Acknowledgment that crises do and will happen is the first step to mitigating against an arising issue becoming a major problem, as Financial Services Forum members heard at our ‘Crisis Management: Best Practice’ seminar on the 21 February 2017, hosted by Sapient and sponsored by FWD.
• Prepare, prepare, prepare
• Respond: be consistent, clear and empathic
• Evaluate and be prepared to learn difficult lessons, then amend the plan
• Integrate departments and share valuable insight collaboratively
As an industry tasked with assisting both consumers and companies in the face of crisis, insurers are in the business of helping their customers overcome disaster. However, political and economic risk can inflict crisis on any company at any point – not to mention the risk of damage to reputation caused by internal personnel issues being leaked to the press or the power of unhappy consumers on social media.
When the Cumbrian floods hit a number of their customers, an established crisis management strategy meant that Direct Line were on the ground in the affected areas within hours, armed not only with insurance policies but assistance, cups of tea and ‘Flood Boxes’ containing essentials for victims evicted from their homes. Notably, they were also joined by CEO Paul Geddes, who donned his wellies to help out where possible as well as answering questions from the media. To find out how this process was managed internally and externally, attendees were joined by fellow members Frances Browning, Head of Brand PR & Social Media and Claire Foster, Deputy Head of News, to find out more about the strategy that allowed Direct Line to react quickly and effectively during a critical time.
To support the conversation from the perspective of a PR and communications business, members also heard from Ralph Jackson, Board Director and Partner at Lansons. Ralph has not only supported a number of high profile financial services companies with their communication strategies, but has extensive experience of working with government and regulators. Ralph was able to provide a number of cases-studies and perspectives from his experiences, enhancing understanding of crisis and reputation management approaches utilised by agencies.
You can read Jasmine’s full event summary by downloading the PDF document.