Crisis situations, examples of solutions

Crisis management process

When it comes to crisis situations, examples could be multiplied. The costs of the crisis are like the wounds caused by the explosion of a fragmentation grenade. Firms take a lot of damage and the shockwave can be really extensive. Therefore, crises are considered both in terms of financial and image. They also touch the areas of internal and external image. The consequences of the crisis also affect the opinions about the company in which the crisis appeared. So what are companies doing to avoid the negative effects of the crisis? Or maybe at least they can minimize them? Let us consider three selected examples.

Crisis situations happen in any industry. They do not bypass large corporations and small businesses. When it comes crisis the worst that can be done is to react "hot". Without a well-thought-out strategy. But what should this carefully thought-out answer be? First of all, the most "human" and customer-oriented. Adequate to the context in which crisis situations arise. Examples of reactions companies should take? From apologizing to victims, to protecting their reputation, to using humor. Most importantly, however, the strategy should be prepared and practiced before a crisis occurs. How does it work in practice?

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Crisis situations - examples from the world

In 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen of tampering with the engine control of TDI units. The concern was to install special software so that the engine could undergo laboratory exhaust emissions tests. In turn, during normal driving, the software was deactivated. And the car emitted much more harmful substances than allowed by the standards. Thus, the company not only violated the Clean Air Act by selling vehicles that did not meet environmental requirements. It has also undermined the trust of customers. By making cars feel more environmentally friendly than they really were.

Managing a crisis situation

Unfortunately, the way the company handled the scandal only made things worse. As the story unfolded, the company's response was seen as inconsistent. Sometimes even completely contradictory to previous statements. Management initially claimed they had no knowledge of the scam. Just a few days later, however, he changed his mind. In the meantime, teams company PR and social media struggled to keep up with communicating these revelations.

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When the company decided to recall millions of vehicles, it was promised some customers - but not all - to reimburse costs incurred as a result of the situation. At all times, however, consumers felt that the company was trying to deal unfairly with the crisis. Not fully admitting to playing a major role in the scandal.

When these types appear crisis situations examples of definitely more adequate procedure are:

- being honest and facing the problem from the very beginning

- communicating coherent statements, kept in full empathy, apologetic tone,

- reimbursement of the same amount to all interested customers,

- Demonstrate a willingness to "make redeem", for example by setting new emission targets or working with an environmental organization to help tackle air pollution.

The brand would probably have dealt with this crisis better if it had focused on honest communication and a coherent strategy from the very beginning.

Examples of crisis situations in Polish companies

Crisis situation it can happen in any business. Here are some examples. In September 2016, some stores began to withdraw the water of the "Żywiec Zdrój" brand from sale. All because of a man who came to the hospital with a burned esophagus. The burn was supposed to have occurred as a result of drinking the water of that brand from the bottle, which had no traces of outside interference. Information about the accident was quickly picked up by the media, and representatives of the water producer delayed the release of the official announcement. The hate spilled over the Internet and even later, much more efficiently informing the public about the research results that were positive for the company, did not save the company from the outbreak of the crisis, which meant that the "disgust" towards the brand persisted for many months.

In August 2017, on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, the Tiger brand launched a marketing campaign based on the slogan "Fuck what it was. What matters is ", accompanied by a suggestive symbol - the straightened middle finger. The company quickly withdrew from continuing this ill-fated campaign, and organized a series of educational campaigns aimed at awakening historical social awareness.

Managing a crisis situation

In 2005, journalists learned that a dangerous procedure of "refreshing" cold meats, which had passed the expiry date, was taking place in the Constar meat processing plant. With the help of oils and other chemicals, the cold cuts were given a "second life" and re-introduced to the market. The fire was added to the fire by the behavior of the company's management, which, after publicizing the case, denied that the company followed the practices indicated in the course of the journalistic investigation, and then launched an advertising campaign with the slogans "We are better thanks to you" and "Probably the best controlled meat processing plant in Poland". However, communication turned out to be ineffective.

High-impact crisis

In January 2018, the H&M store chain received a wave of criticism. All by publishing a photo of a dark-skinned boy in a sweatshirt with the inscription Coolest Monkey In The Jungle, or "the coolest monkey in the jungle" in the brand's online store. The public was outraged. Many people felt deeply offended. Celebrities also publicly showed their shock, threatening to refuse to cooperate with the brand in the future. There has been a series of riots and vandalism in H&M stores in South Africa. The effects of the brand crisis were also felt by the family of the boy who presented the sweatshirt.

Crisis PR

What was the company's reaction? H&M removed the photo and publicly apologized for the incident. These crises are examples of how brands should be sensitive. They should be extremely prudent and careful when advertising and promoting their products or services. In this type of crisis, you should immediately admit the situation by apologizing to the public.

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It is always better to do this before others take action and influential journalists or media figures stand in the way of a quick resolution of a crisis. The H&M chain has repeatedly apologized for the situation. The brand has also withdrawn the controversial sweatshirt from sale. She also removed pictures of the boy advertising her from the online store. In addition, on its Facebook profile, the brand issued a statement about taking preventive measures for the future. To prevent similar situations, H&M decided to create a new position within the company's structures - Global Diversity Leader.

When can you laugh at mistakes?

JCPenney is a chain of American department stores that has been present on the local market for over a hundred years. However, even such an experienced player did not avoid the crisis. The company faced extremely unusual accusations after it launched a new stainless steel tea kettle in 2013. To promote the new product, JCPenney placed a billboard on Interstate 405 in California.

Crisis PR

It quickly turned out that some of them saw something more than an ordinary kettle. One of the drivers took a picture of the billboard and posted it on Reddit, a mostly English-language website with links to a variety of information. He also wrote that…. the kettle is strikingly similar to Adolf Hitler! As much as it seems absurd, knowing that someone sees the similarity, I also noticed it myself (I recommend searching on Google for those who are intrigued).

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Crisis situation. But what is the company supposed to do in response to such allegations? Because it must be admitted that when such crisis situations arise, examples of an adequate response do not immediately come to mind. The crisis could destroy the brand. It could lead to a situation in which masses (!) Of consumers will accuse the company of being insensitive. Even about anti-Semitism. However, JCPenney it worked right away. They managed to change the narrative into a favorable one almost instantly. Mark, approaching the allegations with humor, replied that if she were to make a kettle like anything, it would be something funny. For example, a snowman. As a result of this reaction, the whole thing with the kettle on Tuesday morning turned into a viral and on the same day by noon the kettle was sold out. Despite being spectacular sales success however, the company decided not to resume production. The unlucky billboard has also been removed. Thus, the JCPenney company has shown that it can laugh at its mistake, but also take the initiative to fix it.

When building a team, every company should know how to deal with a crisis. In most cases, reacting immediately to negative comments or reviews is likely to make things worse. The main goal is to build and maintain healthy relationships with customers so that they continue to trust the brand. Contact us to develop an appropriate strategy. Because crisis management It depends on many factors. With the right plan, you'll be able to turn a potential crisis into great development opportunities.

How to overcome crisis situations in the enterprise?

Managing a crisis situation. In order to effectively deal with a crisis situation in an enterprise, it is necessary to develop an effective procedure that will allow you to go through the crisis step by step as painlessly as possible. First of all, appoint a crisis management team - a team responsible for coordinating tasks related to the crisis situation. Equip your team with all the necessary tools to improve communication with the company's environment and make sure that it is made up of people with the greatest knowledge about the company and relevant experience in implementing crisis management activities. Then identify the crisis situation - when did it start, what is it, what does it result from, what or to whom is it threatened, what can it lead to? This knowledge will allow your organization to build proper communication with the environment.

Crisis PR. Verify all information that appeared in connection with the crisis. Monitor all media, including social media, on an ongoing basis and react to opinions and comments appearing there on an ongoing basis. After all, it is they who affect corporate image. In the next step, immediately decide what front you intend to adopt and what message you will communicate to the environment in connection with the crisis. Maintain constant communication, both with the external environment and with employees inside the organization. Chaos, disinformation and rumors work against you, so keep everyone informed as soon as possible. Apologize and take active steps to rectify the situation that led to the outbreak of the crisis and eliminate all the consequences it led to. Your conscious response to the crisis and concrete actions will make what you express in official communications credible.

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