Programme nominated for the Excellence in Communications Steelie Award 2023
‘Miracle of 135 Days’ is an inspiring story of resilience achieved through effective risk & crisis communication tools. Last September, one of our steel mills was pummelled by an unprecedented flood event that devastated our operations. Press reports estimated that
restoration would take a full year at the least. However, by putting our effective risk & crisis communication strategies to work, we pulled ourselves out of the damage and fully restored the steelworks in a mere 135 days. The communication strategies are rooted in
the principles of speed, transparency, sincerity, and continuity.
Speed: We coordinated a rapid communication response before the flood occurred. Right after our operations came underwater, we published daily breaking news stories to fight initial negative public opinion.
Transparency: To dispel rumours and win the trust of stakeholders, we kept internal and external stakeholders up to date on recovery progress with complete transparency.
Sincerity: An honest display of dedication from the leadership and compassion expressed to suppliers and customers helped us win the support of our stakeholders and foster solidarity.
Continuity: After the recovery work was complete, we continued to share our experience with our stakeholders and the general public by compiling documentaries, books, and whitepapers.
Our speedy, transparent, sincere, and continuous communication initiatives garnered support from both the staff and the general public. A total of 1.4 million people from our workforce, group affiliates and partners joined the recovery efforts. 151 organisations including customers, suppliers, civic groups, the National Fire Agency, the armed forces, and local communities came to our aid. They generously offered urgently needed supplies, e.g., submersible pumps, generators, food trucks. Our careful and emphatic communication approach created a genuine connection with our diverse stakeholders.
Our staff and the public were motivated to participate in our recovery effort, and we reciprocated by recognising their contribution through appreciation dinners and media campaigns. The experience set a powerful precedent of stakeholder engagement and highlighted the industry’s resilience and resourcefulness in the face of a crisis.