Your organisation’s reputation is one of its most valued assets. But when a crisis hits it can be devastated in minutes. Some organisations never recover, others take years trying to re-establish their good name.
When something goes badly wrong corporate leaders need to be able to perform with the eyes of the world upon them. The first couple of hours are critical in establishing a media presence even though information may be scarce and the organisation itself may be traumatised by events.
The media spotlight may stay trained on your organisation for weeks and even months. Stamina then becomes the challenge. The media will not overlook a faux pas four weeks into the crisis because senior executives are exhausted. Spokespeople need to remain focused and disciplined as long as they are at the heart of the ‘story’.
We believe key spokespeople need to be prepared in advance to cope with the rigours of crisis communications. Our crisis communications training simulates a corporate disaster and coaches you through your response as the crisis unfolds.
We will help you formulate your initial message in the precious first moments of a crisis and to develop your narrative as more facts become available. And through practical exercises we will test your ability to stick to your messages in the face of tough journalistic interrogation.
But it’s not just about deciding what to say and when to say it. We’ll also help you identify who in your organisation should say it and perhaps more important, who shouldn’t.
In all circumstances we’ll help you to be clear, consistent and credible. And most important of all, human.
Some clients come to us when they are already in crisis, many give us a call when a difficult issue is simply looming. But most consider crisis communications training as an essential part of their strategic crisis preparedness plan. We think of it as an essential insurance policy so your spokespeople are equipped to cope when it really matters.
We know that most people learn best by doing rather than listening and that’s why our crisis communications training course offers a variety of practical exercises in which participants will be put through their paces. We offer training in all of the interview categories listed in media training but, for crisis preparation, we usually recommend a combination of the interview formats listed below:
- The ‘doorstep’ – how to avoid it in the first place but, if the worst comes to the worst, how to survive
- Television soundbite interview – encapsulating your message in 15 seconds and sticking to it
- Press conference – whether to hold one, when you should and how to manage it if you do
- Television live studio interview – dealing with difficult and unexpected questions
I had a baptism of fire on Wednesday evening, being interviewed for Newsnight. I was very glad to have had the session with you just a few days earlier and this helped me to approach the interview with a good deal more comfort.
Senior civil servant