Media Insights and Crisis Expertise » Crisis training http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mediaandcrisis Your destination for best practice issues and crisis management, current issues, media training, presentation skills, consumer advocacy and strategic issues management Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:40:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 The importance of assessing corporate risks before the crisis http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mediaandcrisis/2011/08/03/the-importance-of-assessing-corporate-risks-before-the-crisis/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mediaandcrisis/2011/08/03/the-importance-of-assessing-corporate-risks-before-the-crisis/#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2011 11:55:59 +0000 Peter Roberts http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mediaandcrisis/?p=462 Home economics has undoubtedly taken on a new meaning in recent years with the launch of a legion of online ventures that are making money from what I’ll grandly label people’s ‘residential asset base’ – basically, rooms, driveways, garages, gardens – you name it.

Airbnb is such a site – it’s a private room rental service, which has, over the past week, generated a fair amount of coverage for the wrong reason. Last month, a blogger detailed the damage to her home, including holes through walls and burnt possessions, after she rented out her property via Airbnb. You can read more here. The site has since announced a $50,000 guarantee to its hosts for theft and vandalism.

What I find of interest from a crisis management perspective is the CEO’s admission that they got it so wrong. “We felt paralysed, and over the last four weeks, we have really screwed things up” said Brian Chesky. The corporate candour is laudable, but effective preparedness plans would have prevented  the reputational fallout.  “We weren’t prepared for the crisis and we dropped the ball. Now we’re dealing with the consequences” added Chesky.

Discerning businesses will regularly gauge the risks they face from both an internal and external perspective and draw up appropriate contingency plans. Airbnb has, rightly, now introduced a more robust customer relations service, including a dedicated hotline. Airbnb’s creditable admission should, I hope, serve as a wakeup call to those other organisations who have yet to grasp the significance of a full and frequent assessment of their  business.

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