- -Building the Capacity to TrustThe first foundation of trust emphasizes on the need for an entity to create an environment conducive to trust, wherein the eventual goals of the entity are aligned with those of its stakeholders to increase a sense of association that is crucial to developing a sense of mutual understanding and a sense of purpose towards common goals for a congruence of values, beliefs, and thoughts.
-Creating the Perception of Positive IntentThe second foundation deals with one of the key ingredients for the best possible "PR health" prescription for a business entity – to be seen as having a positive impact on its environment and those associated directly or indirectly with it. An enthusiastic entity perceived as actively interested in social good will gather more following as it is seen as working towards the greater good. In several cases, businesses have been revived from the brink of obliteration from the public eye by a well-timed, genuine endeavor towards investing thought and effort towards the betterment of society.
-Demonstrating Relevant CompetenceThe final foundation of trust deals with a business entity putting their money where their mouth is. It is of utmost importance that the claims of the entity are backed up with strong results. There should be no dissonance between what they are and what they are trying to assert themselves as. A business entity needs to etch its image in the public mind such that they are well respected hence credible, and in case of any pitfall can be relied upon to accept the responsibility and draw from the experience to improve themselves. During times of crisis, it is essential that these aspects are communicated to maintain the image of the business.Trust can be built, retained, reinforced, and revived regardless of which stage the business is in. If it is a budding new enterprise or an industry stalwart. If it is in times of crisis, reviving its image, or reinforcing its brand image. Or if it is attempting to sustain the trust it has gathered over a period of time or infusing it with a new impetus towards an unchartered territory.
- Our Expertise
- Crisis Containment Framework
Blue Lotus’s Crisis Containment Framework®
As the name indicates, this phase of crisis containment is a time for understanding and preparation. The two sub-phases of this step are:
- Risk Assessment and Threat Evaluation
- b. Preparation and Training
The first phase, Risk Assessment and Threat Evaluation, assesses all possible risks specific to the organization and classifies them into threat groups – Red, Orange, and Green. This anticipatory step naturally cannot predict all the possible crisis scenarios that may occur, but it gives the organization and the PR agency a relatively good idea of what to expect.
To create a comprehensive risks’ list, it helps to have a live session with the top management of the company. After a brief explanation of the process of crisis, each participant is asked to list out the three biggest threats that they foresee in their department that could potentially bring an image risk to the company. Once listing is complete, they shortlist their own Red Flag threat. After that, these lists are discussed further and a final, shortlisted Red Flag list for the organization is created. The other threats are similarly classified into Orange and Yellow flags.
A set of mock media drills is created for the spokespersons and drills are conducted for two or three identified threats, which help them get the context when responding to threats in real time.
The outcomes of the Anticipatory step are the following:
- Media Policy
- Mock drills and ambush interviews
- Spokesperson protocols
- Creation of FAQs
- Understanding possible threats
- Classification of risks
- Mitigation strategies
- Creation of SOPs
This step is a vigil and warning step, where it is essential for the grassroots to keep an ear to the ground. It is important for the grassroot to understand the clients’ logic of messaging as also the general media strategy. Media teams across the nation need to be vigilant for any adverse news about the company or the industry. Strong media relations and an open approach help in getting advance notice from the media regarding any impending media-related issues.
Of late, survival pressures of several smaller media houses have given them the tendency to push any negative news, without even a proper evaluation of the content. Seven out of ten media crises are due to misinterpretation and misrepresentation.
At Blue Lotus, we believe that it is necessary to treat every crisis as important, no matter how big or small. Crisis containment is an evolving plan and every learning needs to be adopted.
It is equally important in a crisis situation to ensure that the protocols of Red, Orange, and Green escalation be maintained with all Red situations being discussed for the plan evolution. One important observation that comes from the various experiences that Blue Lotus has had is that the usual standoff is with the legal viewpoint (of under-disclosure or to-the-point disclosure). It must be noted that from our viewpoint, for effectively regaining lost reputation and Brand Trust®, over-disclosure may be the way to go in most cases, rather than under-disclosure.
Popular theory has it that the IQ of a person (or corporate) falls to 10% when faced with acute adversity. Is there a way that we can add to the intelligence by learning from adversity? Is there a way that we can end up adding IQ points when faced with a situation of adversity?
When any company loses clients, markets, mindshare, or reputation, it is unfortunate that very few do a serious introspection to understand what really happened.At Blue Lotus, we categorize crisis learning into two categories, subtle and gross. Gross learning happens by pure observation of a new crisis. On the other hand, subtle learning in crisis happens due to experimentation or observation of mistakes and critically analyzing the mistakes. The learning-adversity connection in the corporate environment often gets missed as these environments witness a continuous intermeshing of casualties and growth. While learning is a continuous process, momentous adversity can provide enough fodder for learning, improvement, and growth.