Eurobike, Interbike PR and Crisis Management

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Thursday, November 02, 2006
By Yokota Fritz

My dad used to be in the Crisis Management industry before he retired. Crisis Management is the practice of staying cool, calm and collected when the stuff hits the fan.

The secret to Crisis Management is to have a plan before the Bad Thing happens. What do you do when your company gets on CNN for all the wrong reasons? Having a plan on how you respond to the media beforehand has a major impact on how the public perceives your company. The Bad Things still happened, but how you handle the disaster and its aftermath is important.

Now on the scale of crises, a competing show hardly compares with a plane wreck or chemical factory explosion, but I'm sure this trade show news has the marketing wonks working overtime at VNU Expositions.

When Eurobike promoter Messe Friedrichshafen announced a new bicycle show to compete with Interbike, Interbike's reaction made me wonder if they had a contigency plan in place. They've put a positive spin on this news and leveraged Eurobike's coverage to get more media coverage on Interbike itself. There's possibly more news about Interbike in traditional media and the blogosphere now than during the actual trade show itself.

What do you think? Is Interbike handling this positively with their blog mentions and press releases?

Don't miss Masiguy's latest thoughts about "Port-o-Bike" over at Drink the Kool Aid.

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I think they are doing a great job actually. Not throwing stones or dismissing the show out of hand. Smart, I think. Rich Kelly is a great guy and has been saying some good things. They are in the "power seat" by having the premier show that is defending itself. If they manage it right, they'll be in great shape.
This was my initial reaction.

Using "bullyish" may be a bit strong in retrospect, but welcoming the competition in a press release seems over a bit over the top. Watch your competition, monitor their progress, but don't call attention to them and their attempt to erode your position.
The book Branded Nation talks about the way fast food stores and other businesses spring up next to each other; instead of competing each other into the ground, somehow it creates more demand, because more of the public perceives those businesses as places they have to go.
If it's played right, maybe it would work the same way. The existence of bicycles could permeate the consciousness of the babbling buffoons bumbling through their days.
Sue- I love that idea. I hope that you are right. That would be the best possible outcome.
Excellent point, Sue. Perhaps we're reaching a critical mass or tipping point where there's room for multiple trade shows in this industry?
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