Wednesday, October 04, 2006

An interesting crisis management case study - EDF

Steve Hemsley's recent PR Week feature entitled Monitor your way out of a crisis provided a useful case study that outlined how energy giant EDF monitored and responded to the crisis that was the ongoing slew of negative press they copped over summer due to their ongoing price increases.

All of the major energy companies in the UK were punished in the media, as "fuel poverty" became a frequently used term.

The case study discussed what tools EDF used to monitor the media throughout the crisis, what the results were, and what their response to the situation was. The article mentioned that "an unexpected twist was the discovery that the power blackout in London was bigger news in the regionals than EDF Energy's price hikes. As a result, Wynn (EDF's director of comms, Gareth Wynn) says he is now considering investing in an online measuring tool to provide real-time monitoring information so his team can respond more quickly."

Indeed, traditional media monitoring and evaluation tools such as hard copy clippings or manual evaluations, are increasingly too slow to provide true value in a crisis. They may provide a useful retrospective view of what happened, but that's too late to actually help you navigate out of the crisis - and as EDF discovered, online monitoring tools may even highlight opportunities in a crisis that would otherwise remain undetected through traditional means.


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