Jim Preen, head of media at Crisis Solutions, runs two complementary crisis communication planning courses; one promotes an understanding of crisis communications in all its forms, the other is crisis media training.
Jim is a former journalist who worked at ABC News. (The US network) He was with the US Marines in Somalia, covered the Concorde crash in Paris and the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk near Murmansk. He also covered the first Gulf war and the Bosnian conflict. He won two Emmys – America’s highest television award – one for a story in Kuwait after the first Gulf War and one for a Clinton/Yeltsin summit in Moscow.
This crisis public relations course is calibrated according to the experience of the delegates. It looks at communicating with the media, communicating with internal audiences, how to write and update a crisis communication plan and the importance of staying in touch with the public mood.
The course covers the following topics:
IS THIS A CRISIS OR ARE WE JUST HAVING A BAD DAY?
This session determines the different types of crisis. It also identifies an organisation’s exposure to possible crises and potential damage to reputation and brand. It will help identify priorities and subsequently allow you to develop a sustainable crisis communication plan and media strategy.
CRISIS COMMS AND THE NEW MEDIA LANDSCAPE
This is a wide-ranging look at companies and individuals who have been caught up in a media storm. Particular attention is given to digital media. Brief case studies include: Talk Talk data breach, Tesco horsemeat scandal, the BP oil spill and Samsung Galaxy Note 7 product recall.
HOW TO WRITE A CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
Based on his book ‘Business Continuity Communications’ Jim leads a session on writing or updating a crisis communication plan. He looks at plan layout, activating a crisis comms team, their roles and responsibilities, how to run a successful press conference and the importance of prepared press statements. He also covers: call takers, media monitoring, websites, third party advocates and much more.
A crisis can strike at any time and can take many forms. Overcoming a crisis will test your public relations strategy to the full. In today’s world of 24-hour news, perception is everything. Your corporate reputation may be in excellent health, but it will come to nothing if crisis PR is not managed effectively.
Here’s the problem; most senior executives now accept that in a crisis they may be called on to face the press, but to appear composed and in control in front of a camera requires training. The C suite have tight schedules which don’t allow much training time. For this reason, Crisis Solutions suggests short intensive media training sessions of no more than two hours.
Prior to the event, Crisis Solutions will produce two credible news stories (one proactive, one reactive) on which to base the interviews.
The training starts with an overview on how to give a successful interview and analyses the importance of key messages, sound bites and the differences between live and recorded interviews.
An emergency issue has arisen and you have been asked to speak to the media on behalf of your organisation. You must determine how to deliver persuasive answers to media questions and convey your key messages.
You wish to raise your company’s profile in the press and, as an example, are asked by the BBC for comment on a financial story currently in the news. How do you make the interview interesting and ensure your contribution is reported?
All interviews will be recorded on camera and are subsequently analysed and guidance given until tangible improvements are made.