Rescuing a communications foul up

Client: Public

The Challenge

The client had initially envisaged conveying a major, positive, initiative within own resources. The Chairman was to lead the communication of the initiative with the organisation’s stakeholders. This included live media appearances to explain “the good news”. Unfortunately the chairman was not adequately prepared and was unable to respond to media issues not directly associated with the initiative. The result was that the chairman was made to look foolish and the positive impact of the initiative was entirely lost.

The Response

A direct communications plan was put into effect. A scoping exercise was undertaken to determine both direct and indirect concerns with the business of the organisation and embedded into the revised action plan associated with the original initiative. The professional staff involved were trained on doing direct briefings to deal with technical issues. An active engagement with the media was sought and appearances on local and national media arranged to explain in clear language the focus of the initiative and the implication for the organisation stakeholders and the general public.

The Effect

The initiative was put back on track and greater public information is now available. The initiative has become an international best practice and is copied elsewhere.