Communication Agencies and Law Firms: the new allies in business crises

27/09/2019By scandinaviancomChange Communications, Crisis Communications, Management Communications, Public Relations Global Network, Strategic Communications


By Valentina Giacaman Hazboun, Founding Partner at RumboCierto Comunicaciones

In an era of corporate reputation coming under close scrutiny from an increasing number of directions, strategic communications agencies – at least the ones staffed with experienced communications professionals and former journalists and capable to support companies and individuals alike in a crisis situation – have become increasingly valued by law firms and their clients.
Still a few years ago, when a corporation – or a company executive or business tycoon for instance – had to face the courts, they mostly called only for a lawyer to get prepared to defend themselves against charges.

Today the notion is on the increase that this is far from enough. Corporations and businesspeople have become seriously worried about their image, as well. What will the press write? How the reputation will be reevaluated by those in the market where they operate? And – last but not least – how they can effectively defend themselves against charges (either false or true) so that a crisis does not end in any damage with unthought-of consequences.

In today’s growingly image-conscouios environment, legal specialists and counsels have also started to involve crisis experts or lobbyists, since they have become aware that without the crucial communications aspect of an analysis they will have less chance to win their cases.

I’ve come across lawyers who have even included public disqualifications as a way to litigate. And recent evidence shows clearly that companies have been destroyed, sold cheap or even come to be worth zero after a crisis erupted involving them. The same can happen to executives and businesspeople: if their reputation is tarnished, they will never be able to access new jobs or even close deals.

The true specialists companies and individuals need in such situations are people who can understand the media, anticipate intentions behind calls from journalists, ask the right questions and – based on accurate data gathered that way – can reconstruct facts and explain them in simple language everyone understands.

This specialist area within the general communications practice has developed over the recent years of crises while the industry also found a name for it and called it Corporate Reputation Management – which is now so much talked about in seminars and the trade press. And most recently this field has been further intensified by the arrival of “fake news” and “post-truth”. Now it is a part of almost all conflict and crisis situations that false news is created around them with the intention to damage the image of a person or to distort perception of reality by the public opinion.

While reputation management is not a new practice in the field of communications, awareness is growing that a loss of reputation can have serious consequences on the judicial outcomes, and social networks can aggrevate that impact further. A prominent judge in Chile recently noted in an article: “It is the social sanction which is invoked that can often be harsher than the sanctions by the courts.

RumboCierto Comunicaciones is our partner agency in Chile.  Article originally published at PRGN.com

Visit from our international partners in Poland & Brazil

13/09/2019By scandinaviancomChange Communications, Christina Rytter, Content Marketing, Crisis Communications, Management Communications, PR, Public Relations Global Network, Scandinavian Communications, Social Media, Strategic Communications

Today we had a wonderful visit and Friday Lunch in Copenhagen with our Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) partners and friends from OneMulti in Poland and SMARTPR in Brazil.

The World’s Local Agency
PRGN is The World’s Local Public Relations Agency. We are a connected network of 50 hand-selected agencies working within PR, Strategic Communications and Digital/Social Marketing servicing key markets around the world. As leaders in our respective regions, PRGN agencies offer the “boots-on-the-ground” savvy of a local Public Relations agency, yet on a global scale. Our model allows us to deliver a unique level of flexibility – scaling up or down across multiple markets to meet your business needs. Each PR agency knows its local community and it knows how to help clients connect with their audiences in those regions.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help in Scandinavia – or beyond with single-point-of-contact.

Read more about PRGN.

Five key learnings from social media crisis

09/08/2019By scandinaviancomCrisis Communications, Public Relations Global Network, Social Media, SoMe Tips & Trends

By Philip Hauserman, Vice President and Director of Crisis Communications at The Castle Group

In today’s world, there’s no escaping social media – especially when it comes to crisis communications.
I can say this with authority since 99.9 percent of the crises we’ve managed in the past few years have involved one platform or another. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Yik Yak (yes, even Yik Yak, for those of you who remember 2016). Each platform presents its own challenges, of course, but the approach to managing the situation and the response more or less stays the same.

So, what do you do? How do you manage a social media crisis?

Prepare. There’s no anti-virus software that I know of that will quickly and quietly fix a crisis, especially one that is playing out online for all the world to see. Having a plan in place – and testing that plan – before a crisis occurs is the No. 1 step you can take right now to prepare yourself and your organization for that inevitable moment when you hear those three little words that nobody wants to hear: “It’s gone viral!” Part of that plan includes making sure that you know your channels, your passwords, and your team. More than one person on your social media team should always have access to each account, and at least one person should be able to access the accounts from a mobile device. Your plan should also include likely scenarios and template responses – pre-approved messages that can be used in public and/or private message formats. Why is this important? Because a single tweet that goes unresponded to can kick off a digital firestorm that can take over and create a narrative of its own, leaving your organization – and your reputation – behind. In a true social media crisis, you don’t have the benefit of time to run a draft social media response up and down the ladder and through legal before posting. Do that ahead of time and save yourself from the headache that comes with waiting…and watching…a crisis snowball online.

Implement – and abide by – social media policies. Developing guidelines and posting policies for external interaction with your social media channels sets clear expectations for acceptable/unacceptable usage of your organization’s pages. These policies will also give you a publicly stated set of rules to refer to in the event that you have to remove a particularly ugly or vicious attack on your platforms. But don’t, under any circumstances, start deleting or hiding comments – unless they violate said policies. Doing so will make the situation infinitely worse.

Listen, listen, listen. The best way to know what’s going on before, during, and after a crisis is to listen. Monitor your own organization’s channels and that of news outlets that may be reporting on the issue. Pay special attention to trending topics and hashtags on each platform, flagging and screen capturing comments that are particularly concerning and may require priority treatment. Many times, you’ll discover new, and potentially actionable, information just by listening to the conversation. When you do speak, speak with one voice and transmit one message. The style and the exact words of the response may change to fit the platform, but the substance of the response should not. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of eyes just waiting and watching for inconsistencies and errors and tone-deaf or robotic remarks – anything to fan the flames and keep the controversy going. What you say online should be the same thing you said to the reporter who called a few minutes ago, and it should absolutely be the same thing you said to your employees.

Debrief. Clean up. And then start planning for the next crisis. Once the storm has passed, it’s time to clean up. Did you promise any updates to anyone during the situation or event? If so, who needs to hear from you and when? Did your process work? What needs to be improved? Do you need to run through drills based on what your organization experienced? Should you update your policies and passwords? These are just some of the questions to ask yourself and your team before the next storm rolls through.

The Castle Group is our partner agency in Boston, USA.  Article originally published at PRGN.com

10 tips to PR success in Scandinavian media

05/08/2019By scandinaviancomChristina Rytter, PR, PR Tips & Trends, Scandinavian Communications

By Christina Rytter, Founder & Trusted Communications Advisor

These focus points are key to create positive PR coverage in Scandinavia:

1. Think through and create a real journalistic story from scratch for the Scandinavian markets – and then get your corporate or product messages to fit with a downplayed balance.

2. Write a local angled story for each Scandinavian market. Your PR core story for Scandinavia can be the same – but to really get it right, you then need to work out a local PR angle for each market; Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland etc. Understanding and acting on the small cultural differences between each Scandinavian market give you much greater PR results.

3. Work out a tailored media list for each Scandinavian country with key journalist from Tier 1 media depending on your target group.

4. Pick a broader range of media to get more volume, when you send out your press release – Scandinavia has a very narrow media structure with only few media in each category.

5. Work with exclusive sell-in of your press release / PR story. This means that you only talk in person with one leading key media at the time. It’s key for most Scandinavian journalists to get their own story with a unique angle. When you succeed with you PR sell-in. Wait for the agreed publication – and then go for at wide distribution of the press release to create a 2-waved PR effect. This can be very effectful!

6. Always work with a journalistic approach in your PR Press kit for Scandinavian media. A Marketing approach towards Scandinavian Tier 1 media is a sure dead end – and you press release will easily end up in the garbage can at the newsdesk.

7. Don’t expect to get any control over the final journalistic content in articles. Scandinavian journalists are very Independent – it’s just part of their DNA. You can approve you own quotes – and offer journalist a quality check of facts. Nothing more. Otherwise you could offend the journalist. This independence also means that your PR adviser rarely is present at face-to-face interviews with Scandinavian journalist.

8. Offer Media professional PR photos to strengthen the possibility of media coverage. This could be PR headshots of your company spokesperson or of your Product/Services. This must preferably be PR photos take for media in a journalistic context supporting the journalistic angle of your story – instead of traditional marketing photos.

9. Follow up on journalists in person on phone and email to secure sell-in of the story and final media coverage. In Scandinavia this is a very delicate balance between being proactive without being annoying for journalists, who have a very busy and tight work schedule and a lot of people approaching them every day.

10. Take into your planning that different Scandinavian media work with very different timing. If you go for a business daily, you might only need to approach the editor a couple of weeks before you like to see some media coverage. But if it’s a high-end lifestyle Magazine on print, you might need to talk to the editor 3-4 month ahead.

Need help with PR in Scandinavia?
Don’t hesitate to contact Scandinavian Communications if you need help. We are passioned with heart and mind to help you communicate with impact and leverage your business in the Scandinavian markets.

50th meeting with our Public Relations Global Network

16/05/2019By scandinaviancomChristina Rytter, PR, Public Relations Global Network, Scandinavian Communications

This week Scandinavian Communications meet with our business partners and friends from around the globe in our Public Relations Global Network (PRGN).

Two times a year all of our 50 member agencies meet for three days somewhere around the globe to share knowledge, connect and have fun.  This time in beautiful Amersfoort in Holland hosted by our partner Evident P.R. 

So don’t forget, where ever you want to go in the world to leverage your business: We are here to help you :-). 

 

SoMe – SO Many Enigmas

05/04/2019By scandinaviancomContent Marketing, Social Media, SoMe Tips & Trends

Theme: Scandinavians – similar, but not the same

By Eva Helene Kabelmann, Digital & SoMe content Director

Social media cannot be avoided when talking PR and communication. And numbers show that it is practically impossible to succeed if one does not use SoMe in campaigns – those being local, regional, national or international. And thus also Scandinavian.

The Scandinavian markets have some of the highest numbers in the use of SoMe and one could be seduced into thinking that marketing here would be a pure cake walk.
But.
It’s worth having in mind that there are differences, when it comes to which of the SoMe platforms, the four Scandinavian populations are operating on.

Let’s have a look at the four most used social media: Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Linkedin. The four Scandinavian populations all – and to a great extent– use these SoMe platforms, but there are differences in degree:

The Norwegians top the use of Facebook. They also have the highest frequency when looking at the number of SoMe platforms used

The Swedes take first place when it comes to Youtube and Instagram. Despite this, they are in third place when it comes to the number of SoMe platforms used

The Danes top the use of Linkedin. And occupy a second place in the number of SoMe platforms used

As for the Finns the most striking is that they almost do not appear when it comes to the use of Youtube. And the Finns also takes a fourth place in number of SoMe platforms used. Despite this ranking, keep in mind that the Scandinavians – overall – have some of the highest frequencies in use of SoMe.

Small differences, but all relevant to consider when choosing a marketing and / or PR strategy for your next SoMe campaign.

Read more: https://scandinaviancommunications.com/social-media/

Use the small differences in decision making to leverage your business.

14/03/2019By scandinaviancomChristina Rytter, Content Marketing, PR, PR Tips & Trends, Scandinavian Communications, Social Media

Theme: Scandinavians – similar, but not the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Eva Helene Kabelmann, Digital & SoMe Content Director 

There is little doubt that the Scandinavian people are often regarded as a slightly homogeneous crowd, where the differences are far less than the similarities. And rightly so, for us Danes, Swedes, Norwegians and Finns are very similar to each other both in appearance, behavior, levels of education, mentality, shopping habits – well, you name it. 

But. There are differences. And particularly when it comes to marketing both new and well-known products in the Scandinavian markets, it can make good sense to be aware of the small differences. Because we are not the same. Let’s have a look at some of the differences in mentality when it comes to making business decisions: 

The Swedes enjoy structure and appreciate preparation and effective execution,  and facts, figures and graphs will bring you far.

The Finns are a more reserved people who value formalities and strong factual statements. Body language is seen as a sign of uncertainty.

The Norwegians are a more informal people who value quality over price and do not necessarily enter into tough decision-making procedures.

And then we have the Danes. The most relaxed of the four people, but characterized by the fact that – despite a high degree of un-formality and earthiness – they prefer a direct and executing decision-making process.

Small differences, but all relevant to consider when creating a successful marketing and PR strategy for you next Scandinavian campaign.

Read more: https://scandinaviancommunications.com/why-us/ 

Why should blogging be a part of your PR strategy?

04/01/2019By scandinaviancomChristina Rytter, Content Marketing, PR, PR Tips & Trends, Public Relations Global Network, Scandinavian Communications, Social Media

By Akvile Vzesniauskaite, Social Media Project Manager at Adverum Communications

Nowadays, PR is much more than media relations, press releases or launch events. PR becomes a modern combination of classical and new communication trends – integrated, 360 degree PR strategy including visuals, digital solutions, and, of course, blogging. Blogs fit the taste of those who are looking for interesting pieces of news, non-traditional recommendations or educational material.  Why else should one integrate blogging into PR strategy?

It is your own media channel. A blog is a media platform that belongs to a company or brand and provides for the ability to become a digital publisher in a cost-effective way. Having in mind that modern PR – as well as a modern audience – requires engaging content, blogs are the right solution: it allows you to deliver valuable information to a target audience, keeping it easily accessible and building a loyal audience or even a community.

Demonstrate your experience/Showcase your expertise. A blog can help represent a company, brand and create an image of experts working for and with them. If in a blog you regularly share experiences, hands-on insights and experts’ comments, it helps to create a bond between readers and a company/brand or an expert. Of course, to create and maintain such “relationship” with an audience, the blog has to offer useful and interesting information that can’t be found anywhere else. The success also is in the efforts to keep an ongoing dialogue with readers – discussions, FAQs and suggested topics have to be integrated in the content.

Your reputation online. Although sometimes underestimated, your online reputation has a huge impact on how an audience would interact with your brand or services. Nowadays, the web is often the primary source of information.  Many customers choose not to trust a brand if they find a lot of negative information about it online, or no information at all. Having a blog or actively cooperating with bloggers helps to spread relevant information and even block the negative.

A blog can have a positive influence on your websites visibility and traffic. If one of your PR objectives is to increase your website traffic, regular blogging can do wonders. It could have positive impact on website’s SEO score when combined with applicable keywords. Relevant content leads to more hits in search engines and builds higher credibility resulting in better perception of a brand or a company.

Fast way to share news and latest updates. There is one more positive trait of blogging – it allows you to reach the audience very quickly by just posting the information. When creating a PR strategy, think whether you will need to report important news, give advice to customers and clients, share experience or offer audience inspired content. Did you say “Yes” at least once? Then a blog might just be the way to do it.

Of course, such a channel is just a piece of a puzzle that composes a perfect PR strategy. But it is also one of the easiest ones to obtain – so if you still do not have a blog – give it a try (they will be popular for a while…).

Adverum Communications is our partner agency in Lithuania.  Article originally published at PRGN.com

Why Your Business Needs a Blog

17/09/2018By scandinaviancomContent Marketing, PR, PR Tips & Trends, Public Relations Global Network, Social Media

 
By Judy Kuramata, Executive Director of Integrate Communications

Today’s media landscape is becoming increasingly dominated and disrupted by digital. It’s everywhere you turn. On the way to work, while eating breakfast and even when we’re with friends, we are constantly absorbing digital media and the endless amount of information technology provides.

Blogging is a highly-effective content marketing tool; it is no longer a “back stage” room to hold your content. It’s a space for you to have complete ownership over your brand’s story and the way it’s told. There are thousands of ways to target potential customers through blogging. Specifically, you sell context, not products. It’s great if your blog leads to a direct purchase, but more often, a blog’s purpose is to draw potential customers to your website.

So, who does your blog attract? Potential customers may not immediately contact you to purchase your products or services after they’ve read your blog, but search engines and keywords will, at least, draw them to your website.

Offer readers something valuable for free, using relevant keyword phrases they are searching for, and they may turn into a customer down the line.

Plus, when you provide thoughtful, free content, you might end up with completely new customers that you did not foresee. For example, an entrepreneur might be searching in Google for some quick tips on how to market her business online, and stumble upon a blog post written by your PR agency. She’s so impressed by the tips provided that she now wants to hire your agency to help her sell her product. She wasn’t originally looking into agencies, but because your blog provided valuable content, she was successfully converted into a customer.

A mixture of valuable context, consistent messages, effective keywords and timing are very important when getting started on your blog.

Now that you have valuable content, do make sure you have some way of monitoring and measuring your blog’s success. Your blog posts should be shared on your website, as well as your social media platforms. Track how much traffic the post brings to your website, how many ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ you receive on social media and how many inquiries come in.

Blogging requires strategy and implementation planning just as any other traditional marketing method does. By developing a target audience, creating the right content, being consistent and tracking, blogging can be a highly effective marketing tool for your business.

Integrate Communications is our partner agency in Japan. Article originally published at PRGN.com

How to Keep Your Business Safe from Social Network Threats

17/08/2018By scandinaviancomCrisis Communications, Public Relations Global Network, Social Media, Strategic Communications


By Dominique Biquard, Founding Partner of IDENTIA PR

Social media is a very powerful tool for business. It is a platform for businesses to showcase their strengths and build a community of followers. Unfortunately, that same power can translate to major damage in the event of a crisis. Social media gives publicity issues the fuel to escalate to a full crisis in mere minutes. This type of crisis can cost millions and seriously damage the reputation of the company or institution.

Crisis communication is a very important piece of a PR plan. The best crisis management practices enable quick mitigation of crises, and general crisis prevention. To survive a PR crisis, it is crucial to come up with crisis prevention and a crisis communication plan during times of peace.

Road map and clear action plan

Crisis communication strategies should include escalation paths to cover all contingencies. In the event of a crisis, it is essential to count on an internal response flowchart and alert. The crisis flowchart must specify who should be contacted within your organization according to the different scenarios. Your social networks and the people who handle them must keep their contact information detailed and updated.

Most of the time, negative comments and feedback can be managed with normal PR efforts and social media management. With adequate training and planning, it is possible to mitigate reputation issues before they evolve into major issues. The key is to be very involved in your online presence and preparation to act fast.

A model of an escalation path in a crisis management plan could be as follows:

1. The Community Manager/Customer Support responds.
2. The Community Manager/Customer Support responds according to the crisis plan.
3. The head of the crisis committee is involved. If necessary, content is created and monitored.
4. The crisis committee responds, and the executive team is involved. Content is generated and monitored.
5. The executive team responds. Content is generated and monitored.

Eight steps to manage a social media crisis

1. Acknowledge
Don’t let them catch you by surprise. Your first response should always be “yes, we know something has happened” even if you have no answers on the issue yet.

2. Put out the fire
Using a pre-approved response, act first in the social network or platform where the crisis broke out. Pinpoint where it is escalating fastest, and search for the way to tone it down.

3. Apologize sincerely
The communication should feel sincere, in a simple ⎼not technical or legal⎼ language.

4. FAQ
Maintain a central location where the public may find all communications, information and content related to the crisis: acknowledgement of the crisis, details of the event, photos or videos, how the company found out what was happening, actions taken in response, contact information, etc.

5. Set up a place for complaints
Try to keep all complaints in one place that you can actively monitor (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). If the conversation unfolds in a place we control, it will be easier to monitor, moderate and analyze.

6. Know when to take it offline
Social media crisis management is not about winning, but damage control. Some people will be angry enough not to be convinced of anything we may say.

People often join the crisis simply because it is easy to do so from a keyboard. Offering a telephone number to answer complaints may subdue some voices. We must be sure that the customer support staff has all the crisis information and guidelines.

7. Prepare the spokespersons and employees
It is imperative that ALL employees be informed about the crisis. Whether by email, text message, intranet or meetings, you must keep your employees at least as knowledgeable as the public. They are all potential spokespersons.

8. Take advantage of the calm after the storm
Analyze what happened: How did it happen? Could it have been anticipated or avoided? How did we respond? What should we change? Analyze all the situations and the public reactions.

It is rightly said that everything related to social media is chaotic, complex, difficult to handle and control. The conversation flows with or without our participation. But it also grants us the opportunity to give our opinion in real time, without depending on third parties willing to publish our version. If we employ proper planning and prevention measures in our crisis communication plans, the storm will calm down, and we will be able to put it under control faster and at a lower cost.

IDENTIA PR is our partner agency in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Article originally published at PRGN.com