CBC is 15 years old!

We’ve just celebrated our 15 year anniversary at CBC in style with a full day of events with all of our employees…even those from France and Italy flew in for the occasion! We had bucks fizz and tasty pastries in the morning whilst we reflected on our best moments, then headed off onto the streets of Guildford for a treasure hunt – boys vs. girls – the girls won  Then we finished up the celebrations with a lovely lunch in the Rumwong on Guildford High Street. A lot of you spotted our tweeting and online competitions with the questions from the treasure hunt – well done to the winners!

It’s hard to describe how much the PR industry has changed since CBC first opened, and it was great to have the opportunity to look back and see how much we have achieved as a team. We have contacts locally, nationally and internationally for PR as well as in the media, all to better service our clients. We’re also an Investors in People accredited company.

And for the local Guildfordians reading, you may wish to ponder some of these questions…let us know what you think the answers are in a tweet to @PRexpertsUK or as a comment below!

-Which town is Guildford twinned with?
-How high did the big flood of Guildford reach on the Yvonne Arnaud theatre’s wall?
-Who was Mayor of Guildford on 5th February 1902?
-How many books is the Surrey Scholar in the High Street carrying?

Lessons from ‘The Blackberry Crumble’

No doubt you will be aware of the technical problems that Blackberry has had this week – millions of Blackberry users across the globe have been without the now famous… or infamous (if you believe that it was the cause of the recent rioting in the UK’s cities) BBM (Blackberry Messaging), email and internet since lunchtime on Monday.

Nearly 4 days on, the Blackberry service is said to be improving…4 days and people are still struggling with their services, surely unheard of for a Comms company! But what has Blackberry and RIM (Research In Motion – the company behind Blackberry) done in the meantime for its customers?

Well, it seems like communication and customer service haven’t been the top priorities… with 1 relatively uninformative tweet hours later on Monday evening from Twitter account @Blackberryhelp saying “Some users in EMEA are experiencing issues. We’re investigating, and apologise for any inconvenience”, and just minimal updates further to this.

What should Blackberry and RIM have done in this situation? Working in PR, we know that mistakes happen, and technology no matter how advanced and popular can fail sometimes. It’s part of life and the nature of business. What sets you apart, however, is how you react to any problems – it’s your crisis management skills and subsequent communication with your customers that really matter.

In crisis management a company has to be available, communicate often and transparently, to say what the crisis is and how it will prevent it reoccurring. RIM appears to have been in a panicked denial, and failed in all areas. Communication to customers was not good and contained industry jargon which teenage users would not have understood, and it did not put up a press spokesperson for comment at all. The problem happened which is bad enough, but sometimes how you deal with that problem and make things better is what really can save your company’s image and put right the damage done to your brand.

If you’re a struggling Blackberry customer, check the Blackberry service update page for any service changes, and if you’re interested in hearing more about Crisis Management, contact us via info@brookscomm.com or +44 (0)1483 537890.

Keep an eye on @PRexpertsUK and @UKmarketingUK for PR tips and our take on business news!