The dilemma of crisis communication in cyber-attacks

Cyber-attacks, data theft and industrial espionage: no longer abstract threats for German companies. And the malfeasance is no longer just impacting the major players. According to a survey the sector association BITKOM conducted in 2018, a good 68 percent of the companies polled had been affected in the past years. In this context, there were no major differences between companies with 10 to 99 employees, and companies with 100 to 499 members of staff. Experts assume that the real figure, the unrecorded cases, stands a great deal higher. After all, who likes to admit having been the victim of cyber-attacks. This could unsettle employees, customers and business partners, and substantially tarnish the reputation of the company.

 

Leveraging CEOs as the Brand Guardians of Trust

In today’s communication driven world, there is no ignoring the critical role of CEOs when it comes to driving brand awareness and building brand-customer intimacy.

The most successful of brands be it global MNCs or enterprising start-ups have leveraged on the power of personality led CEOs to generate awareness, drive interest, draw inspiration, attract aspiration, instil trust and when that need arises, establish the calm amidst chaos.

Coming up to the fore, to attain that level of credibility, influence, visibility and commercial advantage, is not an easy task for many business leaders. This very often requires a mindset change, as not everyone feels comfortable in being put under that spotlight position. It also involves a commitment of time, resources and stamina to not only start, but also stay the course of a CEO profiling journey, a critical component of any successful corporate positioning strategy.

Where Cross Cultural Communication is More Than Just Google Translate

Asia’s ascent as the engine of growth in this globalised economy has attracted a surge in Foreign Direct Investment with European and North American companies jostling to either set up manufacturing plants, or sell their products and services to the burgeoning consumer markets.

While many have been very successful, there have been those who have made the mistake of over-simplifying the complexity of communicating in a cross-cultural environment. The biggest mistake of course has been to broad brush Asia as a non-Western ubiquitous entity, and relegating global rollouts to needing nothing more than just direct translations of materials into the respective foreign languages.

In reality, the concept of plug and play global communications strategy just won’t work in a region as diverse as Asia, not only with the different languages and cultures, but also media landscapes, with different journalistic practices and in some cases media regulations.

Four Tips for Dealing with American Press Releases in Europe

No one culture is the same. This should come as no surprise. But did you know that this translates to your press releases as well? When you’re working for an American organization in Europe, it’s important to note the characteristics of your press releases and to be aware of what your target audience wants to read. It’s the only way to ensure their news is successfully distributed in the country you’re active in. To help you, we have lined up four tips for dealing with American press releases in Europe:

Cyberattack Communications: 3 Tips to Build Trust

These past few months, WannaCry(pt), Petya and the hacked United States elections have dominated the tech news. Or take the controversial Dutch ‘hacking law’, which is currently also a hot topic. The question is whether the (Dutch) national police will soon be able to track our every move – much like intelligence agencies such as the NSA. Simply insinuating that this might be possible forms the basis of a growing problem for the technology industry. It significantly reduces the feeling of reliability and safety when it comes to technology. While trust is the basis for technology’s success. The more people (dare to) use it, the faster we innovate and the better applications like artificial intelligence can become.

What can PR Managers Learn from Petya?

Very often lately, we hear about cyber attacks. News about such incidents is widely publicized. That’s hardly remarkable, given that sensitive information has landed on the street, personal information is stolen, a company is completely shut down and small or larger sums are required in exchange for data release. In short, the economic and social impact is high.

Recently, Petya dominated the news. Among others, the Maersk terminal in the Port of Rotterdam was hit, as well as TNT Post. The first days after the outbreak, there were more than six thousand articles and posts about this virus, as evidenced by the analysis of our online and offline media monitoring tools.

Media covered, among other things, the cause, the victims, and the associated economic damage, the modest amount of money the hackers demanded and the peculiarities of the attack. Also noticeable was the fact that many security experts and security companies jumped on the news. For example, we saw comments from spokespersons from Kaspersky, Fox-IT, DearBytes, ESET and Comae. Kaspersky dominated the news with around 180 articles. The national newspaper De Telegraaf had a different approach and talked to internet lawyer Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm at Bureau Brandeis. He pointed out these attacks are a trend and urged companies to take measures as quickly as possible to improve their digital security. As of May, next year, the new General Data Protection Regulation will take effect.

A survey of the Dutch news and tech news Progress Communications recently conducted, shows that newsjacking is very popular. That also applied to the Petya attack. Many journalists said that after the attack they very quickly received security editorial contributions from security providers. These companies offered a blog, a press release, or an offer for an interview with an expert. Sometimes these contributions were published. But most journalists indicated that they have a wide range of contacts themselves and will talk to them for comment. Some sought collaboration with other media to publish as quickly and fully as possible.