Once the horse has bolted…….

I have finally read through last week’s copy of PR Week and an article about the horse meat scandal caught my eye. The article reviews how Findus UK’s response to the crisis has been lambasted as ‘not fit for purpose’, describing the company as ‘a rabbit in the headlights’. One commentator said that the company had ignored his advice to tackle the crisis proactively. http://bit.ly/YdH7ao

Perhaps somewhat ironically, the journalist (Daniel Farey-Jones) writing the piece ended his article with: “Findus and Burston-Marsteller [the agency Findus appointed to handle its crisis comms] declined to comment.”

The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) offers a range of crisis management courses http://bit.ly/Yp5kZg

There is also a wealth of useful information on the web that will help you get the basics right. For example, Ainsworth Maguire PR has some really useful tips on their website:

Ten Things You Should Do

  • Gather the facts.
  • Relay the known facts openly and honestly.
  • Show humanity and concern for any injured or aggrieved parties.
  • Offer practical help if you can.
  • Co-operate with investigators or regulatory authorities.
  • Have a senior person as your authoritative spokesperson.
  • Brief all stakeholders.
  • Have a dossier of relevant facts to hand that could support your case.
  • Issue regular updates as more facts emerge.
  • Monitor the media and the web.

Five Things You Should Not Do

  • Don’t speculate about events or causes.
  • Don’t close communication.
  • Don’t speak ill of any injured party.
  • Don’t put out contradictory messages.
  • Don’t go on holiday while it blows over!

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