Expert Opinion

Crisis? what crisis?

In this blog post, Leeds Business School Senior Lecturer, Robert Minton-Taylor looks ahead to his forthcoming Leeds Business Week session, ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’, where he’ll assess how to communicate well during a crisis to help stem negative media coverage and avoid the desertion of customers.
Digital media has changed the landscape of news dissemination forever, and represents the biggest change – and challenge – for managing crises in recent years.

A crisis can go half way around the UK and indeed the world in the blink of an eye.

The public can voice their opinions and experiences through Twitter, TripAdvisor, Facebook and YouTube or spread rumours in a highly visible manner.

Not surprisingly, crises are increasingly breaking online before they reach newspapers, radio and television, and often without the knowledge of management.

‘Citizen journalism’ is a potent force, and if not taken seriously, can irrevocably damage a business’s reputation.

Carnival Corporation’s experience with Costa Concordia is a case in point. Passengers on board the vessel were texting friends and relatives ashore to alert them to the fact that the ship had grounded and was listing off the Isla de Giglio in Tuscany, Italy, while the captain was simultaneously telling his employers he had a solvable technical incident.

The media can make or break a business in times of crisis, so how best can you work with the media to use their interest in you to safeguard your interests?

Robert Minton-Taylor will share his wisdom and experience with delegates at Leeds Business Week at 14.00 hrs on the 14 October 2015 at The Leeds Club, 3 Albion Place, Leeds, LS1 6JL. 

He has been involved in a number of high-profile issues and crises not all of them went well – including the rescuing of 438 Afghan refugees from a drifting boat in the Indian Ocean, which became an international cause célèbre, and the collision and sinking of a cargo ship Tricolor off the coast of Zeebrugge.