19 August 2011 16 Comments

Managing brand crisis with finesse

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Brand crisis may neither be pleasurable nor desirable but they do occur. Any wise brand or institution needs to prepare for crisis of all forms. While there are some crises that are preventable, some come naturally and need lots of strategic designs to curb. Many brands and institutions never remain the same after a crisis. This may be due largely to preparation; efforts put in place during crisis and post crisis time.Judiciary-in-Nigeria-Crisis-in-Nigeria-judiciary-Alloysius-Alu-Justice-Salami-Nigeria-court-of-Appeal-Chief-Justice-of-Nigeria

For those who who had followed the crisis within the judiciary in our country, the crisis seems to be sinking the good image of judiciary in the mud. While we do not want to join issue with any party, our believe is that a great institution-hope of common man, is presently diminishing. Just for a recap, two major officers in the judiciary are now enmeshed in a confidence crisis. A judiciary commission of enquiry was set up which mandated one of the top judges to tender an apology. In the history of judiciary in our clime, none of such ever happened. So it appears to all that this crisis never occurred within the system. That means there is no precedence to follow. Everyone seems not to know how best to handle it. So we think. The way things are going, different shades of the stories apportioning blames to different characters involved are now being published by both online and offline media. We do think when crisis is not properly managed; it usually ends up destroying the world system. What lessons can we learn from all the above:

Prepare for crisis: Our judiciary had never handled this kind of crisis before so one wonders why the lack of precedence is responsible for such a huge deficiency in damage control that has been allowed over the past few months. Think about all possible, imaginary and non-imaginary crises that may arise in the future. Document and set up actionable plan.

Set up credible crisis committee professionals: When all anticipated crises have been identified, there is need to set up credible committee of professionals who have what it takes and will remain unbiased with findings, action taken, impacts and result measurement. One of the reasons why outsiders are crying foul is because they alleged the committee set up in the above case was not neutral. While we cannot agree with this, but we think that should be looked into.

Follow due process: A committee power must be outlined. What each person’s roles are? It must also identify a brand’s spokesperson and what roles he/she should play. The crisis is escalating a bit from today again because many believed the judiciary commission that eventually suspended one of the judges in question has no constituted power to do.

Wear the shoe of the affected victims: Victims are important in any brand’s crisis. Speaking official languages that have  not taken into consideration victims of the crisis will never do any brand any good.

Are there other vital points? Please join the conversation. Has your brand successfully handled any crisis, can you share the cases study?  Please use the comment section below.

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