Crisis communications for beauty players: strategies for success

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Crisis communications for beauty players: strategies for success

Related tags: Strategy, European union

Knowing how to respond when things go wrong is essential for any business, but none more so than in an industry that relies so much on consumer trust, loyalty and endorsement.

The beauty industry is no stranger to attracting public attention (sometimes more fairly applied than others), and brands that are able to respond appropriately limit risk to their business.

Because of this, crisis communications were a focus of one session at the recent Cosmetics Europe​ Annual Conference industry knowledge-sharing event in Brussels.

The speakers were:

  • Philippe Borremans, Independent Public Relations Consultant

  • Debbie Hunter, Director of Commercial Affairs, CTPA

Session highlights

Here are the key session highlights from the event, as compiled by CEAC organisers:

This session focused on the insights into the role of crisis communication in protecting and defending the reputation and positive image of an organisation.

Among various theoretical and practical considerations that were shared, stress was put on such aspects as:

  • Crisis preparedness,

  • Monitoring,

  • Strong stakeholder management,

  • The importance of timely response,

  • Speaking with one voice.

Speakers provided examples of strategies to approach a crisis situation, and spoke about building trust; which will pay in the future, forming strong alliances with stakeholders as well as the need for a more strategic planning for a crisis.

The importance of the language and careful selection of words were also underlined.

Examples of missteps

Recent examples of brands slipping up when it comes to public perception include a string of missteps from Unilever-owned Dove, which attracted criticism for an ad some deemed to be racist​, and another that seemed to dictate how women should respond to the conversation around breastfeeding​.

Another player in the public eye recently was Lush, with its ‘spycops’ campaign​ that criticised a specific undercover police operation for allowing officers to build intimate relationships with targets of their investigation.

It divided opinion: some consumers turned against the campaign, but many others voiced their support.

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