Valassis unveils crisis-management strategy

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Media and marketing services company Valassis said this week that it will offer clients a “rapid response” media-placement strategy for crisis response.

“We will talk to the client, identify the situation, understand the need, and identify targets and messaging,” said Larry Berg, VP of communications and GM of Valassis' newspaper and rapid response division. “We won't create the messaging, but we will find the right location to put your messaging. We will consult with you based on what you're trying to do based on what's in our media portfolio.”

Valassis will use a five-phase approach to help brands prepare for a crisis, alert consumers once the crisis has begun, communicate with and educate consumers about the crisis, rebuild reputation and loyalty, and reward consumers after the event has ended, Berg said. Clients can use the strategy during mergers and acquisitions to maintain and rebuild customer confidence, reestablish brand recognition, or to uphold public trust, the company said in a statement.

“When there's a crisis, there's always a decision on how best to communicate, alert and educate consumers,” said Berg. “But once companies are finished with that phase, they often go back into their planning cycle.”

The company will use “hyper-local messaging” on local media outlets to help Valassis clients communicate with predetermined target audiences, the company said in a statement.

“Social media is the speed of now,” said Berg, in reference to how quickly brands must communicate during a crisis. “It allows consumers to communicate at a much faster pace than ever before, but it also allows companies to react at a much faster pace. Social media has heightened the need for a crisis plan and for a reward phase.”

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