DAYTON, OH: LexisNexis is strengthening its internal and external communication efforts in the wake of a security breach at recently acquired company Seisint that could have exposed the personal records of 32,000 individuals.
Seisint is a provider of information management tools that give access to names, addresses, social security numbers, and driver's license records.
Mary Dale Walters, VP of global marketing and communications for LexisNexis, said the primary concern was to be the first to speak publicly about the situation in North America following parent company Reed Elsevier's statement to the London Stock Exchange on March 9.
"[We wanted] to get as much out as possible that we knew and that we could reveal due to the investigation," she said. LexisNexis CEO Kurt Sanford was made available for interviews with business and consumer media.
The company was also working with its AOR, Creative Response Concepts.
Walters said LexisNexis had the advantage of watching competitor ChoicePoint's response last month to a similar security breach. "We spent a lot of time going through the media coverage...seeing what mistakes they made and what we could do better," she said.
A ChoicePoint spokeswoman declined to comment.
Walters said that any customers possibly affected would be notified. There have been internal communication efforts as well. Walters said the company addressed employees and provided salespeople with a sample Q&A so they can respond to client inquiries about the issue.
Brenda Wrigley, an associate professor of PR at Syracuse University, said LexisNexis also needs to inform its customers of technological improvements it will make to prevent a similar situation.
"An apology alone is not enough," she said. "It's just the beginning of a series of things that need to happen."