What I learned this summer:
#InBev is in dire need of public relations- crisis communications to be specific. Month after month, investors and shareholders continually watch their investment do a double-digit dive. How does the company restore credibility with their core beer-drinking #audience?
Public relations is instrumental in crisis management by providing a structured and effective way to address and mitigate adverse situations.
The adverse situation timeline, still in progress:
A video surfaces of a VP insulting the brand's core audience as "too fratty" (which is not even a word).
The brand hires a non-beer drinking influencer to "rebrand" to a new, younger beer-drinking audience.
We know what happened.
Company execs deny knowing anything about this new marketing campaign (which may be true, but you keep that behind closed doors).
Product boycott ensues, company in double-digit revenue decline.
New commercials are released featuring iconic Clydesdale horses trying to twin the brand with being "American", falling flat with the public.
This company is winging it!
In advance, an organization would have researched multiple crisis variables- discovery, talk to subject matter experts, legal experts, review existing policies, know their responsibilities to their stakeholders. This assessment would then be used to develop and practice a crisis plan in advance.
When a crisis arises, PR professionals act swiftly to assess the situation, implement the crisis plan (or develop a communication strategy if non-existent), and ensure that accurate and timely information is shared to the public and stakeholders.
PR professionals manage communication channels, address concerns, and maintain transparency to help contain the crisis and minimize reputational damage. We play a role in demonstrating empathy, responsibility, and a commitment to resolving the issue, which can help rebuild trust and restore the organization's #credibility in the aftermath of a crisis.
Bring back the frogs!