Egg's media relations chief said plans had been in place for ‘several weeks'. Head of media relations Adrian Russell also revealed that the firm expanded retained agency Polhill Communication's brief to include crisis comms for last week's announcement.
The bank, which was bought by US bank Citigroup last year, sent letters to customers and produced a statement saying only customers it deemed to be a ‘credit risk' would be affected by the plan to withdraw credit cards.
The team also dealt extensively with journalists. The result was that the Daily Mail ran a full front page on the story, while other national newspapers ran sensational headlines. Follow-up articles told of senior MPs calling for inquiries into the bank.
‘We've had seven people in-house working on this, as well as extra staff from Citi,' said Russell. ‘We anticipated a customer and media reaction, but in terms of coverage, I think it has been balanced and fair. Our messages got through and were covered, but we knew this would be a negative story for some newspapers.'
However, he claimed: ‘If it was on the back page of PRWeek [in the ‘hit or miss' section], the campaign would be a hit. We came into this with our eyes open.'