Crisis & Reputation

Maitland/AMO was appointed by a global consumer brand to provide strategic communications advice around a safety issue which led to a product recall.
Challenge

The recall couldn’t happen until the root causes were fully understood and the best way to fix the problem had been determined – both complex challenges. Meanwhile a group of unhappy customers was gathering momentum on social media, increasing the pressure to act and communicate fast.

Insights

Customer safety was the primary focus at all times, but the impact on a wide range of stakeholders – regulators, media, government, investors – needed to be considered and effective communications with all stakeholders were critical to a successful outcome.

Strategy

  • We worked with the company to communicate the issues clearly and responsibly, in direct customer communications, with the media and through its online activity.
  • Key followers of the story from the media were invited for an in-depth teach-in so that they could fully understand the issue and report on it in an informed and balanced way.
  • We encouraged proactive political engagement from the outset to ensure that MPs were aware of the company’s willingness to cooperate.

Outcome

Widespread media coverage of the issue was inevitable, but by keeping control of the narrative and through active media outreach we helped to achieve wide awareness and take-up of the recall.