A manufacturing company acquired a telecommunications firm and was moving to expand the latter’s market share when a defect experienced by one telecom customer became the subject of criticism on one of the industry’s most influential message boards. The customer blamed new ownership for the faulty product and urged others to discontinue their relationship with the telecom firm. In addition, many of those responding to the customer’s posts began questioning new ownership’s leadership and technical skills.
Protect the reputations of the holding company and its acquisition
Accept responsibility for product quality
Worden PR met with senior management of the holding company and recommended the telecom company move quickly to resolve the customer’s complaint. As a result, the head of engineering traveled to the customer location to express the company’s regrets and to learn the cause of the defect. Furthermore, the engineering executive designed replacement parts for the defective product on site and remained there to oversee installation.
Meanwhile, Worden PR drafted and issued responses on behalf of the company on the message board, accepting full responsibility for the faulty product. Subsequent posts described the steps the company took to correct the situation and invited any and all customers, past and present, to call or write with concerns.
One week after the initial complaint was posted on the message board, the customer issued a post thanking the company for its quick response and declared the engineering fix a success. Shortly thereafter, reference to the faulty product and questions about new ownership ceased on the message board. About six months later, the company introduced a new telecom product line that has become the industry leader.
Successful crisis communications begins with a plan designed to win support for you and your organization when it’s needed most.
Who will be your spokesperson? What will she or he say? These and other questions should be addressed when there is time for the thoughtful consideration of the implications and consequences, which is long before the first signs of trouble arise.
Worden Public Relations has a track record of success in helping companies and individuals successfully emerge from the threats to their businesses and reputations.