Why So Quiet?

by Kim Taylor

Did you catch this post last week from my business partner Dan Ward?  He offered quite a rebuttal after reading another communicator’s suggested strategy for communications in the wake of Target’s enormous security breach.

A day later, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus took to Twitter indicating they too had been victims of a breach.  They shared just two messages:


While the number of affected appears to be vastly different, so has the effort to inform customers.  Unlike Target, Neiman Marcus has said nothing beyond their initial statement and tweets.  No message from their CEO Karen Katz, no additional Tweets (although they’re all about spring fashion and Golden Globe style), no response to angry Facebook posts (unless you’re asking for a store near you).



Some customers are even offering PR advice …


Neiman’s blog is alive with the store’s favorite looks from the Golden Globes, but again, not a single mention of how the store intends to deal with breach.

In the wake of a crisis, here are five steps to get any organization started:

  1. Open your crisis communications plan and assemble your crisis team (if you don’t have such a plan, get started now … the time to plan for a crisis is not when you’re in the middle of one)
  2. Gather the details and information (answer Who, What, Where, When, Why and How)
  3. Identify and prioritize your key audiences (that’s more than just your shareholders; employees, customers, vendors, media and others need to know what happened and what you’re doing about it)
  4. Prepare key messages and plan for dissemination of those messages (what are you going to say, how are you going to say it, when are you going to communicate and where?)
  5. Communicate (share what you can, answer the questions you know and promise to research answers for those you don’t, demonstrate your concern, and by all means, don’t stonewall)

With so many communication tools at their disposal, why do you suppose Neiman Marcus chose to say so little?

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