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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : July 14, 2016


Brands, not external factors, to blame for 78% of PR disasters

A new study from media monitoring platform Visibrain suggests that most brands have no-one to blame but themselves for public relations disasters.

by Helen Leggatt

Visibrain's study, conducted with help from crisis communications specialist Nicolas Vanderbiest from the University of Leuven in Belgium, reveals that more than three-quarters (78%) of public relations disasters are "the brand's fault". That leaves very few that can be blamed on cyber-attacks or other external factors.

This conclusion was reached after analysis of more than 100 of the biggest PR disasters over the past 12 months. Most, says Visibrain, could easily have been avoided with more efficient internal planning. The most common causes of PR disasters turned out to be ill-considered advertising campaigns, poor product design, or flawed comms strategies.

pr disaster.jpg

Visibrain's chief executive, Nicolas Huguenin, says the fact that issues around PR disasters are being caused by internal issues is actually good news.

"If such disasters were typically being caused by external factors, marketers would have far fewer opportunities to preemptively manage and address them. Instead, brands simply need to take greater care in considering all possible outcomes to their communications approach," said Huguenin.

The bad news, according to the study, is that brands are now 13% more likely to suffer a PR disaster than they were just three years ago. Overall, there were 109 crises in 2015, or an average of two per week. After having grown exponentially each year since 2004, the number of crises stabilized in 2015.






Tags: brand management, marketing campaign, public relations, reputation management








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