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Launching our new Crisis Communications Report

The digital world provides new communication challenges

Gary Muddyman | 30th April 2016

Gary's thoughts on our latest report

This week we launched the second in our series of reports highlighting issues that affect or are affected by language. This one focused on crisis communications and the importance of getting language and the cultural nuance right in these situations, particularly at a time when everyone is under the pressure that is habitually created at these times.

Managing client reputations when challenged publically has long been a specialism of public relations professionals. What has changed in recent years is the global nature of the reputational threat and the speed with which a small local problem can turn into a global crisis.

Similarly, localizers build their reputation on the ability to adapt messages and content to ensure that it works as well in target foreign markets as it does in a clients' domestic one. The challenge in Crisis Communications situations is the speed and relative inability to control that content.

The growth of the digital economy, development of social media and the appearance of ‘citizen journalists’ have exacerbated these challenges.

As ever our reports have a foundation of independent, detailed proprietary research. It is interesting to note that, whilst there is a lot of confidence among professionals that they have got this right, they also acknowledge mistakes continue to happen. We continue to develop our service offering in this area so would be interested in any feedback you may have.

I’d like to thank Francis Ingham Chief Executive, ICCO Director General, UK & MENA PRCA and Arun Sudhaman President / Editor-in-Chief The Holmes Report for their valuable contributions to the report and to the hundreds of communications professionals that took part in the survey.

The report is published on our site and can be downloaded for free here.