Grant Thornton is hosting a webinar titled “Corporate Public Relations” on Friday July 2nd.
The public relations function is often overlooked by Maltese companies, which see it as the exercise of issuing press releases to the media.
In fact, at the heart of any corporate public relations strategy is the need for an organization to clearly communicate its values, mission and vision to the public. The marketing and public relations department therefore has the delicate role of matching visual identity and public image.
Rigorous monitoring of company values and the application of strong public relations practices have also often helped organizations successfully navigate testing periods. CEOs and senior executives know that with proper crisis management procedures, a business can turn threats into opportunities and emerge stronger.
One of the most iconic case studies in the history of crisis communication, demonstrating the importance of taking an open and transparent approach in interactions with the media and the public, is the sabotage of Tylenol, a pain reliever produced by Johnson & Johnson.
In September 1982, in Chicago, seven people died from the ingestion of Tylenol capsules containing cyanide. The company’s factories were searched to determine if the contamination was coming from its production lines. Once police determined that the incidents were the result of sabotage orchestrated by an individual directly at outlets, Johnson & Johnson activated a Crisis Communications Unit to raise awareness of the sabotage.
A toll-free phone number was made available to customers, all media campaigns were discontinued, and dedicated TV spots were created to alert the public to the presence of the sabotaged Tylenol capsules. The company spokesperson has been actively involved in this communication effort, with frequent appearances in national media.
Eventually, the capsules were replaced by tablets, which were impossible to handle. The change in format, although costly financially, demonstrated to the public that the company sincerely believes in its corporate credo to take care of its customers.
Crisis communication is only one aspect of corporate public relations. Friday’s webinar will provide a comprehensive overview of the PR function in an organization and will cover aspects such as writing and distributing press releases, organizing press conferences and handling media inquiries.
Visit the webinar page for more information on the course and registration: https://www.grantthornton.com.mt/advance/corporate-pr/.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.