In 2014, Britain’s biggest retailer TESCO faces a crisis situation two weeks after announcing that it overstated its first-half profit expectations by some £250-million. TESCO reported on September 22, 2014 that its August 29 profit warning should have forecasted trading profit totalling £850-million, rather than the £1.1-billion that the company actually reported – an inflation of nearly 25%.
Write a 1500 words crisis communication plan for TESCO, and the plan should follow the structure as below:
(The “example” is for your reference, which means you can paraphrase it or write something similar with the content. Please include the reference as fas as possible.)
I. Brief introduction of the plan (50 words)
Example: Crises represent turning points for business health and reputation, often leaving both potentially damaged. If handled well, though, a crisis response can actually enhance reputation and spur some needed dialogue and change.
II. Basic PR principle during the crisis: (200 Words)
– Timing is the key.
Example: Many companies response to crisis is to say nothing and hope the problem goes away. However, trying to avoid the problem, or ignore it, in the hope it will go away will not work and you risk damaging your group’s good name in the process.
It is necessary to interact with the media early and rapidly. An effective and constructive response might help put the company in a positive light during a tough time. An ineffective or antagonistic reaction might make a disastrous situation even worse.
Organisations that come out of a media crisis with their reputations intact are those that deal with the issue quickly, effectively, honestly and, just as importantly, are perceived to have done exactly that.
– Make first impressions count.
Example: First impressions count both the public and the media and are vital in getting your message across. If you are honest, sincere, open, committed to resolving the issue and project a positive attitude it will go a long way to dispelling any negative or preconceived notions about your group.
– Release as much as you can as quickly as you can.
Example: Your crisis communications plan should cover the procedure for quickly gathering accurate information about the issue at hand.
Once you have the information, it is vital that it is passed on to your nominated spokesperson and communicated through the media. The more information you can release quickly, which accurately conveys your side of the story in context, the better.
The sooner you respond and show that you are acting in a sincere, honest and reliable manner, the sooner your voice is listened to and trusted.
III. Engage with employee (Internal stakeholders) (150 words)
Example: Don’t keep your employees in the dark. We have to brief all employees as well as integrating for relevant clues.
Your employees, who are bound to be just as confused and concerned as anyone else, are the ones handling the crisis, and by leaving them in the dark you’re leaving room for rumour and innuendo, decreasing productivity, and increasing the chance that someone will grant a damaging interview or drop a disparaging quote to a story-hungry reporter.
IV. Media relations
with the media is a critical part of the crisis communication program. It means
being prepared and available to answer critical questions, as well as sharing
important crisis updates or detals, delivering credible and timely information.
– Designate a train spokespersons
Train your spokespeople. “One of most important things is that the person who’s talking with the media should be someone who has gone through some type of training on dealing with the media and providing what they need,” says Weber. This is particularly important during a crisis. Each crisis communications team should have people who have been pre-screened, and trained, to be the lead and/or backup spokespersons for different channels of communications.
– Establish a media headquarter and the crisis team/ Designate a media coordinator
team should (1) meet with media regularly and stablish an ongoing relationship;
(2) Keep the Web site updated; (3) maintain a media list and log (Know who
you’re talking to and when); (4) remember your audiences: The media also speaks
with employees, neighbours, government, etc. and (5) be human (show concern and
compassion while maintaining honesty.)
(6) Remember the basic principle: “Ban the words ‘no comment’/ Avoid speculation or answering hypothetical questions/ Say only what you know to be true.“
V. Communicate with external stakeholders (150 words)
Example: External stakeholders include customers, suppliers, service providers, vendors, public and regulatory authorities, and the media. Think about what information each group would need to know from you during a crisis and what you would need to know from them.
Different stakeholder groups may require different communication channels, including phone, social media, dedicated websites, face-to-face meetings, etc. Regardless of the channel, however, it is usually important to remain consistent, forthcoming and compassionate in your statements. Focus on providing the information that would be the most helpful for your target groups. You probably won’t have all the answers in the beginning, but it should never serve as an excuse not to communicate. And never lie. Not only is it unethical; there is a high likelihood that if you do make misrepresentations they will eventually come to light.
VI. Monitoring System (150 words)
Example: Monitor your web and social media environment and carefully define your guidelines—your keywords, hashtags, stakeholders, audience, etc. Also, monitor national, regional, specialized, and generalist media. Stay aware of the outlets and organizations that hunt brands and fan the flames of crises.
Take into account all types of online channels: paid, earned, and owned media. Internet users can express themselves or react to advertisements or messages on one of the brand’s social accounts.
Determine which products are at risk, and keep an eye on sensitive subjects and people related to your brand. In some fields, certain critical subjects or products are regularly highlighted.
Watch the competitors or key players in your brand’s field who may be affected by a crisis that could potentially affect your brand sooner or later.
Prepare your alert systems so you won’t be shocked by a crisis. Define keyword alerts (targeting sensitive subjects in particular).
VII. Syllabus of media training for senior executives: (200 words)
Aims and Objectives:
Senior executives have been expected to be more visible by media, investors, staff and other stakeholders. This course aims to help senior executives demonstrate the appropriate ways to respond to journalists, conquer any nerves and get their messages across effectively to their target audience.
Specifically, we teach senior executives the following:
1. How to look and sound confident, comfortable and relaxed on camera. You don’t want to look nervous, uncomfortable or unprofessional.
2. How to shape a media message so that you can say everything you need to say in 30 seconds or less.
3. How to answer questions in an interview. Answering questions from reporters is not like having a normal conversation with a colleague.
4. How to create and speak in sound bites. The real goal of any interview is to get quoted exactly the way you want, on the messages you want. This is the ultimate skill we teach senior executives.
– Explain what journalists precisely seek in interviews
– Understand the differing requirements for print, radio, online and TV media
– Develop concise and powerful messages
– Turn interviews to your advantage
Session1 – Understanding the media
Understanding the media landscape, and expectations of journalists
Approaching a media interview with a “business objective”
Developing a “top line” message
Identifying and deploying “proof points” to back up key messages
Structuring answers to possible questions
Developing “sound bites”
Using third party source materials to increase credibility
Session2- TV/ Radio interviews with playback and feedback
How to stay in control of the message
How to stick to agenda by being answer driven, not question led
Voice, body language, gestures, sitting, dress and the power of passion
Session3- Practical exercises
VIII. Half Year Global Media Plan (300 Words)
June – Solve this crisis. Damage control. Write more press releases and apologise. Tell media what TESCO will do after the crisis.
July – Disclose the results of the case, at the same time restate the company’s vision and value. Predict potential crisis.
August – Follow up of the investigation. Offer an incentive, promotion for summer campaign. Like buy one get one free/ discount code for ice cream.
September – Focus on food quality CSR efforts to rebuild the brand reputation. For example, ensuring that consumers have access to high quality foods that are good for their health; leading in removal of substances of concern like additives and pesticides in the products; increased the range of product that it offers in order to ensure that consumers have more varieties to choose from; supporting the development of progressive stands in areas of labeling, fair-trade, humane cosmetic foods and freedom foods; being in the front line to oppose the adoption of genetically modified foods or nanotechnology in the areas which are damaging to the environment and the health of humans.
October – Promotion for Glasgow’s Comic Con and Halloween.
November – Focus on environment CSR efforts to rebuild the brand reputation. For example, recycling products in order to reduce the waste that is coming form its operations. It has been encouraging the use of product from sustainable source in relationship to fish, wood, paper, palm oil and soya products. It has lightweight all the bottles used in storing wine in order to encourage efficient use of resources.
December – Christmas campaigns, Annual Promotions