Let’s face it. Shit happens. Things go wrong. Hopefully not too many times over the lifetime of a company. But it’s in the critical moments after a serious failure of a company to meet its promises where brands can be built or destroyed. It’s terribly easy to point fingers, rant and criticize mercilessly when a company let’s you down—especially as many companies tend to turtle and hide behind press statements and try to downplay the incident as quickly as possible. But what about when companies take full responsibility, apologize and take swift action to earn your trust again? That’s a magic brand moment indeed.
Recently Shaw Communications experienced an explosion and fire in their Calgary office tower which brought down the power in the building and service for many in Calgary, including emergency services. Not good, right?
To be clear, we’re not in the PR or crisis management business, but how brands respond in these situations is so crucial to their brand health and I think Shaw did a pretty darned good job with their response to this terrible and atypical situation. This CBC video interview of Shaw’s President Peter Bissonnette, and his SVP Operations Jay Mehr is in my opinion a very well executed response in a time of crisis.
Here are a few things I noticed in the video worth noting:
I’m sure Shaw executives receive plenty of media coaching and employ crisis PR specialists, but I appreciate how these leaders handled this situation swiftly and genuinely. And the choice to acknowledge their flaws and apologize so openly for their role without pointing fingers or making any excuses was a terrific expression of Shaw’s brand culture and values. CBC’s Terry O’Reilly would call it “Flawsome”.
So to Mr. Bissonnette and his colleagues at Shaw I offer my congratulations on a genuine, timely and effective response from a brand perspective. I bet many of those still stinging from the inconvenience of all this will in the end find Shaw’s credibility enhanced and perhaps be even more loyal to the brand as a result of the way this situation was handled.
Can you think of other examples of when a brand has effectively responded to a crisis situation and maybe even benefited by their actions? Please leave comments below.