Be ready for a crackdown on product recalls

In an effort to simplify and clarify responsibility over product safety, The European Commission is planning new regulations for all products aside of food and pharmaceuticals.

As part of the new legislation, the EU alert system, RAPEX, will be used to report any risks. The information on the RAPEX website is very public, as it has to be, and has the potential to cause huge reputational damage.  Companies will have to manage a lot of media interest in the event of a product recall, and the glare of social media activists.

The savvy will put contingency plans in place before a crisis happens. To make product recall more effective, every product must have a contingency plan and recall strategy for any potential situations, and that has to cover the mechanics of clear, transparent communications.

Whilst the new legislation attempts to improve consumer safety, it also offers both manufacturers and PR companies the chance to predetermine excellent crisis responses. Rather than have the panic of an unplanned product recall, contingency planning could be seen as an opportunity to improve crisis communications in the round.