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M. Crisis or Issues Management Campaign of the Year

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Winner
Campaign Title

HK Electric: From sorrow to support - handling the Lamma tragedy
Client

HK Electric
Agency

Nil

A HK Electric ferry was hit by another vessel off Lamma Island in Hong Kong on 1 October 2012. The tragedy claimed 39 lives, including seven HK Electric employees. It was the first time in its 123-year history that HK Electric had to address a crisis of this magnitude. A crisis management team was set up immediately to spearhead the company’s communications to its entire range of stakeholders. Public appearances of senior spokespeople announcing immediate financial relief for the deceased’s families were organised. The Hong Kong community was provided with outlets for grief and shock via memorial ceremonies, online tributes, religious rituals and donations. A 24-hour hotline was set up to answer enquiries from families, the media and the public. A budget of more than HK$1 million was set aside to pay for condolences and thank-you print advertisements, web page design for online tributes and counselling services. Efforts focused on relief and reassurance. The rapid, proactive and transparent response avoided the ‘blame game’ of grievances and complaints typical of such tragedies. A survey found 86 per cent said the company’s handling of the matter was at least satisfactory. A fund-raising campaign raised over $6.6 million for the victims. The company’s reputation was protected from inaccurate or negative allegations about the cause of the tragedy and treatment of the victims.

Certificate of Excellence
Campaign Title

McCrisis Averted – Defending a 3.15 Disaster
Client

McDonald's
Agency

Weber Shandwick

Every year’s March 15 is the day that CCTV airs its 3.15 Report to expose high-profile international companies that have infringed consumer rights. In 2012, undercover footage of a McDonald’s restaurant where staff failed to adhere to hygienic procedures was broadcast. Within 50 minutes, McDonald’s issued its first statement accepting responsibility and emphasising that the incident was an isolated event. In seven days, after a thorough internal investigation and reorganisation, McDonald’s reopened the store, with menu specials and discounts to show its gratitude to customers who remained loyal during the crisis.