You’ve woken up to find that your business has made the front page of the news, and it’s not the type of media attention you would ever ask for. Perhaps your new product line is fraught with defects, a member of your executive team has been arrested, or your stock price is tanking quickly and shareholders are up in arms. You have a problem and it needs to be dealt with quickly and strategically.
Like a wildfire, public relations issues must be extinguished swiftly, or it risks spreading, leaving devastation in its wake. But where do you start? A good starting point is to perform a quick analysis of known facts, essentially answering the question of “how did we get here?” Next up is an analysis of “where do we want to go from here?” While the answer may seem evident: that your company wants out of trouble, to recover from this situation, and to put this in the public’s distant memory – the path to get you there isn’t simply pulled out of thin air.
Here’s a real life example of how things can go from bad to worse, in the absence of a plan. You may recall the epic blunder caused by former lululemon CEO, Chip Wilson. Customers experienced a defect in a pair of women’s pants where the material became see-through when stretched. Instead of admitting the product needed some work, and committing to keeping customers satisfied, Wilson remarked that these pants were “not designed for larger women”. Pandemonium ensued.
This less than desirable situation for Lululemon and its shareholders could have ended there, had a proper apology been issued along with a commitment to re-design the pants. Instead, Wilson refused to apologize and further compounded the issue. Needless to say the company did not fare well in the weeks following, and that Wilson is no longer the CEO.
Careful calculation of your options and the preceding consequences need to be quickly weighed and a course of action needs to be engaged before the issue festers to a point of no return. MNH Strategies Inc. specializes in issues management, and uses years of experience in dealing with the media, crafting key messaging, and performing damage control to extinguish threats to your business and its reputation.