Lars Voedisch, Founder and Managing Director of PRecious Communications was featured in Marketing Interactive’s ‘Media News’ section on January 04, 2019, in an article titled ‘How IRVINS’ PR statement won over consumer’s hearts despite the lizard incident‘. The brand found itself in a regrettable situation and amid a PR storm when a customer reported on Facebook that she found a dead lizard in her packet of chips. Acting swiftly, the brand responded with a sincere apology on its Facebook post, highlighting that it will provide refunds to those impacted. Founder Irvin Gunawan, who wrote the post, said that the team was “shocked and devastated” at the situation, adding that it was a “major blow” to the team.
Here is Lars’ comment as featured in Marketing Magazine’s article ‘How IRVINS’ PR statement won over consumer’s hearts despite lizard incident.’
“Speed to respond and showing empathy are crucial in such situations. Too often ‘sorry’ seems to be the hardest words for brands – but that’s actually what consumers want to hear.”
“For IRVINS, it also helped that the apology didn’t use overly corporate or even legal language and came directly from the founder together with the promise to make necessary changes to avoid this from ever happening again.”
“In a crisis, it is crucial to fix the matter at hand, which is first to figure out how to deal with the one customer affected. But, it is also important to address what the brand is doing to avoid an incident such as this to happen again.”
Why Are We Talking About IRVINS’ Lizard Incident?
At some point or the other, a brand is likely to face some public relations crisis, but the way you respond will decide if your consumers connect with your brand or lose trust. In this day and age, the news goes viral in no time, which is why, in a crisis, brands need to respond quickly and efficiently, using all the available platforms.
The very first thing to remember is that a PR crisis must never be concealed; it will only hamper your brand. Instead, in a case like IRVINS, manage the situation by taking responsibility and reacting without waiting it out for the situation to calm down. Also, responding to feedback is equally essential, just like the CEO of IRVINS did. Instead of arguing on a public platform, he acknowledged the mistake and responded in the right manner.
With social media making or breaking brand images, reputation management is of utmost importance in the current scenario. The tenets of crisis communication are to be proactive, transparent and accountable. In IRVINS’ case, all of these were fulfilled.
Lastly, remember to be human – sending across an apology and reassuring the consumer that you’ll take action and make things better shows you care about them. Of course, substantial action is essential – after all, acting fast is important before people lose faith in the brand!