Coronavirus crisis communications

Your coronavirus communications – 7 questions to ask yourself

British businesses are quickly waking up to the reality that the coronavirus is no longer just ‘something happening in China’ but about to become a UK crisis, too. Firms are scrambling to put operational measures in place but — judging from conversations I’ve had in recent days — some are struggling with the crisis communications aspects, while they realise it's vital to protect their reputations and maintain confidence during any disruption ...


Crisis advice for firm hit by Government probe

We’ve just delivered crisis support for a company facing the risk of reputational fallout following an HMRC audit of its business. At the end of a three-year investigation, HMRC this month decided the firm had infringed the technicalities of minimum wage rules. The company commissioned us for crisis communications advice to help it ...


Dead in 48 hours — how quickly a crisis can kill your business

We’ve just advised a company in a case that shows how fast you sometimes need to act to address a reputational crisis – and the devastation that can follow if you don’t. I won’t name the company so as not to pile on more misery, but this was a relatively new leisure firm running a UK-wide roadshow of family events. Problems arose when it had to cancel ...


83% of companies hit by crises last year – and most struggle with speed

A new study of 400 PR professionals has highlighted how often reputational crises hit organisations - despite what many would like to believe - and how speed of response is an increasingly difficult challenge. On the positive side, the research ....


Crisis PR for comparison website in media spotlight

We’ve just completed a crisis communications project for Compare Holiday Money — the UK’s biggest foreign exchange comparison website — which had come under the spotlight of BBC TV's Rip Off Britain. The company was hit by problems when one of the foreign exchange companies it listed took a number of customer payments last June, then disappeared without issuing any currency — leaving dozens of holiday-makers thousands of pounds out of pocket. The Compare Holiday Money team had ...


Walking off camera – huge blunder for Persimmon boss

What a blunder for Persimmon CEO, Jeff Fairburn, to walk off camera this morning when politely asked by the BBC about his £75M bonus. Clearly his bonus wasn't what he intended to be there to talk about. And, having been awarded some while back, it isn't news. But - as the biggest ever paid in ....


TSB boss resigns for poor crisis communications as much as IT meltdown

It's striking that today's resignation by TSB CEO Paul Pester seems to be down at least as much to his public handling of the bank's IT problems as the IT problems themselves.  Since first suffering huge operational problems in April when migrating customer data to a new platform, TSB has still not got all its IT systems back on track. Many customers' finances have been thrown into disarray as they've been unable to access their accounts and had money go missing. There's no doubt the IT problems have been enormous. But it's also apparent that ...


Five crisis lessons from the Oxfam prostitution fiasco

Oxfam’s reputational debacle continues to unfold following the prostitution scandals in Haiti and Chad. What do you think we can learn from this about how to behave in a crisis? Five points jump out at me ....


How not to prepare for a plane crash crisis

I received a bizarre crisis enquiry the other day. Is it just me, or is this an extremely strange way for an international airline to ...


More media interview lessons

Another ‘instructive’ media interview!

Last week gave us another astonishing media interview - with more lessons of what not to do. Irish channel RTE interviewed John O’Keeffe of the Garda Representative Association about an investigation which found the Irish police have been falsifying breath test data. O’Keeffe looked calm enough, but ...