Media & entertainment tech

Avid crisis comms


The Challenge

Turning a Hollywood disaster into a PR win

Avid is a provider of platforms and workflows that help users create, manage, store, distribute and monetise film, TV and music content, with its comprehensive tools used for many of the most watched and listened to media in the world.

In September 2019, entertainment industry publication Variety published an article reporting that the Mac workstations of film and TV editors using Avid Media Composer editing software were crashing and refusing to reboot. The glitch was reportedly bringing production to a halt on Hollywood movies and popular TV series like Modern Family.

The news was quickly picked up by numerous national and international business and trade publications, with many naming Avid in their headlines and speculating wildly. Avid’s reputation, relationships with the editing community and wider media production industry, and stock value were all at stake.

The Results

Changing sentiment

Turned coverage sentiment from overwhelmingly negative (71%) to neutral (92%) within 24 hours – far exceeding the goal of 50%.

Getting through

Achieved 85% message penetration after we were able to confirm that Avid didn’t cause the issue – also exceeding the goal of 50%.

Turning the tide

Turned headlines in Avid’s favour. For example, from “Avid bug crashes Mac Pros across Hollywood”, to “Chrome bug, not Avid software, causes damage to MacOS file systems.”

Business impact

Mitigated the effect on Avid’s stock price, which fell from $6.24 to $6.06 within 24 hours of the story breaking, but increased to $6.19 a week later.

To support Avid and help turn the tide of negative media coverage, the lorries team was tasked with:

With the script written, it was time for lights, camera, action! We started by maintaining a regular stream of communication with US journalists covering the story while Avid was working behind the scenes to determine the cause of the glitch. We knew it would take time to get to the bottom of the problem, but wanted to keep Avid’s customers informed via the media with regular updates to maintain trust and transparency.

This was supported by UK team, which communicated with journalists in the UK and Europe. This enabled us to maintain regular communication with journalists and respond quickly to incoming media inquiries, despite the significant time zone differences between the US and Europe.

We also disseminated a video of Avid’s CEO and CPO acknowledging the problem, communicating their efforts to identify the cause, and explaining the steps customers needed to take to prevent the problem from happening. The use of Avid’s C-level executives served to demonstrate how seriously Avid was taking the issue.

Finally, we contacted all journalists who covered the issue asking them to update their headlines and stories as soon as Avid could confirm that it was in fact a Google Chrome update that was at fault. This helped to turn the tide of negative media coverage into neutral stories that made it clear Avid wasn’t to blame.

As a result, we met our goals, solidified our media relationships and earned high praise from the client. And Hollywood lived happily ever after. Roll credits.

Verwandte Arbeit