It is worth communicating in a crisis

Category: Crisis communications

Good com­mu­ni­ca­tion pays off even in a cri­sis. It not only helps lim­it dam­age but may often pave the way out of the cri­sis. One of cometris’ clients took the strate­gic deci­sion to close a fac­to­ry in the can­ton of Tessin. Com­mu­ni­cat­ing this was a chal­lenge – for one thing, the fac­to­ry in ques­tion was extreme­ly well-estab­lished, with more than a cen­tu­ry of his­to­ry, a strong union pres­ence and deep roots in the region. For anoth­er, the fac­to­ry was intend­ed to remain in oper­a­tion for around a year after the deci­sion to close, which required the coop­er­a­tion of some 50 employ­ees. In addi­tion, the process would nat­u­ral­ly send a mes­sage to oth­er fac­to­ries in Europe.

Togeth­er with the com­pa­ny exec­u­tives and local plant man­agers, cometris devised a detailed com­mu­ni­ca­tions strat­e­gy, which includ­ed a coher­ent sched­ule, fixed key mes­sages, inten­sive media train­ing and prepa­ra­tions for pre­sen­ta­tions to employees.

On the day of the announce­ment, the cometris team con­trolled the flow of infor­ma­tion and han­dled the media per­son­nel who were present. The com­pa­ny exec­u­tives focused on dis­cus­sions with employ­ees and appoint­ments with oth­er stake­hold­ers. The result­ing trust then made it pos­si­ble to con­duct suc­cess­ful redun­dan­cy nego­ti­a­tions with the unions, and con­tin­ue run­ning the fac­to­ry until the clo­sure date required on oper­a­tional grounds.

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