Dolce & Gabbana’s insult to China; Dunkin Donuts’s blackface advert in Thailand; cultural appropriation across the board – often ill-advised or not advised, such missteps can cause irreparable damage to a brand if the backlash is managed poorly.
Enter the PR professionals who can navigate a crisis and ensure minimal collateral damage. On Thursday, CFDA hosted a NETWORK. conversation on PR Crisis Management featuring Molly Morse, Managing Director of Kekst CNC, Chris Giglio, President of HL Strategic Solutions, and Ted Max, Partner at Sheppard Mullin. The three pros offered advice on how to best navigate a PR crisis, especially in today’s “callout culture.”
Here are the top learnings from the morning session:
* Always seek second opinions or legal advice when executing a brand strategy.
* When hit with a blacklash, identify the crisis and take charge quickly. You must determine the facts and understand what people are saying about you to fix the problem and/or your reputation.
* Be prepared with a crisis management plan. You will be a lot more confident in how you react.
* You have to have a plausible reason for the mistake. Take responsibility for the mistake, apologize for it, and be very clear that it won’t happen again.
* You not only need to think about how to respond to a crisis but also immediately inform your stakeholders how to address the crisis.
* A crisis can be an opportunity for a company to zero in on who they want to be. It is a pivotal time for a company.