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Crisis Communication

Airline stories show how your crisis can stay in the news

24 April 2017
It’s a problem United Airlines now faces and one that emphasises even more why you need to be ready to respond quickly to media and other stakeholders before issues become crises. What problem? If you are unlucky enough to be the subject of bad press, you may be like many and breath a sigh of relief when it leaves the news cycle. However, what isn’t always as well understood is that it only leaves the news pages until a similar issue...

What United Airlines and Sonny Bill have in common

12 April 2017
Two stories making headlines over the last few days have one glaring thing in common that business leaders should learn from. It’s the failure of both United Airlines and Sonny Bill to release accurate information about their predicament as quickly as possible. You will have seen the story about security guards dragging a passenger off a United plane after the airline decided they needed seats for other cabin crew. The Sonny Bill issue was his failure to explain why he taped...

Gareth Morgan learns from Trump

26 January 2017
The only way for minor parties that don’t have a seat in Parliament to become relevant on Election Day is through news media coverage. That’s a tough job, particularly since they don’t have the resources that come with parliamentary representation. But it’s a job that Gareth Morgan seems to understand. It’s not enough for these parties to focus on their policy. That won’t get them much attention, unless it’s radical and they get highly pro-active. The way to do it is...

Why Trump's tweets should concern you

10 January 2017
Donald Trump has put many US business leaders on edge over the last few months with his attack tweets that seem to come from nowhere. Ford and Toyota have both seen their share price drop after tweets from Trump threatening border taxes for cars built offshore and sold in America. The tweets were not even totally accurate. These are just two examples and show just how damaging social media attacks can be on business and other groups. This has been...

New Year's Resolution - Be ready for that possible crisis

28 December 2016
One thing that many businesses found towards the end of 2016 was that a crisis can strike out of the blue without warning. I’m obviously talking about earthquakes, but crises can take many forms. They can be the death of staff, data breaches, staff bullying accusation, embezzlement or a myriad of other possibilities. What stands out for you? Do you hold confidential information? Are you responsible for a group of people? Or is it something else that could damage your reputation...

Quake and empathy in media interviews

23 November 2016
If there’s one piece of advice I could give to leaders who are thrust onto the media stage when crises hit, it’s to make their first message a statement of empathy for victims. After the recent earthquake, some used this well while others didn’t have the knowledge or skill to express it. The problem is that reporters will never ask you a question that requires a direct answer that focuses on empathy alone. You will be asked questions like, “What happened”?,...

Quake shows need for crisis communication plan

16 November 2016
Were you prepared to communicate with all possible stakeholders immediately after Monday’s earthquake? If not, your crisis communication plan needs a revamp. When it comes to crisis or emergency planning, most organisations have safety procedures in place, as they should. Safety should always be the number one priority when responding to an emergency. However, communication is also important. Bad communication in a crisis can threaten that safety. It can also impact badly on reputations and bottom lines. Every time there is...

Communication lessons from Dreamworld

28 October 2016
The tragedy at Dreamworld this week is obviously devastating for the families, and to a lesser extent, others at the heart of the issue. But one certain thing about it has been the sub-standard communication response. Many lessons can be learnt. This blog post will look at three of them. Speed of response In the age of social media, companies at the centre of crises need to communicate almost immediately. The only way to do this is to have statements ready...

Chiefs damage done on day one

8 September 2016
The reputational damage to the Chiefs was cemented at the outset of the scandal, while the lack of a clear message throughout has compounded the problem. The first and fateful error was the lack of forethought or preparation by the Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman and Gallagher spokesperson (major sponsor) Margaret Comer when they first fronted media. Flexman said: “You have got to remember this is one person's accusation (the stripper) and her standing in the community and culpability is not beyond...

Media interview tips for Olympic Athletes

9 August 2016
Over the next few weeks, we’ll see some great media interviews with winning athletes. But equally, there will be those that are about as boring as watching grass grow. Journalists can only do so much to get interesting material from their interviewees. It’s up to the athletes to make it interesting. So what should they do? Even if they have a matter of minutes before they speak to a reporter after a race, they need to think of something interesting to...
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