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Enterprises need flexibility to handle PR crises

Minh Tam
Wednesday,  Oct 11,2017,21:28 (GMT+7)
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Enterprises need flexibility to handle PR crises

Minh Tam

Duong Thu Huong, PR director of at IDG Ventures Vietnam and CEO of Interactive Co Ltd, Forbes Vietnam, shares experiences in dealing with PR crises - PHOTO: MINH TAM

HCMC – Vietnamese businesses should be flexible when they have to cope with public relations (PR) crises, said Duong Thu Huong, PR director of IDG Ventures Vietnam and CEO of Interactive Co Ltd, Forbes Vietnam.

Speaking at a seminar on experiences in solving PR crises jointly held by the Saigon Times Group and the 2030 Businessmen Club on October 10, Huong and other participating business executives agreed that social media crises could occur anytime due to a variety of reasons.

TTT Corporation general director Le Tri Thong said one crisis is different from another, so solutions to each crisis are only workable in that particular event.

There are 14 principles for dealing with PR crises, of which 13 are often resorted to by businesses worldwide. In a developing country like Vietnam whose legal system is insufficient, so the 14th principle of flexibility is equally important.

Enterprises should immediately admit mistakes, sincerely apologize to customers, and let the full story known publicly before the press or rivals break the news.

Another principle is that companies caught in PR crises must listen to all sides, including rivals, partners, agencies and media, especially social networks, to develop sound coping strategies.

It is crucial to prepare contingency plans for staff to contribute to mitigating damage. Large corporations may have special teams dedicated to managing communication crises. Communication crises may cost companies material and human assets, so they should practice prudence. Enterprises must avoid reckless words and actions.

Huong said many big firms in the world would not choose to hold press conferences to discuss their mistakes as they might not give goods responses to all the tough questions asked, which would make matters worse.

Companies should employ consultants, experts or lawyers to help them sort out problems and solve them.
Corporate culture and leadership’s prestige will help keep the public confidence intact. Therefore, it is essential to develop corporate culture as soon as the company is established.

Businesses should stand ready to deal with any crises.

Ha Xuan Anh, chairman of Son Viet Garment JSC, said his company will handle PR crises with a strong sense of responsibility and sincerity.

Many businesses have become more mature since they went through PR crises, Huong added.

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