ROBERT de Niro’s character in the movie “Stardust” said, “Reputation, you know—a lifetime to build, seconds to destroy.”
In the same vein, a company executive needs only 10 minutes to act and save his or her reputation if a crisis hits.
This was the message given during the two-day workshop of Inquirer Academy entitled “Issues and Crisis Management Media Workshop” on October 22-23, 2015 facilitated by Connie Kalagayan, assistant vice president (AVP) for corporate affairs of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Attended by communications officers and executive officials, the workshop discussed, among others, contacting and responding to the media in times of crisis and recovering from the fiasco effectively.
Inquirer president and CEO Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, one of the lecturers, said: “A crisis, in my mind, becomes bigger if you don’t have a strong brand to fall back on.”
She said each and every employee should work together in order to deliver a good brand outcome.
They should be able to engage consumers, she said. “In a crisis, they will be the ones to fight for you.”
Participants also underwent crisis simulations and workshops. In a mock press conference, the participants were grilled by Inquirer reporters.
Inquirer senior reporters Tarra Quismundo and Nancy Carvajal said building a relationship with the media would be helpful when crisis strikes and when companies need to disseminate information in an effective and efficient manner.
Both Carvajal and Quismundo said telling the media the truth is important. This also validates respect for both media and corporate communications professions, they said.
Abigail Moreno, corporate communications specialist at Monde Nissin Corporation, said building a rapport with the media is important, especially for a sensitive industry such as the food industry.
John Benette Mamangun, division head of corporate planning and investors relations at the Philippine Stock Exchange, said he learned a lot from the inputs given by the lecturers and participants.
He said through the workshop, he will be able to review their internal procedures and policies on communications.
It was the first time for both Moreno and Mamangun to have attended such a workshop. But during the simulated press conference, they were judged the best spokespersons by both Quismundo and Carvajal.
“I am glad that Inquirer thought of letting us undergo a simulated experience because these are the things that you don’t usually do in an office setting. It is also good that it was a media entity that held [a mock press conference for us],” Moreno said.
“It definitely provides value to my profession. In that respect, it is something that I don’t regret attending,” Mamangun also said.
The next “Issues and Crisis Management Media Workshop” will be held in the first quarter of 2016.
Inquirer Academy also offers other workshops on leadership and marketing.
Visit facebook.com/inquireracademy for the next line-up of workshops. For other concerns, you may contact Inquirer Academy at 834-1557 or send inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.