a glimpse into how executives craft a corporate image and the way they want their firms to move beyond a setback.”
PR analysts and expert PR commentators looking at the cases reminded us that:
} Having a pre-prepared and rehearsed crisis plan is imperative
} How you respond to the issue is as important as the issue itself
} Working hard at communicating often wins brownie points with all your stakeholders
} Allocating the requisite comms resources to respond appropriately is a sound investment (Mattel had 16 fulltime PRs working the media telephones, for eg)
} Use a credible media spokesperson to accept responsibility and Â´front upÂ´ to the media
} Avoid a Â´them and usÂ´mentality – work with your media stakeholders
} DonÂ´t just pray that itÂ´ll all, magically, go away.
} And again, handling crises is about Responsibility, Regret and Remedia Action