Brokers could use good PR: expert
Effective communication can minimise reputational damage and reduce the impact to the financial – and reputational - bottom line, says a Kiwi PR company boss.
Peter Heath of Due North PR says he has already met with one leading player in the insurance industry to create a ‘full service’ crisis response and recovery package for its clients, as have two other PR firms that he knows of.
Heath says it is ‘fantastic’ that the insurance sector is recognising the need for professional crisis response and recovery management, he says more industry professionals need to get on board with it.
“I think people have started to expect organisations to respond in a particular way when something goes wrong,” he told Insurance Business.
“They’re starting to be able to tell when organisations are doing it well and when they aren’t. Doing it well can protect the bottom line, not just the financial bottom line but reputational capital.
“And bad or ineffective communication can exacerbate the damage,” he added.
Heath said crisis communication was not a new thing but the evolution of this public awareness added to the highly competitive arena of branding in a global market had raised the importance of having something in place ready to go.
The growing incidence of data breaches had served to heighten that need, he said.
“Reputational capital can be lost in one morning. And data breaches seem to be crystallising this as people seem to react on a much more visceral level.
“Insurance companies are starting to realise a lot of companies especially in the SME space don’t have access to those resources.
“So they’re saying buy our package and we will include in it a certain level of public relations support and if you need more you’ll have to pay for it yourself or they’re saying if you buy our package it includes a PR support that we can introduce you to and that we recommend.
“So that’s where the change is happening and it seems to be across the board – PR companies are having these discussions with insurance companies, underwriters, loss adjusters, the whole range of services.”
Heath recommends that brokers find out from their clients what their exposure is to the kind of risk that might undervalue their public profile and advise accordingly.
“Find out if they have insurance cover for that activity and risk and be aware there are products on the market and shop around,” he said.