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We Have A Problem: Crisis and Reputation Management in the Digital Age


ISBN: 978-981-09-8443-4
Authors: Woon Tai Ho, PN Balji, Eugene Quah, Keith Nakamura
Publisher: Candid Creation Publishing
Page: 192pp
Size: A5
Format: Paperback
Genre: Business & Economics/ Public Relations
Availability: All major bookstores



Certainties are few in business today. Unfortunately, one of them is the inevitability of crisis. If public opinion is not properly shaped and managed, a crisis can deliver a lethal blow to a company’s business and reputation. Skilfully managing the perception of a crisis determines the difference between a company’s life and death, because in the pitched battle between perception and reality, perception always wins.

Crisis communications and crisis management are terms often used but rarely fully understood. And in the era of social media, crisis is compounded by the entry of a loud and powerful player: the customer, the audience, or simply, the public. Yes, we have a problem, a big one. Fortunately, We Have A Problem is also a solution. Providing much needed clarity to crisis, this book uses five local and five foreign case studies to illustrate crisis communications and management at its worse and at its best. How have five whiny words by one of the world’s most successful CEOs, “I’d like my life back,” been thrusted into the pantheon of history’s other luminary, Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake,” as one of the most insensitive lines ever uttered in a crisis? What can we learn about media’s behaviour in the worst oil spill disaster in US history? What do you do when netizens expose your business secret: that you repackage another company’s soya bean milk and label it “freshly prepared”? How do you say sorry in action, not in words? A tale of two Tonys, the CEO of Air Asia and the CEO of BP: how was Tony Fernandez a leader, and how was Tony Hayward not?

A mind who fights battles in a court of law meets minds who fight battles in the court of public opinion. Together they dissect well-known local and foreign cases, presenting a book of crisis in its varied manifestations not seen before. Creator of Today newspaper PN Balji, founder of Channel NewsAsia. Woon Tai Ho, social media guru Keith Nakamura, and experienced litigation lawyer Eugene Quah reveal the most important secrets and strategies used to rescue companies in crisis, and discuss the opportunities lost by those who did not understand the value of speed and sincerity in this digital age. Why is removing a crisis from social media a bad idea? Why is it important to empower every member of your staff to prepare for crisis? How can getting legal endorsement ahead of time make or break a solution?

We have a problem. This book is our solution.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Singapore Airlines Flight 006 Plane Crash
  • Chapter 2: BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
  • Chapter 3: SMRT December 2011 Breakdowns
  • Chapter 4: McDonald’s Social Media #McFail
  • Chapter 5: IKEA Singapore Horse Meat Scare
  • Chapter 6: Abercrombie & Fitch’s Discriminatory “Look Policy”
  • Chapter 7: Unethical Shop Practices in Sim Lim Square
  • Chapter 8: AirAsia Flight 8501 Plane Crash
  • Chapter 9: BreakTalk Controversies
  • Chapter 10: Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
  • Afterword