Over the summer, I ran out of tv series to watch on my free time or whenever I can't sleep so I messaged one of the best entertainment blogger I know—Rod Magaru. He suggested Revenge, but said I should check out Scandal first. It was in the wee hours of the morning and too lazy to Google, I ask him why. Our conversation went on and on that it made me too curious of what Scandal is all about. And since I wasn't going to sleep anytime soon anyway, I turned my laptop on and researched.
From the executive producer of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practics (Shonda Rhimes), Scandal is an American tv series about a risk-crisis management team—Olivia Pope and Associates, who call themselves "gladiators in suits", that races against time to defuse-handle-solve intriguing problems before anyone even knows it exists (especially the media) from ordinary people who got involved into a scandal, the moneyed, the powerful, even the President, and led by Kerry Washington who plays Olivia Pope.
Her spectacular success is mostly due to her unbreakable rule of always trust your gut. But you know what they say, no matter how careful you are when you do damage control for a living (and mostly lie just to get away with it), you're bound to cause more damage even to your own life. And Olivia and her crew eat, sleep, live and breathe crisis, everyday time and again.
In one of Kerry Washington's interview, she mentioned that the show is inspired by a real-life crisis manager Judy Smith who lives and works in Washington and used to work in the White House as Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary to former US President George H. W. Bush.
Even though Kerry repeatedly clarified that the show is inspired by, and not based on Judy Smith's crisis management career, my mind can't take off Olivia Pope's character from Judy Smith—like seeing (and still sees) Carrie Bradshaw on Sarah Jessica Parker during SM Aura's opening last May. It's hard to delineate these two people especially that I've started obsessing watching the show, if you know what I mean. :)
See my 2AM Twitter direct messages to Rod below. And please excuse my "excitement". Haha!
So imagine my happiness when Grace invited me to meet Brad Geiser, president and co-founder of GeiserMaclang—one of the country's top and preferred communications company—for a Social Media Risk Mitigation and Crisis Management.
"It's not hate that kills a brand, it's love."
Look at those awards!
During the meeting, Brad helped us understand the importance of managing and mitigating crisis in a logical perspective and essentially, helped us identify the three terms: Risk, Issue, Crisis.
Risk is when you're doing something that might upset somebody. When somebody or a group of people is upset by it (risk), that's an issue. When somebody or those group of people upset by it (risk) suddenly feel the desire to make other groups of unrelated people as upset as they are, that's when it become a crisis.
- when Vice Ganda get flaked and was accused of mocking the rape victims in a joke where Jessica Soho is to be gang-raped;
- when the Les Deux Garcons Facebook administrator reacted and responded to one of the commenters, "We have no time for bitches.";
- when writer/director King Palisoc was denied entry at Seventh High due to his cane and wrote his disappointment as a Facebook status.
And a lot more! It happens (READ: haters, cyber-bullies and online bashers), not only to brands and companies but most commonly on famous personalities, politicians, and celebrities. As well as social media influencers and bloggers, like myself.
Brad emphasizes, "If you think your brand is immune to crisis, its not. And more importantly, the more committed you are to your brand, the more it will cloud your judgement."
In tv series and in reality, when we empathize with somebody even though that person is doing something wrong but because of our desire to protect them, we often get confuse who the good guy and the bad guy actually is. We become arrogant and defensive.
Even the Nestlé Philippines chairman and CEO John Martin Miller knows it all too well, "The greatest dangers that big businesses face are complacency and arrogance."
In addition, the only time you will ever be objective and effective in the middle of a crisis is if you prepare for it in advance or when you're not emotionally connected to response.
More importantly, understanding three stages of crisis:
- Pre-crisis stage which includes prevention, mitigation or prior-prevention, planning, and warning systems like for natural disasters.
- Crisis proper is when to effectively respond, mapping the stakeholders or those who will be affected, communications strategy, and decision-making.
- Post-crisis is strategic planning to over and out of the way of the crisis within 30 days (unless there is a mitigation process like law enforcement investigation ETA), recovery and restoring the image/brand, and back to business as usual, unless re-branding is needed.
It was a very informative meeting for all of us.
Although it felt like I needed to know more about risk mitigation and crisis management. And I'm hoping to meet the famed head strategist Amor Maclang soon too! :)
GeiserMaclang also conducts trainings to private companies on risk mitigation, crisis management, and strategic marketing and planning, as well as disaster management trainings for government agencies.
To know more, go to http://www.geisermaclang.com
Geiser Maclang Marketing Communications is located at 6th floor Cambridge Building, 108 Tordesillas Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City.
For inquiries, contact (02) 856-4624 / 478-4626 or send an email at email@example.com