Sterling and Wilson: How to react and safe reputation in the middle of the sanitary crisis

Summary:

In the middle of the coronavirus, a video went viral on social media where workers of a major mining company were caught in a gas station without wearing masks as a sanitary measure, being rebuked by one of the vendors. One of these people responded by coughing at her in mockery.

This sparked repudiation among the public on social media, and the news was published in various media outlets across the region and also escalated at the national level, leaving some health authorities to say publicly that they would be fined. Sterling and Wilson – a major mining company based in India – felt the impact this would have on its corporate reputation.

 

 

 

 

Strategies

The main criticism specifically on Twitter pointed to the lack of measures by the company to sanction these workers. Therefore, RumboCierto was reached out by the company and together a measure of transparent information and proactivity was adopted, demonstrating closeness to the population where the mine is located, despite the fact that the company and its managers are based in India.

Execution:

After requesting advice from Sterling and Wilson, all editors and journalists of the media outlets where the news about the incident was published were contacted by RCC to tell them that there would be an open communication channel.

Subsequently, a press release was drafted in India informing the suspension of the workers, highlighting the fact that the company rejects and sets itself apart from these events caused by the employees. Which was edited in Chile and attuned to what Chilean journalists needed to know.

This press release was sent to all media outlets that had already published the news. In addition, it was also published on social networks as a way of responding to people who wrote criticisms to social networks, responding individually one by one.

Two days later the company issued a new statement tightening the sanctions and reported that 3 workers had been dismissed. This statement was sent to the same media outlets and also published in response to the same social networks and to the tweets after the first statement. RCC reported to the customer all the posts and all new tweets that came out after the company’s two statements.

Results

Outcomes:

The first press release where the info was clarified was published in the nine media outlets where the news had originally been spread and went massively viral on Twitter. However, the second press release where the company’s ethical values were mentioned achieved further dissemination, with 10 more mentions appearing and in many more media outlets, the more outstanding among them being local digital portals that called RCC requesting the press release, national radio and television media outlets.

In fact, the national TV channel (TVN) released a story where they even showed the RCC statement. In all the publications, the company’s position rejecting the action was highlighted. Also, the statement was released by several twitter users. With the strategy, negative comments on social media were reversed, and most people appreciated the company’s determination.

Two weeks after the case, the incident is no longer discussed and the company’s reputation was impeccable.