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Deconstructing the Samsung crisis with the PROI

06 February, 2017 Reading: 1:54 min
Jane Kroese

By Jane

PROI Worldwide strengthens global crisis team and it experts give their views on the Samsung Galaxy Note7 scenario

Wooden Domino's

As members of the PROI, the world’s largest partnership of independent communications agencies, we were delighted with its recent announcement on the appointment of six new executives to extend global crisis communications best practices for clients around the globe. We frequently work as part of the EMEA Crisis Group to help improve knowledge and best practice.

We recently took part in PROI’s Crisis Communication Monitor Survey and we answered a series of questions on the way in which the Samsung Galaxy Note7 recall crisis was handled. The resulting insight from across the network proved very interesting:

  • 80% of the crisis communications experts within the PROI felt that responsibility for the crisis lay firmly on the shoulders of team Samsung
  • More than three quarters (74%) said Samsung failed to manage early information and were therefore unable to manage the crisis
  • 70% said Samsung failed to provide relevant information on the crisis and did not provide information that would help the public understand the crisis

It was clear from the feedback that Samsung needed to be more sympathetic to those impacted by the incidents, and proactive in its response and communications.

The key insight generated, in terms of handling a crisis scenario, includes:

  • Use in-country spokespeople to convey concern and empathy and add a human touch
  • Provide more information and deliver it quickly, even if it’s negative. Rip off the bandage and heal sooner
  • When in doubt recall/withdraw the product and test, test, test until you find the solution
  • Don’t underestimate the problem - Samsung underestimated the danger involved
  • Acting promptly and taking responsibility for an issue can help protect your reputation
  • Preparation is key to successful crisis communication

More information on the survey, undertaken by Professor Bryan Reber (Professor in Crisis Communication Leadership at the University of Georgia), can be found here.

At KISS, we understand the importance of dealing with a crisis in a controlled way - and, more importantly, to your own agenda.

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