INTERNATIONAL: Bosses at comms conference tell of nightmare crises

AMSTERDAM: Corporate affairs bosses from some of the world's largest companies shared crisis PR experiences at last week's IPRA annual conference in Amsterdam.

Directors of comms and public affairs from giants such as Coca-Cola, Ford of Europe and Motorola told their tales from the emergency-handling quarter of the industry.

Highlights included an account of FTSE 100 group National Grid Transco's most uncontrollable crisis, involving a simple mistranslation.

NGT deputy group head of media relations Clive Hawkins said a comment by the CEO of a Grid joint venture in Brazil, attempting to explain that the firm faced difficult trading conditions, was misinterpreted as a profit warning. Panic spread among London analysts and heavily dented the share price.

The APCO-sponsored conference, with delegates from across Europe, was titled New PR Initiatives in Changing Times.

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