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Leading well when it matters most

BlueChip Communication

Expert financial services issues & crisis management

In a crisis, good communication gives our clients permission to lead.

Managed well, even a crisis can build your reputation, your leadership team's ability, and your business's resilience.

Managed badly, it ends careers, brands and businesses. 

The difference, in financial services, often rests on a few key decisions, and how they are communicated, by the Board, CEO, leadership team and your advisers.

In special situations such as litigation support, insolvency and leadership transition we help leaders protect their corporate and personal reputations.

We've helped Chairman and CEOs preserve shareholder value, reduce litigation risk and costs, and ensure the sustainability of their businesses.

We plan a path that's commercial, stakeholder-sensitive and reduces risk. When it's needed we're with you 24/7, behind the scenes, with advice, strategy, and access to decision-makers and influential media.

In the best cases our clients take courageous and well-informed action.

They make decisions proactively, act strategically, communicate with conviction, and achieve better outcomes.

Quote Mark

We engaged BlueChip to help us manage reputation risk because they understood the technical issues and grounds for a decision that had the potential to spark an emotional public debate. With their help we developed a management and PR approach that aligned to our values, protected our reputation and made sure reasons for our decision were understood and respected by those who mattered. BlueChip’s advice gave us clarity to communicate and confidence in our ability to have our position understood.

Allan Murphy

General Manager Superannuation at BOC Limited
How we work-1

For more than two decades we've successfully advised leaders on CEO dismissals, board change, misconduct, criminal and civil litigation, corporate and regulator actions, market disruption, and other high-profile issues.

Situation & risk analysis

Our rapid initial assessment identifies your business' reputation risks and assets, sets goals and identify outcomes for the engagement. A "red flag report" helps you identify priorities and act on a live issue in minutes, rather than hours or days. In 'slow burn' situations, a more in-depth assessment helps you identify reputation risks, gives you an independent expert risk rating and a remediation roadmap.

Prepare & prevent

A strong "base layer" of issues, crisis or rapid response work - such as messages, materials, and playbooks - helps you prepare for known and predictable issues, and prevent them. This work guides your response and decisions in live situations. Long term it reduces your enterprise reputation risk by developing issues and crisis management capability, tools and processes.

Live issues management

We become our clients’ live management team until the issue is under control or concluded. This gives you immediate access to 24/7 on-call crisis and issues management advice or a response team, real-time monitoring and media and social media management. Where it’s needed we scale up, acting as your outsourced crisis communication team. 

Capability development & debriefs

We help clients develop their own capability, systems and processes to prevent and manage future issues and crises. You might call on this as a capability assessment, crisis simulation or media training for your Board, CEO, leadership or response teams.

Debriefs help you capture learnings and improvements post-crisis, while the experience is fresh and before skills dull, and take those forward into improved plans, sharper skills and better future responses.

Remediation

Reputation risk remediation programs fix reputation problems, and help teams and organisations become more resilient to risks.

This often means changing processes and behaviours, and developing new skills. 

We work with Boards, CEOs, leadership teams and corporate affairs teams to reduce future reputation risk and to rebuild stakeholder trust when it's been breached.

Our Services

Live situation management

In live issues we conduct a fast-tracked situation analysis to establish a fact base and an initial assessment of your reputation risks. Within hours you’ll have insight to the most urgent and important issues, a ‘red flag’ report of priorities, identified your primary goals, and have a live dashboard to monitor and track real-time developments.

When needed we become your live management team until the issue is under control or concluded. This might include an immediate first line response and live support from our crisis management experts.

Our live issues management gives you immediate access to 24/7 on-call crisis and issues management advice or a response team, real-time monitoring and media and social media management.

For smaller issues we provide single issue on-call advice.

Reputation risk reduction

Our reputation risk reduction process establishes a strong base to prepare for known and predictable issues, and to prevent them. This work guides your response and decisions in live situations, and reduces enterprise reputation risk longer term.

It includes a detailed assessment of your environment, content, stakeholders and history to identify existing, emerging and potential reputation risks. Often reported to management and investment committees via an audit, this work helps reduce overall execution, stakeholder and reputation risk, and informs investment decision and strategy.

We often develop an issues and crisis playbook with messaging, materials and principles to guide your management and communication actions, while building the base for longer term or more proactive stakeholder engagement.

In high stakes matters the playbook includes holding statements, Q & A, media engagement, the fact base, chronology and possible forward paths, stakeholder analysis, detailed action plans and a range of communication materials by stakeholder.

Scenario planning, crisis simulation and capability development

Almost all crises are predictable. Some will be preventable, others will be materially better managed with preparation. There are crises that hit with little warning, where well-prepared and trained teams respond better, and achieve better outcomes, than their less capable counterparts.

Our crisis communication experts help you plan, prepare for and simulate likely scenarios and issues before they happen to build you team’s capability and increase control in a live situation.

Mapping out crisis scenarios enables better, evidence-based decisions and informed intentional actions and reactions when an issue becomes reality. It allows your organisation to develop a plan and determine messages in advance, so that you can respond quickly and effectively to sensitive events and address situations proactively – tipping the odds in your favour of emerging with your reputation intact.

Scenario planning
Scenario planning explores alternative, often 'black hat' or black swan, futures. It helps prioritise preparation based on likelihood and severity of impact. We look at external and internal forces, overall strategy and priority actions to manage the scenario or stop it ever occurring. We also document the criteria for an incident to qualify for certain escalation scenarios, the people responsible for managing the issue, processes for dealing with the incident and tools you'll need at your disposal (e.g. from basics like a media protocol and contact list to alternate response paths).

Crisis simulation
Best practice crisis and issues management includes training and rehearsal, because without it, your crisis plan is little more than words on a page.

Crisis simulation allows you to test your crisis plan, and your response team, in a controlled environment. It helps you identify potential gaps, iron out process issues, and see risks that may have been missed.

By running desktop simulations (a theoretical run-through of the issue) or live simulations, or a mix of both, we help you test your readiness for known and unknown issues. 

Second opinion services and confidential advisory

The BlueChip crisis team provides 24/7 on call availability for crises and PR issues. We also provide advice and second opinions on external or internal strategic decisions.

We deliver value in the form of an objective view and an outsider's perspective when dealing with difficult decisions, complicated issues and the specific stakeholders in superannuation, insurance, asset management and other financial services sectors. Our expertise is specifically in these finance sectors, which means we are able to apply insights accumulated from hundreds of crisis and PR engagements to help you analyse the problem, evaluate options and work out a plan forward.

Case Studies

Explore our work

How we helped BOC Super respond to mounting criticism with clarity and confidence

More here

Protecting one of Australia’s largest insurance underwriters from an attack on their industry

More here

Helping a client rebuild after the Royal Commission

More here
Explore our work
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