• Lessons from different ways of handling crises

    By Lena Soh-Ng, Eugene Chuang on January 18 , 2017

    While much has been written about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco last year, there were many other crises worth learning from. We’ve put down some interesting insights into brands who chose different ways to deal with their crises.

    1. Disney fends off alligator crisis proactively

    In June 2016, Disney suffered from a barrage of negative coverage when an alligator killed a two-year-old boy as he played on the beach. The brand faced a high likelihood of public outrage. However, Disney’s well-strategized and proactive handling of the crises, coupled with its robust branding as a provider of family-friendly fun helped it weather the storm.

    Here are some of the things it did:
    – Temporarily closed all its resort beaches.
    – Broke from previous traditions to ‘clam up and clean up’: The organization swiftly issued heartfelt expressions from its executives, including personalized messages from Disney CEO Bob Iger and President George A. Kalogridis empathising with the public as a father and grandfather.
    – Thoroughly reviewed signage policy and immediately posted relevant signing to warn visitors of alligators.
    – Compensated guests with free rooms worth about USD$560 a night. This cost the company nearly half a million US dollars.
    – Exterminated five alligators in the waters near the resort.

    Disney’s ability to fend off the crises could also be attributed to the goodwill that it has built up over the years as a family friendly resort. This allowed the public to move on.

    2. Tolberone has not prepared customers on shape change

    I love Tolberone chocs! The triangle-shaped bar have always fascinated me. Late last year however, the brand made a controversial decision that its fans did not expect – changing the shape of the chocolate bars by widening the gaps between triangles.

    Understandably, a furore of public anger ensued when consumers found out they were getting less for the same price.

    – Tolberone’s social media pages were flooded by outbursts of passionate fans with many criticising the change as “stupid” and “ridiculous”.
    – Reddit had a dedicated page inviting visitors who poured out their unhappiness.
    – The story was ranked as the most read news piece of the day on BBC Online, gaining more attention than the day of the US 2016 elections.
    – The change was also hilariously adapted into several memes which was shared like wildfire online.

    Citing higher costs for numerous ingredients, Tolberone’s statement defending the decision added fuel to the fire. Many felt that Tolberone should have communicated the change months before introducing the new bars, rather than issuing a statement after the controversy had erupted.

    Arguably, the Tolberone change left a sour aftertaste.

    3. Marina Bay Sands Singapore puts rights above reputation

    In November 2016, Marina Bay Sands Singapore (MBS) sparked a controversial debate about whether a company should honour mispricing incidents.

    To recap: a glitch in the MBS’s website allowed visitors to book five star rooms at SGD$70 per night, a rate too good to be true. Realizing the error and instead of keeping to agreed contracts, the hotel emailed guests to offer the same rooms at $450 per night with a $100 credit on their final bill as a gesture of goodwill. This move prompted several one-star reviews on the hotel’s Facebook page.

    During the crisis, MBS emphasized its’ right to correct the rate or cancel a reservation in the event of an incorrect posting, pointing out that the its booking terms included a protective clause regarding incorrectly posted rates. The controversy also involved the consumer watchdog Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), indicating that while MBS had every right to not honour the mispricing, consumers could negotiate for an amicable resolution since the booking confirmation was received by the customer.

    This is a stark contrast to how Singapore Airlines (SIA) handled its mispricing incident in December 2014, which allowed 400 Australia-based passengers to book business class seats at economy-class prices. The mistake cost the airline a whopping A$2,500 loss per ticket, but SIA honoured the affected bookings. Like MBS’s situation, it was well within SIA’s rights to demand full payment for the seats. However, this decision gets my thumbs up as SIA maintains its reputation as “A Great Way to Fly”.

    Banner image: stocksnap.io

  • PROI Worldwide

    May 07 , 2021

    #PROI #Americas Agency of the Year Nominees -@Provoke_News - include @ColehourCohen @WalkerSands @ArgylePR… https://t.co/wDsVBw2F95

  • PROI Worldwide

    May 06 , 2021

    #GetReal #MentalHealthWeek - check in with your co-workers with these How-to's from #PROI Canadian agency @ArgylePR… https://t.co/etRvXlInfz

  • PROI Worldwide

    May 06 , 2021

    #PROI EMEA leads @Provoke_News #SABREAwards with 18 Nominations listed here >https://t.co/lWr4GVVEhZ @Atrevia… https://t.co/eo42RVvsq0

  • PROI Worldwide

    May 05 , 2021

    Nicely done! #PROI USA agency @FINNPartners takes on #newclient #Fortune100 @Honeywell - "We’re already hard at wor… https://t.co/vsN7ilu8Aw

  • PROI Worldwide

    May 05 , 2021

    #PROI #Finland Agency @Cocomms merges with @kaikuhelsinki shoots to be the Top #PR #Communications Agency in Finlan… https://t.co/OFUMi213x9