Success Stories

Industry: Energy, Steel & infrastructure
Type of Work: Reputation protection
Restoring stakeholder faith with trust-led communication
The Client

The Group is one of Asia’s leading conglomerates, with businesses spanning multiple verticals including steel, shipping and energy among others. The group had undertaken a major debt restructuring exercise and was looking to sell off some of its key assets as a part of the overhaul.

The Challenge

Global and domestic investors were keen to invest in the Group and had expressed serious interest in acquiring the assets on sale. However, the group was facing crises on multiple fronts: regulatory, human resources, financial and operations. Many of these crises were a result of tremendous media and market speculation. This led to a trust deficit between the company and its ecosystem comprising of media, employees, investors and regulatory authorities. Consequently, stakeholders were concerned and potential investors casted doubts on the group’s ability to deliver results.

The Solution

Rite KnowledgeLabs was engaged to understand the crisis communication at the Group and restore stakeholder faith in the enterprise. The communication approach had to be multi-dimensional – addressing the concerns of various quarters simultaneously and consistently. The strategy needed to be implemented on a war-footing because “hearsay” was causing the group to rapidly lose goodwill among customers, the support of its employees and confidence of the investor community.

The Approach

Rite Knowledge Labs crafted the group’s communications strategy with a three-pronged approach:

  • We audited the group’s existing communication vis-a-vis the on-ground truths. Bridging the gap between the two was foundational to our communication strategy.
  • Based on our findings, we advised the group to build a communication portfolio which dispelled the speculations, highlighted the group strengths and provided a clear path forward for mergers and acquisitions. A special focus was on media and analysts.
  • Through analysis of financial statements and research of stakeholders and factory visits, the key strengths of the group vis-à-vis technology & innovation, state-of-the art plants, a pan-country retail network for energy distribution, professional management team, etc. was identified.
    These message points helped deflect the noise around financial instability. It built a genuine case for the group that had fallen in tough times due to macro-economic commodity cycle downturns rather than any promoter-led issues.
  • Powerful content narratives that were of interest to key stakeholder groups like media, analysts and employees were developed and shared across digital and print platforms.
THE RESULTS

Rite Knowledge Labs efforts contributed in building a sense of genuine appreciation for the positive aspects of the group and an empathy led approach for the recent hardships. The overwhelming negative news feed was curtailed with fair mix of positive deeds and strengths of the group during this period. The group was able to successfully conclude the said deal whereby one of its key businesses got acquired by a global major in similar space, leading to reduction of significant group debts and timely payment to creditors.

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