Airtel’s PR Director Provides Insight On Crisis Management
DIRECTOR of Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Emeka Oparah, has called on reputation managers and Public Relations practitioners to continuously engage and connect with their various stakeholders, stating that effective stakeholders’ engagement is a critical element in successful crisis management especially in the new communication world order ruled by social media.
Oparah, who urged communications executives to pay close attention to social media, stated that with the overwhelming influence of this new media, it is extremely important for media managers to adopt a proactive and robust strategy in managing its influence on stakeholders.
The Airtel Executive, who delivered a paper entitled Contemporary Challenges in Reputation and Crisis Management, recently at the Performing Arts Theatre, Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State as part of activities marking the 60th birthday colloquium for Dr. Wole Adamolekun, provided insights into how Airtel Nigeria managed its 2011 call centre crisis and a bomb attack on one of its flagship showrooms in Kano in 2012.
Speaking on the 2011 Abuja call centre crises, he noted that Airtel leveraged on its massive goodwill to engage all the various stakeholders. He, however, noted that without a clear social media strategy at the time, the telecommunications company briefly lost control of the crisis, which cost it significantly in reputation and financial terms.
According to him, the crisis management team, constituted by the management to address the crisis, was able to rebound due to the good relationship the company had built with its stakeholders including the traditional media, which aced the way for them to manage their concerns and expectations until the crisis was amicably resolved.
On the Kano showroom terror attack, he explained that notwithstanding the complicated security operations associated with such an incident, the company was able to do the needful including contacting all employees and their families, issuing regular communications, engaging the relevant stakeholders and ensuring that the disruption to its operations was minimal.