Tag Archives: crisis respone

Crisis Response: Plan, Monitor and Respond

Traditional Media During a Crisis | GroundFloor Media Crisis Communications ExpertsIt’s 2018. When was the last time your company or organization updated its crisis communication plan?

The GroundFloor Media crisis team has been spending time reviewing crisis communication plans for our clients, and we are finding several areas that need updating. For instance, unlike five years ago, most crisis events these days don’t manifest only in the media, so there is a large social media component. Also, response scenarios likely need to be updated as well as key audiences to take into account the likelihood of a crisis happening on social media.

In general, the key theme of a crisis-response plan must be providing clear, honest communications to various audiences that might be impacted by the bad news. The crisis response approach is simple and straightforward, and based on three points:

  1. Don’t cover up
  2. Fix the problem
  3. Apologize and make sure it does not happen again

Here’s an outline of a crisis communications response plan:


  • Identify and prepare for potential issues
  • Communicate with the customer-service and legal teams
  • Get the facts and prepare statements



  • Get in front of the story
  • “No comment” is a last-ditch response
  • Accurately convey your side of the story to all audiences

Find out more about elements of a crisis plan in a Denver Business Journal article I wrote. Also, let us know if your business needs help revising its crisis communication plan.

Mid-2017 Crisis Communications Overview

Adidas crisis communications responseHere is a recap of the some of the best crisis communications gaffes, courtesy of PR Daily and Meltwater, that you may not have heard of. Be sure to check out the takeaways at the end.

Shea Moisture
This company featured a series of television commercials that profiled different types of hair types, but unfortunately they showed a limited number of minorities in their ads. They issued an apology: “We really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate.”

In a tone-deaf blunder, Adidas sent an email out Boston Marathon participants with the subject line: “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon.” It didn’t take long for them to apologize, and the crisis dissipated.

Bloomberg news showed how a $400 Wi-Fi-enabled juicer was basically just a ruse, in a video showing a person producing the same amount of juice as the specialty juicer. Reporters were able to wring 7.5 ounces of juice from the specialty packs in a minute and a half. The machine yielded 8 ounces in about two minutes. The startup this week cut its staff by 25 percent, and it offered customers refunds.

Fyre Festival
Billy McFarland and Ja Rule launched a luxury music festival at a private island in the Bahamas, and tickets ran from $2,500 to $250,000 for “deluxe” packages. Instead of the promised extravagant catering, beach yoga sessions, bikini-clad models and yachts to lounge on, attendees found a “disaster tent city” with scant rations. Instagram photos documented sorrowful bread-and-cheese sandwiches and dreadful accommodations. Social media users had a field day mocking the woes of the well-to-do audience and the downfall of the much-hyped event. A criminal investigation is under way and lawsuits abound. Ja Rule’s response: The whole world knows Fyre’s name now,” he said. “This will pass, guys.”

With any crisis situation, including the ones above, having a response plan beforehand can help, and listening and responding to social media in real-time can help turn the tide. Keep these points in mind:

  • When you mess up, genuinely apologize and share what you’ll do to prevent similar mistakes in the future.
  • When in doubt, talk to your community; they’re the people who already support you.
  • Treat your community with respect and listen to what it has to say. If you’re only interested in the bottom line, it will show.

Is Your Crisis Communication Plan Ready for Prime Time?

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 8.34.50 PMI was reading about the recent backlash against DirectTV when a man called to cancel his service after his house burned to the ground in the recent Colorado fires. He was told by the customer service person that he would still have to pay the $400 for the satellite dish and two receivers that were destroyed in the fire. Ouch.

After The Gazette covered the story, the fallout was immediate and fierce with people taking to Facebook and other social media platforms to vent against the company. Other media outlets also picked up and reported the story. DirecTV responded by saying that the company does have a disaster policy for customers and that “the agent who spoke to the customer gave the wrong information. We are here to help all of customers and do apologize for the miscommunication.”

Read more after the jump…

Fox Sports apologizes for video that’s ‘demeaning to millions’

Fox Sports had a great idea to generate buzz about the new Pac-12 football conference with a street campaign, but somewhere the concept crossed the line from funny to offensive.

Fox produced a video that included interviews with University of Southern California students who were asked about the addition of two teams to the conference. The interviewer, comedian Bob Oschack, singled out Asian-Americans who had little knowledge of football, let alone the Pac-12. Oschack made fun of students’ accents and grammatical errors for some yuks in an uncomfortable video.

Soon the video attracted the attention of ethnic studies professors at Pac-12 colleges, and before long the video was pulled off the Web. Here’s a version hosted by the Boulder Daily Camera, which first reported the story:

In a statement given to the Boulder Daily Camera, Fox Sports Network spokesman Lou D’Ermilio apologized to the USC community and said:

“The context was clearly inappropriate, and the video was removed as soon as we became aware of it. We will review our editorial process to determine where the breakdown occurred and we will take steps to ensure something like this never happens again.”

University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Darryl Maeda, who saw the segment, told the Camera that the piece relies on stereotypes of Asians as “perpetual foreigners.” “This is demeaning to millions of Asian-Americans who have put down deep roots in the United States, claim English as their language, and root vigorously for their favorite sports teams,” Maeda said.