BP & Toyota Show Crisis PR Preparation Vital to Effective Communication When Crisis Hits, Says Dobson

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“Crisis PR planning is vital to every company, and especially important to industry leaders,” said Brian Dobson of DobsonPR.com. "Planning might not stop a crisis, but it enables a company to better handle one when it hits.”

Crisis PR planning is vital to every company, and especially important to industry leaders

“Controlling, containing and correcting crisis are goals of effective Crisis PR planning as two major international leaders, BP and Toyota, show that being slow to react may have lasting brand impact,” announced Brian Dobson, of Dobson Communications, a public relations firm expert in brand building and CrisisPR.

“Both BP and Toyota were slow to engage the media and public in meaningful ways, until public pressure demanded more responsive management,” said the founder of DobsonPR.com.

“As global leaders in the oil and auto industries, and the slow Crisis PR reactions of BP and Toyota might indicate other major companies are similarly ill prepared for crisis,” added the brand PR expert who has also provided Crisis PR support in major issues affecting national and international companies.

“Crisis PR planning is vital to every company, and especially important to industry leaders,” he said. “When heading PR at a Fortune 50, on the crisis committee we reviewed potential problems in a variety of subsidiary company operations. The process leads to an earlier fix to problems before they escalate. Planning might not stop a crisis, but it enables a company to better handle one when it hits.”

“During crisis, reputation management is critically important. After shifting blame and limiting information flow, one month after its wellhead began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP seems more candid and contrite as its oil hits America’s Gulf coast. Toyota was slow to react to what it deemed gas and brake pedal problems of its car and has stepped up communications to stem further image damage,” Dobson noted.

“In our Dobson Crisis-Arc™, the movement of crisis can in part be forecast. From supplier and distributors reaction to customer outrage and increased regulatory oversight and industry review, each crisis leads to a geometric increase in others and management needs to be fast, effective and in control to limit and repair brand damage,” he added.

“At DobsonPR.com, we have helped prepare firms for crisis. How a company prepares for crisis makes a major difference in results when one hits,” added Dobson, a former journalist who entered PR at the New York Stock Exchange during crisis years and headed PR at two companies before forming DobsonPR.com.

Based in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and online at http://www.DobsonPR.com, Dobson Communications managed a variety of brand building PR campaigns in sectors from toys and food to licensing and high tech, and handled PR in major crises for companies such as a tobacco firm in the UK, a Japanese pharmaceutical and nutritional products company, Japan’s then leading supplier of blood, a major US food company and others, in addition to its brand building PR. DobsonPR.com provides media training preparedness at its video studio, part of JHD-Dobson, where it also produces product and issue videos for companies. For information contact Barbara Green at 203-894-9240.            
© Brian Dobson 2010

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