The course that we design and deliver for you will identify and test the following elements of your organisation, all of which could be affected by a crisis:
Testing your crisis communications operation
Your message might be spot on but let’s take a step back. What happens if an incident takes place at 3am on Thursday or 2pm on Sunday? Who would inform whom? Do your switchboard, customer service people and security staff know what to say? What happens to your website in a crisis? One holiday company, for instance, which was struggling with the death of customers was, according to its site, still sending people to the country where the incident took place. We’ll work with you and your PR consultancy to develop your internal crisis communications strategy.
We’ll put your senior team through a series of realistic crisis interviews – the kind that our experienced media trainer/journalists do regularly during their day jobs. We’ll then help you to assess who might be best for each situation and each medium.
Developing and testing your message
Saying the right thing is essential during a difficult event. One wrong word or a mis-judged phrase can turn a difficult incident into a crisis. Remember Tony Hayward, CEO of BP after the Gulf of Mexico disaster? He gave a decent interview about the situation to waiting reporters but then added that throwaway line: “I’d just like my life back.”
A casual comment but it was devastating, nonetheless. During our crisis communications courses we work with organisations to develop and test key messages, statements and lines to take when things go wrong.
Handling media enquiries.
A key part of our crisis communications courses involves helping the Comms team, the PR consultancy and the senior management to handle the avalanche or media enquiries that they might well be subjected to in the event of a crisis. Our media trainer/journalists are used to ringing press offices and switchboards as well as camping outside organisations’ head offices and even the homes of their senior managers. We help clients to handle this intrusion and aggressive behaviour. We’ll look, too, at the increasingly important role that social media plays.