Crisis Communications

The nexus of data security and crisis communications planning has taken on global importance; a rash of broad-based attacks affects every industry. As the hacker ecosystem increases in scale and automation capabilities, attacks have expanded in both volume and generality—the vulnerable are targets.

Crisis communications has been elevated to a board level priority. Every PR strategy must have a detailed, documented crisis plan in place which enables an accurate assessment and immediate response. PR professionals need to prepare for a crisis in a strategic manner; the growing importance of marketing data in a consumer-centric world and the upcoming GDPR mandate demand it.

SHIFT has helped numerous clients with their crisis communications needs from B2C companies like T-Mobile and Applebee’s to B2B brands such as Bitly and Kaspersky Lab. Whether your company needs help with initial preparation, message testing, readiness assessments, live media and social monitoring and council, SHIFT is prepared to assist you in any given stage of your crisis communications needs.

SHIFT Perspectives on Crisis Communications


Bitly Case Study in Crisis Communications

Bitly is the world’s most widely recognized URL shortening service and one of the key marketing resources for CMOs looking to understand exactly how content is shared and interacted with across the Internet. Given Bitly’s integration with millions of unique Twitter accounts, Bitly tapped SHIFT at the start of engagement to develop a detailed crisis communications strategy to implement in the event of several worst case scenarios.

When Bitly discovered it had suffered a massive data breach, which exposed the login credentials of its entire 9M+ user base, the company immediately connected with SHIFT to uphold Bitly’s brand reputation.

Our team managed all inbound media requests by directing reporters to the blog for more information and closely monitored all media activity. Most of the social chatter expressed frustration with the need to reconnect Twitter and Facebook accounts, however there were several comments from users and the media applauding Bitly for its swift and transparent approach to communications on the breach.

None of the exposed credentials were used for any type of illicit activity because we operated quickly and leveraged our existing crisis communications workflow. Most importantly, Bitly didn’t lose a single paying customer as a result of the data breach.

Applebee’s Case Study in Crisis Communications

One of the most challenging issues for any consumer brand is an on-site crisis. There are a variety of variables at play: the staff, the customer, the customer’s social network, online and broadcast news outlets, and the possibility that the news goes “viral.”

Applebee’s found itself in such a situation when a toddler accidentally received margarita mix instead of apple juice.  The client immediately flagged the incident, which triggered an immediate enactment of the crisis communications plan.

After a quick assessment of what had actually happened, SHIFT moved into content creation mode. The agency crafted the official statement of a national procedural change while, in parallel, monitored social media and news monitoring around the clock. SHIFT directly engaged with fans of the brand, readers of the company’s blog, subscribers to their newsletter, and anyone with a relevant social media profile.

SHIFT’s swift action netted a 78% favorable sentiment response rate from all audiences over the 5 days following the immediate crisis and gained Applebee’s media kudos its management of a very delicate and embarrassing situation.

“SHIFT’s crisis brief for Applebee’s offers a model for crisis communications in the Social Media era.” Holmes Report

Contact SHIFT for Crisis Communications Services

New Contact Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Back to Top