Archive | Crisis RSS feed for this section

No publicity, mind

1 Dec

It started here as another exercise in word of mouth on behalf of a South African winemaker. Now it’s gathering major news headlines and is threatening to become a ‘brilliant-marketing-but-bad-for-business’ case study. Let’s hope for Thresher’s sake it’s not Hoover all over again.

Be candid, contrite, compassionate and committed

16 Aug

These are the four Cs of product recall management identified by Nirmalya Kumar and Nader Tavassoli, two marketing academics from London Business School. They are writing today in the Financial Times on lessons from Dell’s notebook battery recall and previous well-known cases.

Their book on Brand Turnarounds is forthcoming.

Nuclear or environmental?

21 Feb

So, AEA Technology plc has been fined for a potentially fatal radioactive leak in 2002. At least it shows that health and safety regulators have teeth, even if the wheels of justice move slowly.

But here’s the mystery. The business was privatised as long ago as 1996 (when its prospectus declared it to have ‘no significant nuclear liabilities’ so as not to frighten investors); in 2000 it announced its strategy to exit the nuclear industry. Yet the newspaper cutting above still describes it as ‘an atomic energy company’. There are many more examples.

There’s been no news posted in 2006 on the corporate news page, so the company has nothing to say on this confusion. Yet it now wants to be seen as an environmental and rail technology business. In this case, silence is not so golden (though Rob Thomas was a very good advocate for the business on the TV yesterday). Declaration: I worked in corporate communications for AEA Technology for a period in the late 1990s.

PR efforts unpicked

16 Sep

Jim Horton describes the high stakes being played for when a PR team has to respond to an issue proliferating on the net. This time it’s lock manufacturer Kryptonite. gives the background to this story, links to the incriminating evidence and cites the corporate response (it wasn’t quick, complete or compelling).

The Kryptonite website was unavailable this morning.