<strong>Crisis</strong> Communication

Case Study : American Openings

In response to Arizona’s new immigration law, Illinois’ Highland Park high school cancelled their annual girl’s basketball trip to Arizona. Garnering national coverage and eliciting extreme amounts of feedback, American Openings, a Tucson-based company, reacted with an offer to fund the team’s entire trip.

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Case Study : American Openings

In response to SB1070, Arizona’s new immigration law, Illinois’ Highland Park high school cancelled their annual girl’s basketball trip to Arizona. American Openings, a Tucson-based company, reacted with an offer to fund the team’s entire trip. Garnering national coverage and eliciting extreme amounts of feedback, Strongpoint and American Openings ignited the conversation on immigration reform and raised awareness for state boycott implications.

Execution
Strongpoint’s objective was to convince the school board to allow the girls to play in Arizona and raise national awareness on how these boycotts can impact the economy of our state. In order to change their mind, Strongpoint had to attract the attention of the school’s decision makers by challenging their statements and identifying local and national media outlets that were in support of Arizona’s economy.

Strongpoint received the call to offer from American Openings Friday afternoon.After doing effective secondary research on publications covering the story, guided the client to run an exclusive with the Chicago Tribune. Once the story was published in Saturday’s paper, Strongpoint and American Openings followed up with local and regional outlets, providing interviews and releasing story information.

Results
The feedback was unimaginable. American Openings received such a high number of responses, Regina’s website crashed. There was local, regional and national coverage on the issue – Regina and his company stood as an example of our state, “filled with good people who want to do the right thing, no matter where anyone stands on the new law”. The conversations had begun about immigration reform, border control and now, why people should not boycott Arizona.

The message delivered by Strongpoint for American Openings was a turning point – although Highland Park never reconsidered the decision to attend Arizona’s basketball tournament, the feedback received was enough to show that an impact had been made.

Crisis Communication

It’s always a good time to make sure your company has a solid, updated crisis communications plan. Think of it as a form of disaster insurance.

Time to respond to a crisis is a luxury. Today instantaneous response is a necessity because the story can spread so far so fast – worldwide in seconds. A poorly handled response can make a disaster even worse.

A recent IR Insight report, based on responses from more than 750 investor relations professionals worldwide, showed 35 percent experienced a crisis in the past five years, and a third had no formal crisis plan. We don’t know which of the 35 percent were not among the third with a plan, but these are still disturbing ratios.

Far and away, respondents (68 percent, across all regions, cap sizes and sectors) indicated corporate reputation was the top crisis issue, beating out shareholder retention or share price.

A well executed reaction to crisis can actually help a company’s reputation. And, communications preparation for potential disasters can sometimes be covered in your company’s insurance policy.

If you’ve never had a formal plan, where do you start? Contact Strongpoint Marketing today.

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