How to (mis)manage a personal crisis

North Yorkshire Police Commissioner Philip Allott finally quit today in the wake of his inflammatory 1 October comments about the tragic case of Sarah Everard, who was abducted and murdered by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens. Three big problems stand out for me in the way Allott has (mis)managed his reputation throughout his career crisis of the last two weeks.

The first - and most obvious - is his ludicrous ....


Brewer hounded by reputational crisis

Maverick Scottish brewer BrewDog found itself under fire earlier this month as more than 100 ex-employees sent a blistering open letter to its founders – condemning them for fostering a "toxic" culture and wrecking employees’ mental health. The signatories have since grown, now numbering more than 300.

The craft beer firm is no stranger to controversy: it has a habit of ...


Crisis talk at charity conference

I enjoyed talking at Fundraising Intelligence Conference 2021 last week about how to manage your reputation in times of crisis.

Charities, social enterprises, non-profits and public bodies are, of course, just as susceptible to reputational disasters as private companies. The sector was rocked last year by a large-scale ....


Charity in “toxic culture” crisis

I see NCVO – the hundred-year-old charity supporting Britain’s non-profits – has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. With a damning investigation uncovering a deeply “toxic culture” and its board bluntly admitting it’s all true, there are several curious points that strike me from its reputational crisis. The independent investigation was carried out last year, with its findings revealed at that point only to NCVO staff. But it's all come to the fore as the report has just been leaked to charity publication Third Sector, which has run a blistering ...


Law firm in reputational saga

A London law firm has just won £25,000 from High Court action against a client who posted a negative review online - and is seemingly now battling the repercussions. The court found the client's TrustPilot review defamatory, and the firm said it lost business. But how much might it lose now its client management 'technique' has hit national headlines - headlines that will forever come up when anyone searches for ...


Shocking 114 year crisis denial by New York zoo

I’ve just read this shocking account of how New York's Bronx Zoo exhibited a kidnapped African boy in a monkey cage in 1906 – and spent 114 years denying its wrong doing. It’s a stark example of doing the wrong thing in a crisis – exacerbating reputational damage by denying the undeniable instead of taking responsibility. It’s finally taken the Black Lives Matter movement to prompt ...


“I thought I’d just ignore it”

“I thought I'd just ignore it,” he told me. There are many cases where I’m sure this is absolutely the best policy. Junk mail. A minor insect bite. An insult from someone you don’t care about. But an approach from an investigative BBC journalist isn’t one of them. I was a bit surprised the other day when I first got the call the other day to ...


Mastercard ad

Look at these coronavirus TV ads!

Take a look at this clever compilation of current American TV ads, with brands attempting to show solidarity in a COVID-19 environment. It vividly illustrates how they’re all pretty much the same - down to the exact phrases and even near identical music! I think most are well-intentioned and would be fine on their own. They're seeking to show empathy rather than deliver a hard sell. But, viewed alongside ...


Send-up of PM – with serious point

I’ve just seen this Twitter clip from Matt Lucas, sending up PM Boris Johnson’s last coronavirus directive to the British people. Lucas mimics Johnson well — and, in the space of 17 seconds, hits an important point square on the head. The PM’s first lockdown address, backed by the ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save lives’ slogan, deserves credit for being ...


COVID-19: time to change your tune

My last post looked at whether you should cut or continue your marketing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I said some should cut back or stop, while it’s wise for most to press on or increase their marketing. But if you are continuing your marketing, one thing's certain: this can't mean carrying on exactly as before. These are extraordinary times. Everything is being seen through a coronavirus lens — and your focus and message need to ...