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 ...

Media interview disaster

Lord Bell on Newsnight – lessons from another car crash interview

See the cringe-worthy interview with Tim Bell on Newsnight yesterday? Bell was interviewed by Kirsty Wark about the fall from grace of the Bell Pottinger PR firm he founded because of the shameful campaign it ran to stoke racial hatred in South Africa. It seems incredible that a figure with 50 years in the PR industry ...

Grenfell Tower crisis

The latest Grenfell fallout: are the lawyers to blame?

The fallout from the Grenfell Tower crisis continues unabated and has hit senior levels of Kensington & Chelsea Borough Council - with angry accusations of an absence of leadership and more heads rolling.

Cyber attack throws NHS into crisis

The NHS has been struck this afternoon by a devastating, nationwide cyber attack - and not made the best of starts with its crisis communications.

Vauxhall under fire for ‘reckless’ crisis management

Vauxhall has just provided the latest lesson in how to turn an operational crisis into a reputational disaster.

The real IKEA crisis – a failure of values

Today's BBC exposé of how drivers delivering Ikea products across Europe are being paid £3 an hour and forced to live "like prisoners" in their lorries for months is a disaster for Ikea's reputation.

Talk Talk: crisis communications revisited

With this week’s news that Talk Talk CEO Dido Harding is leaving the firm, the biggest event in her career that comes immediately to mind is inevitably the company’s cyber attack crisis of 2015.

Crisis for Concentrix: the mistake of not showing up

Another week, another lesson in how not to manage a deepening crisis of failures and mismanagement ...

Southern Health: How not to handle a crisis

The beleaguered Southern Health NHS trust has been lurching from tragedy to farce – with the deepening of its on-going crisis appearing largely of its own making. And its account of its actions this week have only caused further damage to its reputation.

Crisis advice around high-profile court case

We are providing confidential crisis communications and media support to a City professional who is bringing high-profile legal action against his employer.

Thomas Cook’s reputational crisis – too little, too late

The tragic case of the two children killed by a faulty gas boiler on a Thomas Cook holiday is a classic example of a corporate (as well as personal) crisis that's been hugely magnified by being handled abysmally.

Barclays – turning the crisis communications corner

Barclays' financial results today provide a good prompt to look at how the bank is faring, having been rocked by crises over the last year. Profits have plummeted by a staggering 96% and 3,700 jobs are set to be axed. But all's not as bad as it seems and there's much we can learn from the company's latest actions.