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True stories, armchair detectives and crisis management – oh my! 

Richard Gadd’s bravery in telling his story via his Netflix show, Baby Reindeer, has inspired and gripped the nation in equal measure. But what happens when the drama spills out of the screen and into real life? 

Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) in "Baby Reindeer."NETFLIX

With internet detectives ruthlessly hunting for both ‘Martha’ and the unnamed abuser, Gadd has been forced to issue a statement to actively combat what is becoming a ‘trial by internet’. 

Whether these statements will be enough to deter keyboard warriors or if legal action will be taken remains to be seen, but with the hunt gathering pace, the question of whether all PR is good PR is being put under pressure.  

While most businesses won’t have to deal with a publicity nightmare on this scale, it serves as an important reminder to have a crisis management plan in place should things go wrong.  

Navigating statements, media interest and online pushback can be daunting, so we’ve put together a quick, three-step guide on what to do in the event of a crisis. 

  1. Act fast. When something goes wrong, it can be tempting to bury your head in the sand and pretend as if nothing has happened. However, this can add fuel to any fire – potentially allowing rumours to spiral out of control. By getting your story out there fast, you can get ahead of the narrative and keep the conversation based in fact. 
  2. Be honest. Errors happen, even with the best intentions. The important thing is to be honest and transparent about mistakes or failings, and clearly demonstrate points of learning. However, this can invite further scrutiny that business owners should be prepared for. 
  3. Update regularly. If the situation is developing, keep on top of your comms. Long periods of silence could start the cycle of rumour all over again, so transparent updates should be shared when available. 

The intense interest around Baby Reindeer shows the importance of having a crisis management plan in place. Whilst we don’t yet know how this particular story is going to end, businesses should use this opportunity to make sure that their crisis comms are up-to-date. 

If you want to find out how we can help your business put a crisis management plan in place, get in touch with our expert team today. 

Image Credit: Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) in “Baby Reindeer.” NETFLIX


Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) in "Baby Reindeer."NETFLIX

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