Posted by Richard ● 16-Sep-2015 16:43:00

6 B2B crisis management takeaways from Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to sing


Newsnight, the BBC’s flagship daily news analysis show, recently featured two stories that would bring most marketing and communication professionals out in a cold sweat.

The first story featured Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected Labour leader who is attracting significant media interest.

While media attention is to be expected, Corbyn’s comms team probably didn’t foresee the level of media debate that would spark from his opting not to sing the national anthem at a memorial service.

Questions have immediately been raised about Corbyn’s patriotism and suitability for public life as a result. Forget his policies, approach or vision; the media wants to know if he’s willing to sing ‘God Save the Queen’! 

The second story focused on a complaint made by a female barrister whose LinkedIn profile picture was complimented by a male solicitor she hadn’t had previous contact with.

The barrister, Charlotte Proudman, claimed that the male solicitor had objectified her via the compliment, causing offence. As a result, the solicitor’s law firm found themselves issuing apologies on the BBC. 

In both cases, events that could not likely have been planned or anticipated, quickly escalated to become major news stories.

As a marketer and PR, my B2B crisis management takeaways from these incidents are:

  1. Have a crisis management plan
  2. Review it regularly – use scenario planning to try and anticipate eventualities
  3. Have a spokesperson who is ready and robust enough to respond to the unexpected. Use media training and lots of role-plays.
  4. You cannot always predict what could possibly go wrong, but knowing the tone of voice that you want to use to respond is vital.
  5. Remember: Care, Commitment and Control.
  6. Do not use the publicity of a crisis to promote your business and generate inbound traffic.

For more tips on how to avoid PR risks and maximise the benefits of B2B inbound marketing and PR, click on our free eBook below.

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Topics: B2B Tech PR, b2b marketers, b2b public relations, b2b pr