Smelling of roses or drowning in crude oil? A point of view on managing environmental crises

Martin Langford (Kissmann Langford Ltd, Douglas House, 3 Richmond Buildings, London, UK)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Publication date: 1 December 2005


Scrutiny of corporate activity is greater than ever and there is no more active, or indeed, arguably, effective, campaigning force than the environmental lobby. A mismanaged environmental incident where an industry specialist's company or client is held responsible can do enormous damage to the specialist's reputation. Such crises stick in the mind and frequently have a much wider public impact than other corporate crises which are quickly off the public agenda. This paper examines the reasons behind this added impact of environmental crises, sets out the essentials for preparation and looks at how key principles apply to managing such a crisis and stresses the importance of working closely with third‐party experts in order to communicate effectively. It also demonstrates through a case history how an organisation can effectively work with an activist group.



Langford, M. (2005), "Smelling of roses or drowning in crude oil? A point of view on managing environmental crises", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 365-374.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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