Top Tip: get the bad news out soonest and make it personal

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis made the right choice today: admit publically bad things have gone on and talk about them. The lesson is: do not hide from the bad news in corporate communications and respond quickly and personally from the top.

That’s your pension going down

The profits may have been overstated by £250 million. The result in one day was: £2.2 billion off the share price; shares down 11.6%; and 4 executives suspended.

Compare this swift communications response to that of the Coop Group. Silence there, rather than good communications.

He’s new: so dump the bad news as soon as possible

Lewis has an advantage: he’s new. Not on his watch, he can claim. And he may want to get as much bad news out to the public as fast as possible.

Here’s the lesson

But the lesson is there for corporate communications: act swiftly and make it personal from the top.  In other words, show that you are in command, even if the ship is in trouble.


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