Holmes Report 13 May 2014 // 5:14PM GMT
Ketchum is bringing to market a reputation management app that lets clients put their entire crisis plan on their iOS or Android devices.
“People used to carry around their crisis plans in binders and then the question was -- who carries around binders anymore? Now the question is, who carries around their laptops anymore?” says James Donnelly, Ketchum SVP for crisis management. “And customization is key. We can’t build an off-the-shelf crisis plan for all clients, there’s no one-size-fits-all.”
The agency piloted the MobileRep Protect app with client Tanger Outlets last year and is now going to market with the full offering. Plans are customized for a client’s sector as well as the scenarios it is most likely to face.
Users have to log-in to access the app so that it can be disabled if a smartphone is lost. Also, if someone leaves the company they are denied access even if the app still sits on their personal device.
With the Tanger Outlets version, the app opens to series of questions (or triggers) that if answered “yes” to, confirm you have a crisis on your hands. The plan’s documents and templates can then be downloaded and distributed to teams via email. Crisis plans are also automatically updated on the app as they evolve, Donnelly says.
As far as the business model around the offering, Donnelly says about half of MobileRep’s prospects are not currently Ketchum clients. He declined to cite the cost for the app “because it’s a customized solution. What I can say is we’ve made the base offering extremely cost effective.”
It’s also unlikely that a prospect could buy the app without also getting Ketchum’s crisis counsel. For instance, buying the app also involves an assessment of the client’s crisis plan.“The development of the app is a combination of the digital and crisis teams working together,” Donnelly adds.