Public Relations: Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response

Service Description

Entrepreneurial efforts involve iteration, experimentation, measured risk, and inevitably, failures and mistakes. Industry-leading enterprises are not companies who have miraculously avoided mistakes altogether, but rather companies who handle crises astutely and recover from them gracefully. Ambitious companies - even the biggest and best - make mistakes as a part of perfecting existing products and innovating new, unprecedented business practices.

Consider Netflix, who once proposed to split their services in two, raise the collective price but lower standalone rates, and create a spinoff called Qwikster in the process. They intended to offer better choice and value to their customers, but for those who enjoyed all of their offerings as a single unified service, it was an unwelcome fragmentation and price increase of a product they loved. The fact that Netflix has since grown to 60 million subscribers (and the possibility that you may have never heard of "Qwikster") is a testament to their ability to realize and acknowledge mistakes, act decisively to rectify them, retain customers and mitigate brand damage.

If you aspire to succeed on a similar magnitude, you will have to take risks, and when those risks have adverse outcomes, just like Netflix and other frontrunners, you'll need to address them and emerge better than before. Many consultancies are eager to collaborate once your risks pay off and you've already persevered through most perilous periods of evolution; we lend our expertise and efforts when you need them the most - during a period defined by crisis and critical decisions.

It's never too late to rectify a mistake. Customers who have seen a service problem resolved satisfactorily are measurably more loyal than those who had no problem to begin with, so few crises place your company beyond a point of no return. Firms who demonstrate care for their customers, assume real accountability, and take action when they fall short of their brand promises can make headlines... the type of authentic, positive press that can't be earned any other way.

When Backblaze faced a critical shortage of hard drive components essential to fulfilling their unlimited cloud storage pledge, they started buying hard drives a la carte from local wholesalers in order to keep the promise they made to their customers. They were eventually banned from those wholesale stores as a result, but they maintained their most prominent point of distinction in a commodity-like, price-sensitive market saturated with competitors. Customers applauded their scrappiness, and a multitude of media outlets celebrated their resilience, resourcefulness and can-do approach. What started as a crisis became a backbone brand story for Backblaze; the world now knows that they'll stop at nothing to deliver what's promised. Backbone has grown their business 917% in the past 5 years and remains the apotheosis of transforming crisis to commendation.

Our Disaster Recovery / Emergency Response service starts with a comprehensive understanding of your company history and the intent and developments that led to the quandary at hand. Once given that understanding, we quickly devise a plan to address the issue head-on, take substantive measures to resolve it, transform apparent problems into opportunities, and maneuver you into a position that is often an improvement on your pre-crisis modus operandi.

Product recalls, service outages, compromised customer data, broken promises and unexpected delays of product launches and feature rollouts are all common crises with which we can facilitate a positive outcome.

Our experience has proven that dodgy, euphemistic, traditional public relations patterns (dismissing or denying problems, shedding accountability) can often exacerbate the problem at hand. Thus, our philosophy is grounded in transparency, honesty, accountability, and a humanized, colloquial style that goes beyond the platitudes and promises of perfection that are the artifice of typical PR astroturfing. If you're not prepared to extend a forthright mea culpa to affected constituency, you leave few avenues to rectify your problem and realign company and customer.

Deliverables may include but are not limited to:

- An open letter from the president, CEO, or other company executive drafted by us and revised based on your feedback

- A case study or narrative (article) emphasizing the upside, positive aspects, and lessons learned from your business case that is drafted by us, approved by you, and shopped to a targeted list of industry publications in order of preference.

- A customer experience strategy that includes prudent, defensible policies and predefined responses to common, predictable customer inquiries related to your recent issue.

- A series of social posts or campaigns designed to address the main issue and impetus of your quandary specifically and directly.

Briefing Details

The more information you provide, the better your resulting recovery plan will be. Links, social feedback, articles, details of your current circumstances and correspondences from your team can all contribute to a well-designed, actionable emergency response.

To preserve your unique intellectual property and proprietary company information, all submitted documentation will be kept confidential, and we will never share any part of the resulting plan and positioning strategy with anyone other than you the client under any circumstances.

Businesses who are struggling in a less temporary and more long-term sense are encouraged to consider our Brand Articulation service instead:

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