Eskom, Gautrain, Cell C, FNB, Woolworths, the SA Post Office – these are just a few of the companies that have hit the headlines in recent months due to one or other crisis.
Crises like these can come from anywhere. But adequate crisis management and communications planning, and commitment from company boards and directors can help in two ways: eliminate exposure to avoidable crises; and be prepared to effectively deal with the unavoidable.
This is according to Alan Hilburg, president and CEO of HilburgAssociates. For nearly 30 years, Hilburg has been one of the most sought-after strategic counsellors in some of the most complex, high-visibility, high-risk crises and ‘impossible’ situations.
Hilburg will present a master class on crisis management, communication and brand protection, aimed at providing delegates with a 10-step plan on how to address crisis management shortfalls.
Hilburg led the Johnson & Johnson team in the textbook management of the 1982 Tylenol crisis, the number-one crisis management case history studied worldwide. He has advised national presidents, university chancellors, members of congress and many other high-profile individuals in crisis situations. He has also successfully represented clients in 107 trials, including Love Canal, Exxon Valdez and Enron.
Commenting on the latest high-profile organisation to yet again hit the headlines as a result of a lack of crisis management, Eskom, Hilburg says: “Eskom dramatises the ‘high cost of low trust!’ It is a victim of a history of ‘interventions’ that caused it to take its eye off the brand ball, as well as what appears to be a reactive crisis strategy versus a responsive crisis strategy.”
He refers to the current global environment as a “VUCA” – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity – world.
“Risk mitigation is everyone’s job. Delegates will leave with the tools necessary to audit their existing plans, fix them and know they are sheltered from trust-threatening risks.”
Hilburg’s one-day master class on crisis management, communication and brand protection is hosted by ITWeb and takes place on 18 February in Johannesburg. Click here to find out more and register to attend.