LONDON—Lewis PR has launched a new crisis management offering, led by the agency’s team of in-house journalists, who will provide clients with a complete range of crisis control, reputation management and media training services.
According to Paul Charles, chief operating officer of Lewis and a former BBC presenter: “The recent examples of BP, Toyota and Eurostar show that if a corporate crisis is not handled effectively, the lasting damage to a brand’s reputation can be irreparable. Companies must prepare themselves and have a proper crisis plan in place in case the unthinkable happens.”
According to research commissioned by Lewis and conducted by YouGov, BP’s recent oil spill crisis is the most damaging from a list of recent British corporate crises (chosen by 40 percent of respondents), beating both British Airways (for its disastrous opening of Heathrow’s T5, 4 percent) and Eurostar (for the “stranded train” incident, 2 percent).
The research results also showed that 46 percent of respondents believe being “open and transparent” in a crisis is more important than “reacting quickly” (27 percent) or “expressing regret” (3 percent). Interestingly, over three quarters (79 percent) of respondents thought traditional media platforms (TV and newspapers) are most damaging for crisis-hit brands and only 12 percent of people polled believed social media platforms to be a more serious threat to brand reputation.