are you prepared for the worst?
There are two types of organisation – those that are prepared for and able to manage a crisis and those that are unprepared and must react swiftly to influence the best possible outcome.
When crisis strikes it is invariably unexpected, frequently complex and the organisation involved is typically far more concerned with resolving the core issues than in considering how they may be portrayed to their customer base by the media.
Punch offers a number of crisis related services, including:
- strategic crisis planning, to develop processes that are to be brought to bear in the event of a disaster.
- crisis management, to work with a client that has been hit by a crisis and is looking for successful resolution and assistance with dealing with media.
No two crisis situations are identical and not all can be resolved. Undoubtedly, those organisations that have created and put in place a crisis PR plan are prepared to work with – rather than fend off – any hostile media and are far better placed to resolve any situation.
See below for a full crisis management case study. If you're interested in crisis management, please contact Punch.
Crisis Management Case Study
Specialist supplier of sports tours for schools Activ4 fell victim to an international ticket scam involving FIFA World Cup Tickets on 16th June 2006. With 381 people involved, 350 of which were schoolchildren, the situation generated significant media attention.
Punch Communication was drafted in to support Activ4 through this difficult time by attempting to convey Activ4’s side of the story, ensure they did not become the media scapegoats and divert attention to the guilty parties.
Punch quickly developed and put in place a crisis management strategy. Several holding statements were drafted and fed to the international media to convey the Activ4 message. Punch managed a deluge of incoming press enquiries, negotiated interviews with key journalists and fed positive messages to a media hungry for a scapegoat over an intense five day period.
In all the story appeared on national broadcast media such as BBC 1, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky News, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live, along with national print media including The Times, The Guardian, The Mirror, The Sun, The Express, The Mail and The Telegraph, many of which ran the story on several occasions as events developed.
The story also ran across all regional broadcast and print media and online versions of all the above.
Many third parties were called upon to comment on the situation, including FIFA and Portsmouth Football Club, who provided tickets for some of the children to see a different game, which provided information-hungry media outlets a further angle on the story.
Indeed the story even involved the Prime Minister, who made an offer of assistance on BBC Radio 5 Live and which encouraged the media to continue running the story for several additional days.
Thereafter, sports minister Richard Caborne MP confirmed in Parliament that he had negotiated tickets for the pupils due to the high profile nature of the crisis. Punch managed Activ4’s level of involvement with each new aspect of the story as it unfolded.
When covering the story for the third time in three days. Nick Martin, producer on Channel 4 stated to Punch that it had been “one of the best sh*t-to-heaven stories” that he could remember.
Overall, by managing the spokespeople, dealing with the media, controlling the message and ensuring full disclosure of the available facts, Punch was able to portray Activ4 as the victims of circumstance, allowing the company to gain invaluable public support and goodwill at a time when the businesses resources were stretched to breaking point.