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Seminar on Enterprise PR Crisis Management in the Internet Era

Create Time:2024-06-24

On June 13, the Quality Brands Protection Committee of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (QBPC) Internet Committee (IC) held the first 2024 brand protection lecture on Enterprise PR Crisis Management in the Internet Era. The event was hosted by IC Vice Chair Jerry YANG. Lawyer Orange HE, Xunyue SUN, General Counsel of Xiaoxiong Electric Appliance Co., LTD., and Luping ZHAO, Associate Professor of the School of Communication at East China Normal University made in-depth presentations. More than 40 representatives from 31 QBPC member companies attended the meeting.

In his opening speech, Jerry stated that in the current digital era, the internet had become the core platform for enterprise operation and brand promotion. Due to the double-edged nature of the platform and the openness of the internet, the enterprises were facing both unprecedented opportunities and more complex and uncertain PR crises which tended to spread quickly with a wide range of consequences, and were more difficult to be controlled. He anticipated that the lectures could provide members with valuable insights and strategies.

Orange He explained her thoughts in terms of indirect competition relationship, invisible defamation and handling approaches. She said that one of the constituent elements of commercial defamation was constituting a competitive relationship, and a broadly defined competitive relationship meant "existence of association" or "behavior + damage + profit". On the question of whether the absence of naming could constitute commercial defamation, she argued that defamation of a specific object could be constituted by the appearance of a product, or by the directivity of a specific type of technology. Finally, she recommended strategies for dealing with two types of infringing objects, namely self-published media and direct competitors.

SUN then spoke on the topic of "Legal Culture Analysis and Information Cocoon Piercing in PR Crisis Management Internal Decision Making". He mentioned that the information cocoon put decision makers under limitation of legal culture. When dealing with PR issues, it was necessary to consider the difference between presenting information and evidence to the public and the adjudicating authority from the perspective of the social moral feelings, and fully count the social emotions and subcultural voices. At the same time, the early involvement by the company's in-house counsel was very helpful for the overall strategy development and risk control of PR crisis management. The decision making had to be based on an access to multi-channels and multi-angles information and consideration in order to pierce the information cocoon.

In the roundtable discussion, ZHAO expressed his views on the difference between public opinion and mainstream views as well as the application of AI technology in monitoring online public opinion. He emphasized that in the whole process of crisis management, a company should always focus on the four key points - people-oriented (fundamental position and values), comprehensive (dealing with the incident with an eye on the whole and the overall interests), timely (delivering the real facts to the public in a timely manner), and attitudinal (emotionally empathizing with the public). Orange said that there would be conflicts between law and social emotions in case of PR crisis, which a company should  weigh and strive to achieve win-win situation, It was a test of skills and experience. The ideal result of crisis management was returning to the initial state, rebuilding the community, and later determining the source of the crisis and then seeking solutions accordingly.

In the Q&A session, the speakers and member company representatives further discussed the correctness and practical application of the principle of "The innocent does not need to clarify the innocence". In the end, Jerry thanked the speakers again for their wonderful sharing and QBPC members for their enthusiastic participation.