As part of my research for my dissertation, I have been reading a lot about crisis communications. One idea that came up and interested me was that of crisis as opportunity. The literature I have been reading positions crisis as an opportunity only if the crisis is handled excellently.

Many corporations could do well for themselves if they saw opportunity in the face of negative consequences. The example that most PR practitioners cite as the example for good crisis management is Johnson & Johnson’s response to their product, Tylenol, becoming tainted with cyanide after bottles were tampered with. Because of how Johnson & Johnson handled this crisis, the impact was long-lasting and totally changed the way packaging is done nowadays. The effect on pharmaceutical bottling was visible: we now have tamper-proof packaging to make sure our products are untainted.

Johnson & Johnson saw opportunity to make their mark on an industry through a crisis. If more companies understood that they could make hay while the sun shines, but also while it rains, then who knows the impact they could make? These are the kinds of things we want to think about when it comes to long-term brand management.

Advertisements