Posts tagged ‘Chief Vigilance Officer’

January 3, 2011

Developing a Crisis Consciousness: Need for a Chief Vigilance Officer

Citibank and the employee fraud news is just one in a long line of brand crises that have hit the financial sector in India and abroad. How hard would it be for big global brands such as Citibank to actually do some anticipation of risks and plan response strategies. The first of which would not be to muzzle the media. It would be to put in place a system of whistleblowers. It would also be to appoint what could perhaps be called a Chief Vigilance Officer…not in the tradition of the Government however.  

In fact this is the crisis management concept I would like to offer to corporate India. You spend so much money on so many branding initiatives, how much do you invest in crisis planning? How regular are your vulnerability audits? How current is your crisis manual? When was the last time you had a simulation session for a crisis scenario? Did your CEO participate???

Would it be correct to say that crisis prone brands actually have a history of arrogance and carelessness which form the nucleus to which adhere a host of little incidents, not tracked, not reported, ignored , brushed under the table till over time they gain the mass to convert into the legendary snowball rolling down the mountain, gathering momentum and hopefully taking the inept senior management with it!

In the Mint today there is a Wall Street Journal full-page article on the “PR lessons from 2010”.  The main burden of this article is that 2010 saw more than its share of corporate crises and this probably if not certainly caused untold misery to the Public Relations people who were probably asked to fix a number of unviable things. Point is that a brand crisis is NOT in the first instance a communication problem. It is a business problem stemming most likely from a number of wrong strategic decision perhaps or from not recognizing change in the business environment or even violating laws because the hope was that they could get away with it.

Stay with me on this discussion please and let me have your comments.