Crisis & Issues Management

Companies today face a fast-moving environment where serious, complex issues can quickly damage even the strongest reputation, undermine credibility with key stakeholders and impact the bottom line. From cyberattacks, to product recalls to legal actions, organizations can be unprepared to deal with the multifaceted and rapidly evolving challenges that arise when a crisis strikes.

At Finsbury, we have served as a trusted advisor to scores of global corporations, non-profits, academic institutions and prominent individuals confronting challenges to their reputation. Our intensive approach to crisis communications focuses on rapidly assessing client needs, formulating a strategic plan to stabilize key relationships, and swiftly executing that plan to shape stakeholder opinions. We also work extensively with our clients to assess, prepare for and mitigate crisis issues in advance.

Our particular expertise is in developing a comprehensive strategy that not only considers legal objectives, but also accounts for broader business and reputational goals and effectively reaches relevant consumers, investors, partners, policymakers, the media and other key stakeholders.

Crisis Management

Crises can strike when they are least expected and take all manner of forms: labor and employment issues; corporate restructuring and bankruptcy; leadership changes; data breaches; financial mismanagement; product, environmental and safety issues; and even criminal allegations. At such critical moments, our clients count on our insights and rigorous strategic focus to protect their hard-won reputations.

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In times of crisis, organizations need to manage media relations across multiple fronts: print, broadcast, online and social. We help clients to achieve their objectives through strategic and effective combinations of traditional and digital tools and platforms, and our global teams ensure coordinated messaging with corporate and financial audiences, as well as policy influencers.

Working closely with senior management, boards, lawyers and in-house communications teams, we develop messages to position the organization and its goals in the most compelling manner possible. We also provide support “on the ground” – including monitoring developments in real time and proactively communicating or responding as quickly and aggressively as appropriate.

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Compliance & Litigation Communications

Litigation can be either the starting point or consequence of a crisis, and organizations’ legal affairs are subject to significant public scrutiny. Companies facing legal action require strategies that consider not only the traditional courtroom but also the court of public opinion.

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Our firm has extensive experience developing strategies for managing a host of high-stakes legal and enforcement actions – ranging from employment and product-related litigation to whistleblower cases, and from white-collar crime, commercial and intellectual property disputes to antitrust cases and class action securities lawsuits.

Our approach focuses on working closely with clients’ leadership and legal teams to coordinate, integrate and vet all communications efforts in support of their litigation and business goals. We use our strong relationships with legal media on behalf of our clients and frequently provide onsite support in the courthouse, where instant analysis can determine the media narrative. We also identify supportive third-party commentary to inject independent assessment and context on complicated issues into the public discourse.

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Crisis Preparedness & Prevention

In today’s interconnected world, even organizations with stellar reputations and balance sheets are just one blog post, careless remark or ill-timed decision away from a full-scale crisis. In our experience, companies that have prepared themselves are better able to anticipate and respond to crisis events and minimize potential adverse impacts on their brand, bottom line and employee morale.

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Finsbury’s crisis preparation curriculum helps clients avoid or mitigate a potential crisis by learning about and exercising the skills they will need when a serious issue arises. The curriculum – tailored to the unique needs, priorities and corporate culture of each client – is designed to encourage teamwork, information-gathering and analytical thinking while helping ensure our clients have best-in-class systems and processes in place to respond quickly, accurately and appropriately to emerging issues, wherever and whenever they may occur. The curriculum has six core components:

  • Research and audit
  • Risk assessment and scenario development
  • Process refinement and message development
  • Crisis training and simulation
  • Media training
  • Crisis manual development
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