Location: A major metropolitan area.
The situation: A huge multi-national company has been at the center of a firestorm of controversy. One of their subsidiaries is responsible for a major crisis that has the potential to hurt people and the environment. The company knows it is responsible, but rather than speaking to the press or talking to the public, they have contacted lawyers and locked themselves away in boardrooms, leaving the public clamoring for information. The longer they wait, the less the company seems to care and the more damage is done to the company’s reputation.
The solution: The Spotlight sees the crisis developing and immediately puts on his fedora and flies into action. He lands on the rooftop of the corporate headquarters and makes his way to the corporate boardroom. He finds lawyers and managers completely unable to decide what to do or how to react to the public outcry. He immediately shines his Spotlight of Truth on all of them, using his amazing powers of good business practices and PR to show them what they need to do.
He discovers that the CEO and managers have not had any training when it comes to speaking to the press. Using his amazing abilities the Spotlight coaches them, helping ease their worries. Using his superhuman speed he creates a press release outlining the actions the company is going to take, and acknowledging and accepting responsibility for the crisis.
Using his press connections he is able to put together a press conference over a phone line. Using statements he has prepared for them in advance, the managers of the corporation apologize for their mistakes and accept their responsibility in the crisis. They then outline their plan to make things right, compensate victims of the accident and clean up the mess. They then also give the press a special hotline number to call for updates on progress in the clean-up effort and a special website URL where they can go for updates, as well.
Although damage has been done to the company’s reputation, they slowly gain back the trust of the public by being open and honest about their plans and their responsibility. Their new open communication with the public and the press shines a much more positive light on their company and their products.
The Spotlight says: It’s a popular term among some to “Deny! Deny! Deny!” or, in some cases “Ignore! Ignore! Ignore!”, but the longer it takes your company to acknowledge mistakes, the more damage you do to your reputation. Everyone makes mistakes and people appreciate a company that looks human and acknowledges that mistakes have been made. Having a clear plan for how to deal with the crisis is crucial and outlining that plan and providing regular updates on its progress with the media and the public can do amazing things in restoring faith in your company and your products.