Social media is a valuable tool in getting your message across and communicating with customers and clients, but as this story has demonstrated, it can also be extremely damaging if something takes hold. We have used Primark's experience and response to develop three basic principles of how to handle a viral nightmare...
It sometimes feels that a week doesn't pass without a high profile example of business falling short of the standards expected by customers and wider society. In light of the tax controversy involving one of our biggest banks that continues to dominate headlines - this latest poll perhaps comes as no surprise.
Now I know what a steamroller can do. The last year has been the most dramatic and the most traumatic ever for the co-operative sector. For years, you wait for the mainstream business press to pick up on the potential of the co-operative model in today's more open and fluid world of enterprise, and then...wham.
The challenges of The Co-operative Bank and the furore around the role of the former chair, made co-operatives - businesses that are member-owned - an unhappy national news story in late 2013. Three months on and I feel that I can breathe again. But what difference did these high profile troubles make to the wider co-operative sector and the long-term reputation of our business model?
For those firms which misstep, fallout can be very damaging, both for the financial bottom-line and reputationally. However, for those which are pro-active and invest in their capability, the prizes -- both in terms of mitigating risk and seizing opportunity -- are potentially ever more significant.
Warren Buffett isn't often wrong. Yet he was when he said: 'It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.' Most reputations are severely damaged because an organisation has failed over many years to operationally live up to the high expectations set by their PR and marketing activity.