On April 21, 2022, Logos president Helio Fred Garcia participated in the inaugural Global Brand Convergence, a free online experience for higher education students, faculty, and professionals around the world in public relations and marketing. Garcia participated in a panel discussion on “Crisis in an Enduring Pandemic,” alongside renowned communicator and crisis advisor Dr. Guanpeng (Steven) Dong.
Conceived by Jacqueline Strayer, the Global Brand Convergence was designed to connect and create a community to share ideas, innovations, and concepts to advance them in the classroom and in the profession. The inaugural event boasted more than 500 registered attendees from 50 countries and 54 colleges and universities.
In their session, Garcia and Dr. Dong discussed lessons learned from of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled by the US and by China and several core principles and best practices in crisis response. Garcia and Dr. Dong have worked together in several capacities over the past 10 years, and in 2019 Dr. Dong was awarded the Logos Institute Outstanding Leader Award.
Watch the full panel discussion, moderated by Iliana Axiotiades here:
In addition to Garcia’s participation in the event, Logos Consulting Group was proud to be one of the sponsors for this annual event. To learn more about the Global Brand Convergence, visit https://www.globalbrandconvergence.com/.
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This week marks the start of the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
By the end of 2021 more than a half million Americans were catching COVID-19 every day. One in every six Americans had come down with the virus; one in every four hundred had died.
Much of this was avoidable. And we return from our holiday facing the latest surge and wondering whether it’s safe to reopen as planned.
COVID-19, Crisis Management, and Leadership
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has mounted the worst COVID-19 response in the developed world. In 2020 the American response was driven by incompetence, dishonesty, and neglect.
2021 began with a glimmer of hope, and by April – when vaccines became universally available – the daily death rate plummeted.
But by late June both vaccinations and masks became highly politicized and deaths began to soar again. By year end hospitals were at capacity; the overwhelming percentage of hospitalizations and deaths were among the unvaccinated.
But there is opportunity in every crisis. COVID-19 provides an active case study to learn not only about public health, but also foundational principles of crisis management. As the Greek philosopher Plato said in The Republic, if you want to understand something difficult, study the biggest instance of it that you can. Then apply those learnings to smaller matters. There’s no bigger crisis right now than COVID-19.
For decades in my crisis management practice, I have preached that the severity of an underlying crisis does not determine how the crisis turns out. Two organizations in the same crisis at the same time can have dramatically different outcomes. Rather, the timeliness and quality of the response determine whether or not an organization suffers a catastrophic outcome. Act effectively and quickly and the crisis resolves or plays out with minimal damage. Delay, deny, or dither and things get disproportionately worse.
It is uncommon for multiple organizations to go through the same crisis simultaneously. But COVID-19 is a crisis with which every organization around the world has been grappling. We now have experienced a kind of laboratory experiment of how different jurisdictions responded to the pandemic differently. We can track the different outcomes. We can learn from them. And we can apply those lessons, not only in the continued pandemic response but in future crises, as well.
Crisis Management Works
All the trends point to a common conclusion: Crisis management works. But only when we manage the crisis effectively. Failing to follow crisis management principles can have devastating consequences. There are four rules that lead to the successful resolution of a crisis:
Take the crisis seriously.
Take the risks seriously.
Mitigate those risks.
Act quickly: the longer it takes to mitigate the risks, the harder it is to do so.
We can see clearly how the death rates in different jurisdictions varied based on leaders’ adherence, or lack of adherence, to these rules.
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On July 1, 2021, Logos President Helio Fred Garcia was featured in Reputation America on crisis management strategies and steps for leaders to mitigate crises effectively.
The article excerpts a speech given by Garcia on crisis management. The article includes excerpts on how to define a crisis, types of crisis readiness, common crisis missteps, how to manage social media in a crisis, and how to ask the right questions in the right order to get through a crisis well.
“The biggest mistake is to attempt to improvise in the crisis and ask the wrong questions in the wrong order. Concern about how to deflect blame or protect one’s own job is not the best strategy in crisis communication management. Companies need to resolve the stress and be rigorous in managing crises,” said Garcia.
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