Paul Charles, Chief Operating Officer at international PR company LEWIS PR, estimates that 80% of companies don’t have a crisis plan in place. This could be fatal for a lot of B2B and B2C companies but the realisation of this potential risk is still small. Charles has worked for the BBC as a radio and TV presenter and was director of communications at Virgin Atlantic for 5 years.
Since starting at LEWIS PR he has been helping companies prepare for crises. In his opinion it is crucial to keep your crisis communications plan up to date at all times. “You should be checking your plan thoroughly twice a year and always update it with new phone numbers, contacts etc.. You will need to have an action plan where you answer questions like, what should we do, who will be spokesperson, where will our CEO be, who will contact who and so on. And then you need to have some desktop exercises to be sure that you know the plan is still working, and is watertight and correct”, said Charles in an interview with spotONvision.
During the B2B Marketing Forum on 15th March Paul Charles will be presenting. His talk will not only focus on crisis management but also on reputation management. “Companies are slowly starting to realise that reputation management is not something that is done just by marketing or communications. Social media have changed the rules of reputation management substantially. They have also changed the speed of communications. A company can still act locally, but will have to think globally. What happens in Eindhoven can be broadcast easily in New York and vice versa. As a company and person you will always have to keep track of what is being said throughout the world on your subject.”
Looking at all the influence that social media has, Paul Charles also sees a good part of reputation management dominated by Search Engine Optimization. “Google is a shop window. And in that window I, as a customer whether I am a consumer or a business, want to see the biggest brands on top. It is so much easier to name and shame companies online. In a way that is good because as a customer you can tell a company to get its act together. But it is also something that will need close monitoring.”
Paul Charles will cover subjects like B2B reputation management, crisis communications and how to think globally and act locally during his speech at B2B Marketing Forum.