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Crisis communications and reputation management

Case study: Crisis communications and reputation management

Background

Our client was undertaking a large-scale infrastructure project that would result in significant financial gain for the UK, but also greatly impact the local community where it was happening.

There was already some negativity around the proposed project and there was no guarantee that it would go forward – there was a chance that community and media backlash to the development might prevent the necessary approvals being granted. 

What was the challenge? 

The fact that there was such strong feelings both within and beyond the local community meant that our client quickly recognised the need to bring in a specialist interim communicator who could help them manage their corporate reputation with the community and the media.

Recognising the scale of the challenge, our client felt the best approach was to set up a
separate communications function to deal specifically with the reputation management and
communications for the duration of the project. The initial task was to immediately hire an
interim who could lead the existing communications team and assess what was required from
the function in order to best service the communications needs of the infrastructure project.

What our team did 

We approached our network of interim communicators who we knew had successfully
handled similar crisis and reputation management situations. Very quickly we were able to
establish a shortlist of strong candidates who all subsequently interviewed with our client,
resulting in one being hired to drive the reputation and crisis management forward.

Our team continued to work with the original hiring manager and the successfully placed
interim to build a team of interims with the purpose of guiding the communications for the
entire infrastructure project.

Our client’s pitch for the development project was successful and subsequent issues around
their corporate reputation were kept to a minimum through effective communication and
engagement with the local community and media.

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