The manner in which Tiger Brands has handled the listeriosis crisis is a classic reputation management fail. As it lurches ever deeper into the crisis, earlier this week the company announced that it had recalled products from its Pretoria facility after Listeria monocytogenes were detected in its Value Added Meat Products (VAMP) brand. Tiger Brands has made few concessions to accusations that its Enterprise facilities are responsible for the listeriosis outbreak and has instead appeared to be taking the advice of legal counsel. However, even if legal counsel is advising caution with public statements and admissions of guilt, it should not be done at the expense of engagement and open communication with affected stakeholders and the general public, says reputation management specialist Lunice Johnston. This could – and should – have played out quite differently, says Johnston. “The textbook version of how to manage a crisis effectively remains the oft-cited Tylenol case study from 1...

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