Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here once again with Chris Jones, Vice President at Pierpont Communications. He also heads up their Energy and Crisis practices. Pierpont is also a contributor to the Profit and Peril Report. Welcome back to the Playbook, Chris.
Chris: Thanks Russ.
Russ: You bet. So last time you were here we talked about a company expanding internationally, and what they really needed to pay attention with inside their company. Today I want to ask you what do they do to get prepared for the actions outside their company.
Chris: That’s a good question. Last time we were talking about knowing the differences in the media as you plan your crisis response. So, that can come down to things like the history in the region that drives that. So, you need to know: what are some events in the past that might influence the way the media thinks about your industry or your company.
Russ: Okay, all right. So, tell us more though.
Chris: Example here in the US would be the Gulf of Mexico; the Macondo incident. That was a major, significant, watershed moment that significantly and probably permanently changed the relationship between the media in that region covering energy, and the energy firms themselves.
Russ: Okay. What’s another example, Chris, of things that might happen outside your company but inside the destination country that you should prepare for?
Chris: One thing that comes to mind, we have maritime clients that have crisis plans that relate to their shipping operations. Those that are primarily US based don’t have a piracy section in their plan. In many parts of the world, your crisis communications plan needs to account for the probability or the chance of piracy. So, that’s one of those regional things that’s outside of your control but you have to be ready for it.
Russ: How in the world do you learn about those things?
Chris: You know that’s part of the due diligence right up front. So, when we’re brought in, when anyone’s brought in to put together a crisis plan and what they need to start with is understanding the environment that the plan is going to need to operate within. So, that includes the history of incidents within the industry, as well as cultural differences, all of these things. But that’s the upfront research before you even get into the vulnerabilities and the rest of the plan.
Russ: Okay. Really appreciate you sharing that with us.
Chris: Thanks a lot.
Russ: You bet. For other international topics visit pkftexas.com/internationaldesk. This has been another Thought Leader Production, brought to you by PKF Texas Entrereneur’s Playbook.