In a crisis, Optus appears to be ignoring Communications 101

8 Nov 2023

Millions of Optus customers are grappling with a nationwide network outage that commenced at 4 am. The initial response from Optus via an unnamed spokesperson on Facebook and X at 6.47 am AEDT lacked substantial information, merely confirming the network outage without details on the cause. At 10.30 am, the ABC managed to reach Optus Chief Executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin via WhatsApp, seeking clarification on the situation. In her response, Bayer Rosmarin apologized for the connectivity disruption, emphasizing the company's dedication to restoring services promptly. This incident marks the second time in just over a year that the telecommunications provider has lost control of its narrative, the first being a data breach affecting up to 9.8 million customers last year.

The article highlights the importance of a robust crisis communications plan, emphasizing transparency, honesty, and empathy as essential elements. It criticizes Optus for its response to the previous data breach, citing a delayed notification to affected customers and inadequate communication channels. The piece offers golden rules for effective crisis communication, urging companies to learn from past mistakes, prepare for media interactions, take control of the narrative, apologize and accept blame, demonstrate empathy, be honest, and bolster the company's positive track record.


Read the full article at The Conversation