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Crisis communications & Issues management

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Case study 1

A commuter ferry collided with the Devonport Wharf, Auckland injuring 17 passengers.

The company was inundated with interview requests and within 30 minutes of the accident, Julien Leys was called in to help the ferry company manage media enquiries and respond to the crisis.

Our role was to support the ferry company in managing intense media interest while they were also responding to the crisis at an operational level.

This was a rapidly evolving situation, with multiple points of “truth” and many sources contributing to the story. It was important that the ferry company were able to respond quickly, while demonstrating its concern for passenger and worker safety – and providing as much information to the media as it could.

We prepared key messages and distributed media statements for the ferry company, responded to media enquiries, monitored media coverage and supported the chief executive as he undertook a stand-up media conference and ongoing media interviews.

The final outcome was a well-managed response to a serious issue that allowed the ferry company to respond to the issue in a timely, responsible and open manner.

Case study 2

Pendulum Strategies provides media relations and crisis communications support for a major retail petroleum company in NZ. We have assisted them and provided counsel on a range of issues from supply chain disruptions, rising fuel costs and the impact of external geopolitical events such as the war in Ukraine.

On 29 February 2024, a nationwide third-party technical issue affected motorists across all fuel brands where they cannot pay for their fuel at some of the outdoor payment terminals.

We worked closely with the leadership team throughout the day to help communicate quickly and accurately what the issue was to both customers and the media. We helped develop key messages and media statements as well as handling all media queries and phone and radio interviews. We provided timely updates to the customers and media until the issue was finally resolved later that evening. 

It was an unexpected issue for all fuel brands to deal with that day, but with a swift and coordinated communications response, we helped our client maintain customer trust and minimised the impact on its reputation.

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