Issues management

We advise individuals and companies who find themselves embroiled in sensitive situations and require communications advice.

From a charity discovering an employee fraud, to a company subjected to regulatory enforcement action; from a law firm whose partner faced political scrutiny to a threatened exposé of a businessman’s sexual conduct; we have counselled such clients through the spectre of public disclosure.

In rare cases will a “no comment” approach suffice. The strategic aim is usually to explain, contain, adjust and move on. Careful preparation, realism and composure are key.

We offer:

  • rapid situation appraisal
  • scenario planning and preparedness
  • messaging and spokesperson advice
  • anticipation of how a situation might develop
  • recommendation of effective responses across all audiences
  • where relevant, a review of lines of command in pressurised times.

We work with clients’ lawyers in close conjunction with client senior management, their in-house PR and, where relevant, with Counsel. These mandates often require restraint, rather than pro-active external engagement – experienced PR judgment is invaluable.

Issues affecting reputation:

Regulatory Investigations
Individuals, financial institutions and companies seek Bell Yard’s advice on reputational aspects of regulatory investigations. We work seamlessly in tandem with the client’s legal team.

Criminal Investigations
In many such incidences the media clamour for information can be all-pervasive. Having immediate access to experienced advisors helps to alleviate pressure from the shoulders of management, family and friends.

Public Scrutiny
When politicians and campaigners get the bit between their teeth, supported by the press pack, there is clear potential for relentless scrutiny. Deft handling coupled with an unbiased situation assessment will determine how long you remain in their sights.

Professional Competency Concerns
Phone hacking, fee-padding, expense fiddling, discrimination, and private investigator use have put a few prized partners, as well as their partnerships, under reputational pressure. Whether advising in the background or taking a front-line spokesperson role, Bell Yard’s skill is knowing what to say, to whom and when in scenarios that are dynamic and legally charged.

Social Media Onslaught
Like many storms, when they strike, they can appear out of nowhere, hit hard and fast, worsen, cause havoc and then disappear leaving a medium-to-long-term mop up. Bell Yard works with specialist social media monitoring agencies to secure early notification of gathering discontent. Together we offer calm and experienced advice amongst the melee.

Online Exposure
The continued online existence of erroneous or prejudicial reporting can be problematic.   Where traditional PR methods might not apply, Bell Yard can advise on alternative means to minimize the visibility of such reports (perhaps using SEO & Right to be Forgotten Requests). Bell Yard works with digital experts to seek the removal from search engines of material that is considered “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant” or to otherwise distract from unwelcome content.

For support or further information please contact Melanie Riley or Louise Beeson to discuss.


See some of our reputation management experience here.