Why the old crisis comms playbook should be thrown out

Here’s why one crisis communications expert says there’s no going back to the old way of brand reputation management and crisis response.

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For crisis communications, it’s a data obsession that will deliver results in the future.

Though there has been a pressing need for PR pros to show tangible results for their work, such as adopting measurement best practices like the Barcelona Principles, the COVID-19 pandemic offers a clear turning point for crisis communicators.

“It’s no longer acceptable or even preferable to just go on your experience alone,” says Robert Gemmill, senior vice president at Argyle, an agency that focuses on trust and reputation management. “I think there’s a number of tools out there now that practitioners should rely on that puts data at the foundation of their counsel.”

That doesn’t mean that listening software and artificial intelligence can replace the human element. Brands still need experts to make sense of the data—but a gut feeling is a poor foundation for a modern crisis communications strategy.

Everyone owns reputation now

Gemmill also argues that brand reputation can no longer exist as a siloed communications problem.

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