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Blog post
June 24, 2019

Are you ready to deal with a crisis?

CRISIS
noun, plural cri·ses [krahy-seez] /ˈkraɪ siz/
a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.

It’s a topic hot on the lips of many, but if you’re a communications professional you know the power a crisis can hold to make or break a business, career or the 24-hour news cycle. Almost everyone has a story, and having been in the industry for over three decades we understand that communications professionals typically live at the centre of these experiences and can often influence or shape the outcome.

While Chatham House Rules applied, we recently held some exclusive crisis events in support of better crisis management and wanted to share some of the notes from our expert panel, for what can be the most defining moment as a professional.

  • Own it! Be authentic, honest and open with your stakeholders – both internally and externally.
  • If you’ve made a mistake, apologise – don’t make excuses. There’s nothing more damaging for your reputation than not acknowledging you’ve made a mistake. While it’s not great to fail, it’s even worse when you don’t fess up.
  • Know your organisation’s key risks and audit them regularly. It is impossible to ensure you’re prepared for a crisis if you aren’t aware and immersed in the finer details. Is your team ready to manage a serious consumer issue if it were to go viral on social?
  • Ensure you have operations and communications plans in place to deal with these risks – even better, have a dedicated crisis response team (and protocols in place) really to go when you need it most. There’s nothing worse than scrambling to contact people when the chaos has already begun.
  • Identify your key subject matter experts and spokespeople to represent your organisation and test and approve each of their potential key messages – why not consider running a simulation for your executive and communications teams to take it to the next level?
  • Have a plan in place to deal with (and respond to) national and international media interest, including 24-hour access to strategic communications counsel and traditional and social media monitoring. Set up a crisis plan with Isentia so you can urgently engage the team when you need us most.
  • Have a strategy or ‘reputation recovery program’ in place to restore and build on your organisation’s reputation after a crisis. Your business is going to need some quick wins, so make sure you’ve prepared some simple initiatives that can work to restore your stakeholder’s faith and sweeten the sour taste in people’s mouths.

Dealing with a crisis is stressful at the best of times, but when you need the support to know what is being covered and where, we’re here to support you! For more information on how your organisation can be better prepared for a crisis, contact us now, or reach out to your Account Management team.

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The effects of COVID-19 are being felt worldwide. During this time, choosing the right brand messaging and executing it at the right time can give greater resonance to your brand. It can also strengthen customer relationships.

As businesses are under increasing pressure and governments urge citizens to stay home, communicating the right message has never been so important. In the corporate world, it’s a balancing act that highlights the essential value of the PR, marketing and communications role for the ongoing operations of their brands.

What metrics can PR and comms professionals use?

Being proactive is key. 

We’ve spoken extensively about Reputation Analysis and how this proactive framework provides a benchmark metric brands can follow to understand their reputation. However, as a modern PR, marketing or comms professional, there are numerous measurement metrics that can give important insights about your brand’s reputation. 

Brand reputation often influences the actions or choices audiences and buyers make, impacting a brand financially and its ability to grow. It’s especially important throughout a crisis to determine whether your key messages are getting to the right audience at the right time. 

Share of Voice

Utilising Share of Voice as part of your PR, marketing and comms toolkit can help you contextualise your media coverage in relation to a particular message, topic, brand or industry. It can also help you understand how effectively your brand is participating in the conversation. Using COVID-19 as an example, Share of Voice can help you identify: 

Volume of mentions for COVID-19 over another (and over time) - measure your brand’s visibility in the conversation in your industry in relation to COVID-19.

Volume of mentions of COVID-19 over another as it relates to sentiment - measure your brand’s visibility and the sentiment about your brand in relation to COVID-19. 

Volume of mentions by media type/channel (example below)

Measure mentions by volume by media type/channel
Measure by volume of mentions by media type/channel

Mentions

Throughout a crisis, tracking media mentions can help you spotlight spikes in coverage due to expected or unexpected events. Here are some of the key metrics you can use to examine brand mentions:

Brand mentions by media type - track the volume of brand mentions by media type (social, broadcast, print or online)

Brand mentions over time - see spikes in mentions and can be particularly useful when comparing mentions pre-event, during and post-event.

Sentiment related to those brand mentions - understand how your brand is perceived by your audience (and wider audience)

Brand mentions by spokespeople - understand who is talking about your brand and how often

Day to day volume of mentions per entity (example below) - understand how prominent your brand is in various locations.

Brand reputation can be measured mentions by volume of particular entities
Entities over time helps you measure mentions by volume of particular entities

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis is one of the key metrics that a PR, marketing and communications professional can use to understand their brand’s reputation. It also enables you to analyse negative sentiment to uncover new ways to improve brand reputation, PR and marketing campaigns.

Key Outlets

Monitoring your target outlets can be a great way to understand whether your message is landing in the right hands and how it is likely to resonate with your audience. Not surprisingly, most campaigns rely heavily on the successful execution of two key elements:

Consistency of the message

Share of Voice across target channels

The below outlet chart provides a visual representation of coverage published by volume. This helps you understand which outlets are amplifying your messages and provides you with more context into how your content or message are being received.

Measure brand reputation by coverage published by volume
Media outlet analysis can give you an important measure of coverage published by volume

Media intelligence is key

Media intelligence allows you to be proactive. In a rapidly changing environment, it’s crucial to stay across the latest, most relevant news and information. With COVID-19, we are seeing record levels of content across a single issue and a constantly evolving traditional and social media landscape.

Your brand’s reputation is one of its most valuable resources. Using these metrics can provide valuable insights about your brand and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your brand reputation.

If you would like more information on how we can help your brand monitor the media during the COVID-19 crisis, get in touch with us today.

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Blog
The key metrics for brand reputation during the COVID-19 crisis

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt far and wide. During these times of crises, choosing the right brand messaging and behaviour plus executing it at the right time can instil greater meaning to your brand and strengthen customer relationships.

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In the rapidly changing landscape of crisis management, one principle stands out as the North Star: authentic leadership. As technology's trajectory accelerates, consider the future of audience intelligence and its role. How will it redefine leadership strategies in times of upheaval? This evolving intelligence offers insights that can recalibrate authenticity and responsiveness, aligning leaders more closely with stakeholder expectations.

While work culture evolves, it's crucial to ask: Have crisis management processes evolved in parallel? In the palms of audiences rests not just a smartphone, but your brand’s narrative and mission. Navigating a perpetually open, ever-changing, always-connected environment demands a unique approach to crisis management. In this context, authentic leadership emerges as a linchpin, ensuring that messages resonate as genuine and align harmoniously with overarching company objectives.

Understanding Your Audience Amidst Crisis

Isentia, in collaboration with communication experts and leaders, dissects the evolution of communication processes during crises and the intricate connections across volatile social media platforms. Watch the video to glean insights from our expert panel!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoP1Nk45l4E

Navigating a crisis demands a profound understanding of your audience. Amidst the turbulence, grasping their sentiments, concerns, and expectations becomes paramount. This is where the value of incorporating audience intelligence shines. By harnessing data-driven insights and real-time feedback, you can tailor your communication strategies to resonate authentically, fostering trust and connection. In times of uncertainty, audience intelligence empowers you to pivot swiftly, ensuring your responses align with the evolving needs of those you serve. Journey deeper into the territory of authentic communication and its formidable influence during a crisis.

Unveiling Authenticity Amidst Crisis

High-profile leaders teach us a profound lesson: Beyond strategy and action, presence and authenticity bear real significance, instilling belief in every move. The nurturing of these traits extends far beyond moments of crisis.

Consider this: A swift response to a crisis is undeniably important, yet projecting authenticity within that response, informed by audience intelligence, holds equal weight. By utilising audience intelligence in a response strategy, organisations and leaders have the opportunity to listen to the most concerned and influential stakeholders. Stakeholder input shines a light on whether the organisation is being authentic or not, and where potential gaps could be filled.  Communicating with authentic language resonates deeply, showcasing a level of compassion that marks a true leader. In our previously published Leadership Index: Leading through Crisis, our expert Insights team meticulously dissects the authenticity of four high-profile leaders, unveiling how the authenticity of their actions shapes the outcomes of their respective crises.

Three Pillars of Authentic Leadership

Emotional Authenticity: An authentic leader embraces self-awareness, impartially acknowledging strengths and weaknesses. They cultivate compassion and humility, transmitting it to others.

Behavioural Authenticity: Guided by personal principles, an authentic and empathetic leader paves the way for change while retaining control. Thoughtfully chosen words and actions resonate deeply with the affected audience.

Social Authenticity: Building an authentically kind and caring organisation, fostering inclusivity and a fluid identity that mirrors the evolving landscape – these principles intertwine to form a coherent, authentic entity.

Leadership in Crisis: A Test of Character

Leaders face an immense test of character during times of crisis. A comprehensive understanding of crisis risks and well-calibrated actions can differentiate between sinking and sailing through turbulent waters. Authenticity takes centre stage, distinguishing an average leader from an exceptional one. It holds the power to steer crises towards constructive resolutions.

Authentic leaders embody self-awareness, recognising their strengths, limitations, and emotions. They lead from their heart, not just their minds. While direct communication is vital, empathy is its essential companion, especially in the midst of a crisis involving loss of life.

Calm, composed and strategic responses to a crisis convey authenticity and foster unity among the affected. Conversely, defensive or detached responses breed evasion, undermining trust and credibility.

Isentia's suite of services empowers PR and communications professionals to establish authentic leadership, especially in crisis situations. Through real-time media monitoring, professionals gain insights into public sentiment, allowing them to craft timely and empathetic responses that resonate with the leader's authentic voice. Isentia's crisis communication tools enable proactive management by identifying emerging crises and tracking stakeholder reactions, ensuring leaders communicate transparently and empathetically. It also allows for accurate identification of where your messaging is best placed to reach your audiences. This data-driven approach fosters trust and credibility, helping leaders navigate crises while maintaining authenticity.

Elevate your leadership's authenticity today with Isentia's data-driven approach, fostering trust and credibility in the face of challenges.

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Blog
Authentic Leadership in Crisis Management: Navigating Challenges with Integrity

In this crisis management blog series we have looked at different leadership profiles based on their media coverage. From disruptive leaders that charge ahead and promote themselves along with their brand, to corporate leaders who are hesitant to build this kind of profile and instead promote a company wide view.

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Scoot, a low-cost carrier

Scoot, a low-cost carrier that provides flights predominantly within Asia, faced seven major flight delays in the last few months of 2018

Technical issues caused 356 passengers on the affected flight to be stranded in Taipei for almost two days. Replacement parts had to be flown in from overseas, causing serious delays.

This whitepaper uses Scoot’s TR899 flight delay as a case study to explore media conversations surrounding the incident.

We discuss service recovery, crisis management, PR approaches, and how the lack of communication leads to potential consequences.

Download the whitepaper here.

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Whitepaper
How media comes into play in times of crisis

Scoot, a low-cost carrier that provides flights predominantly within Asia, faced seven major flight delays in the last few months of 2018. Find out media conversations surrounding the incident, Scoot’s approach to service recovery, and sentiments towards their approach.

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How does your organisation manage media during a crisis?

Every organisation is likely to encounter a reputational issue or crisis at some point in their lifetime, and in the world of media and communications it’s important to ensure you are prepared.

When you’re in the midst of a crisis, it’s critical to keep your finger on the pulse of all media channels to combat and address statements as they emerge.

This shouldn’t just start when the issue breaks.

In order to effectively respond, it’s important to have planned and prepared processes in place, and a prompt team to mobilise.

Want to learn more about the value of managing media pre, during and post crisis? Download our whitepaper or get in touch with our team to discuss your needs.

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Whitepaper
Managing media during a crisis

Every organisation is likely to encounter a reputational issue or crisis at some point in their lifetime, and in the world of media and communications it’s important to ensure you are prepared. Our whitepaper can assist you understanding the value of media intelligence pre, during and post crisis.

Ready to get started?

Get in touch or request a demo.