H&D has assorted crisis management experience and skills, and has prepared confidential crisis plans for certain Clients. It is understood that although time may have passed certain of these ‘reserve’ plans remain in place.
Trial by Media
An early trial by media was a case of poisoning which was traced back to a bottle of liqueur. To cut a long story short the front page headline of The People Sunday newspaper was ‘Killer Liqueur’. H&D organised a crisis Sunday Client board meeting; liaised with the Police - who were treating it as attempted murder; liaised with health & safety; and liaised with the PR companies of the major multiple supermarkets who were planning a shelf strip. No body actually died, but there was concern as to why they didn’t, as the poison was found to be industrial strength paraquat.
The process took a week, when eventually it was found to be the family son who had fallen out with his Mother and who put paraquat (weed killer) from his work into a bottle of liqueur in the hope that his Mother would take a drink. Instead she used the liquor to flavour some cake icing. The dilution saved the lives, but made all very ill. H&D kept the heat out of the situation; attended daily meetings with the Client and the Police; and issued ‘straight up’ media statements. Bottles were returned to shelves.
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Sound management means looking forward and catering for eventualities. Wise management means planning for these eventualities and standing ready when things hit the fan.
H&D has helped on many such occasions, but always advocates having a documented plan in place before any such occurrence. This means a plan that is studied, understood and rehearsed on a regular basis - a plan that firmly states who can speak on behalf of a Company or Brand, and who has the authority to make the appropriate and speedy decisions. Methods of out of hours contact should be maintained and refreshed, and key Company information in the form of a regularly updated but ‘unused until needed’ statement, maintained..
If you are ready for it, it is less likely to happen. But if it does, you can manage the effect, rather than the effect managing you. If you need to, call H&D now on our crisis line 020 8995 9950. If not call us on our usual number, and we’ll help you prepare your plan and documentation.