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How We’ve Delivered Outcomes That Matter

Case Studies

SERVICES PROVIDED:

Management Advisory, Corporate and Financial Communications, Internal Communications, Media Training, Media Relations

Situation

This consumer-facing institution had come under deep scrutiny from a state regulator concerned about its business and marketing practices. An application to renew its license to operate had been denied pending further review and hearings. Making matters worse, the regulatory body had called for the organization to be closed and monies returned to \ customers if it failed to address the concerns in a satisfactory manner. The organization’s staff and customers were becoming deeply concerned about its future. The parent company itself was coming under attack from shareholders, the SEC and other federal bodies with regulatory authority in the sector. On the legal front, the institution was sued in a class action case. It also decided to execute an aggressive legal strategy and sued the regulator.

Problem

The communications response had been limited, and key stakeholders were demanding to know what was being done to address the problems and get the organization back on track. The local news media was particularly critical, and successive waves of negative news about the parent company entrenched negative perceptions. The case against the regulator was legally complex and difficult for stakeholders to understand.

Solutions & Results

Montieth & Company recognized that it had to create communication channels with key stakeholders quickly to help them understand the situation and what the institution was doing to address it. We set up a rapid response team on site and worked directly with management to create messaging for stakeholders. At the same time, we created a larger strategy to advance a broader understanding of the client’s legal position. We built a regulatory affairs strategy, and provided the CEO and his team with special training on managing in a crisis situation. Employee morale and customer loyalty improved. On the legal front, the client’s case succeeded, and the press brought more balance into its coverage. Ultimately, the client prevailed in its suit against the regulator.

SERVICES PROVIDED:

Management Advisory, Stakeholder Communications

Situation

A senior executive of a global real estate company became wrongfully ensnared in a bribery investigation and indictment in a Middle Eastern country. He was able depart before being arrest, but other parties were arrested and went to trial. The legal system was clearly prejudicial towards all defendants. While our client was able to carry on with his work and career, the news coverage – and the people who went to prison – created complex reputational issues.

Problem

When asked about the matter, our client provided a lengthy explanation drafted by legal counsel. While technically correct, it was not a persuasive explanation for what happened or that he was wrongfully accused.

Solutions & Results

Montieth & Company deconstructed the existing explanation, stress-testing and challenging it on all fronts. We needed to see the issues as our client’s target audiences would. We also needed information about the foreign jurisdiction’s practices to contextualize the explanation. We drafted communications analyses to help the client see the full complexity of the “optics” and address any question or concern. We then finalized a new draft of the explanation that he used successfully with business partners.

SERVICES PROVIDED:

Management Advisory, Investor Relations, Financial Communications

Situation

This high-tech company found itself in the crosshairs of an activist hedge fund with a long history of taking positions in companies and then capturing board positions and unseating top management.

The hedge fund fired the first salvo by upping its ownership and issuing a scathing press release criticizing management and the board. Neither the CEO nor his team had experience with such contests.

Problem

While the hedge fund’s criticisms were unfounded, the constant barrage of SEC filings and press releases had greatly distracted management. As new investors with significant positions – also from hedge funds – surfaced and joined in the attacks, pressure mounted on the CEO from the board to devise a response strategy. He needed to demonstrate to stakeholders that his stewardship was in their best interests. Uncertainty about how to respond led mostly to silence, which confused employees and investors.

Solutions & Results

Montieth & Company devised a response strategy to the three most likely scenarios in which the contest would unfold. This provided the CEO and his team a conceptual “playing field” for considering their options and taking action. Central to the strategy was for the company to be more aggressive and explicit in its objections to the hedge fund’s criticisms – an approach designed to protect the company’s stature and standing with stakeholders.

We presented the strategy to the board and enlisted their input and support. The company’s actions helped win stakeholder support for the eventual decision to sell out to a strategic buyer for a sizable premium.

SERVICES PROVIDED:

Management Advisory, Crisis Communications, Litigation PR, Investor Relations, Media Relations

Situation

A hedge fund defrauded by Bernie Madoff fraud was drawn into a true media feeding frenzy when the crimes were revealed. All fund managers with exposure were suspect, and new revelations seemed to appear every day in the news – along with speculation and inaccurate and simply incorrect information.

Problem

Our client was besieged not just by the news media but also by investors and regulators, some of whom assumed the worst. The first challenge was getting information about the funds’ exposure and the investors it impacted. The second was determining what, if anything, to say publicly, even though the “fact pattern” was changing almost by the minute. This situation prevailed for weeks following Madoff’s arrest as the media storm built into an international phenomenon.

Solutions & Results

Montieth & Company set up a war room on the client’s premises and seconded staff there around the clock. We didn’t rush to engage with the news media. Other funds had made early missteps, engaging before knowing all the relevant facts of their exposure, and had seen their reputations damaged. We put a priority on understanding our position – knowing the facts – before engaging and then engaged strategically to limit coverage.

For more information on our Case Studies please contact hello@montiethco.com