Oct 2001- Article 2
DBS BANK'S PUBLIC RELATIONS FIASCO
And now for something local....
In August, financial advisors of DBS Bank's bid to take over OUB were shown to have circulated an inflammatory document. In this document, the rival bidder for OUB, UOB, was accused to have strong family ties an unobjective decision-making management. They were described as a " combination... designed to keep family control intact without regard for shareholder value'.
DBS apologised profusely and paid the two aggrieved banks $2 million in total. A complete distancing from these statements and an explanation of how this could have happened was also given.
DBS Bank committed a major PR boo-boo but when confronted, recovered adequately. How? They:
1) acknowledged the ' offence' and apologised swiftly and unreservedly
2) made reparations
3) made sure the media gave due coverage to these reparations
LESSON: If all else fails and you have truly gone wrong, saying " We/I am sorry" can go a long way to recovering one's situation. The least it can do is to allow the organisation to move on. Unfortunately, many government and private organisations seem to find it very difficult to say so!
EXERCISE: Do you have a crisis communications plan? If not, when do you intend to implement one?