Crisis Management
  First Great Western
  Ipswich Borough Council
  George Wimpey
  South Northants Council


Providing time critical market intelligence

The issue
An international company with interests in sensitive product areas was concerned about plans by a Burma-based pressure group to disrupt its operations; these appeared to be part of a broader campaign to embarrass the Burma government.  The threats included demonstrations at its offices and plants and at its high profile event agm, due to take place in London.  This event would be attended by the media, major investors and analysts. The damage could be immense.

The solution
When Mantra took the confidential brief, it recommended twice-daily alerts, covering new internet and media material appearing in the UK and the Netherlands.  Monitoring was carried out over a two-month period, leading up to, and immediately following, the agm.

Pressure group sites and online news-groups were monitored in order to provide a greater degree of insight into the activities of the pressure group leading up to the planned protests.

International and national press, along with key regional press and websites were tracked for output.

The result
Exact plans for the protests were identified and detailed to management well in advance of the agm.  This advance warning included details of a proposed and highly embarrassing photo opportunity, plus the exact wording of the messages to be released.  This gave the client the opportunity to formulate a well-prepared response.   This was to counter inaccurate comments and to balance valid but damaging assertions.

Mantra gained an advanced warning of a potentially damaging announcement by an unconnected international company that it planned to withdraw from Burma.  The pressure group claimed credit for this step and used it to leverage further pressure on the client.

The effective monitoring and accurate early warnings allowed client management to prepare response, which substantially defused the critical stories presented by the pressure group.  Consequently media coverage was minimal with little criticism and there were no concerns expressed by shareholder or analysts.

For reasons of commercial sensitivity, the client company cannot be named but the director of communication said that this monitoring and evaluation work provided company management with advance warnings that allowed them to manage both fair and unfair comment with the minimum risk to reputation.  Without this advance warning, there could have been uncontrolled media attention that could have severely damaged customer confidence and even the share price.

Copyright (c) 2006 Mantra International.
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