Mitigating a media crisis
About a month ago, I got call from a good contact of mine in the corporate arena who had recently been appointed as communications executive of a well-known local organisation. Desperate for some advice, he told me about the threat to his company of a newspaper story which he was told by the reporter - in no uncertain terms - would do a great deal of damage to both his and his company's reputations.
It took a few minutes to calm him down - quite understandably, as this was the dream job he had been working towards for years.
Taking the time to brainstorm and examine the imminent crisis from various angles, we attempted to analyse each allegation on its own merit, and asked the one key question that really mattered: Was there any truth to the story?
Once we determined an answer to that, we chatted at length about the time the company had to prepare a response, and whether any new information would be coming to light over the next few weeks.
This story has since blown over, overtaken as these things usually are by other more newsworthy stories. But the fact still remains: The crisis - although not earth-shattering by any means - certainly did some damage.
This intensive one-day Crisis Communication Training programme to be conducted at the client's premises, has been specifically designed to help you manage incidents before they escalate into potentially threatening media crisis situations.
Participants will be carefully coached on tried-and-tested methods to steer clear of potential media pitfalls. This includes adopting a clear crisis management strategy, appointing a specific team to manage the situation from start to end, and doing a realistic damage assessment before the crisis actually strikes.
Key components of the programme include:
• A detailed discussion of delegates' crisis experiences
• Guidelines for managing the media in a crisis situation
• Real-time case scenarios and seeing them though
Additional issues to be tackled during the workshop include:
- Anticipating disasters
- Anticipating media attention
- Handling interview requests
- Creating an effective platform to address the crisis
- When planning is the key
- Working out where you stand on the issue
- Being in the firing line
- Managing those tough questions
- Handling emotive issues
- Addressing community concerns
- Putting a positive spin on thorny issues
During this workshop, if requested, delegates may be taken through their paces in a variety of interview simulations, with a news cameraman on hand to film each "live" interview. This effective role-play coaching method goes a long way in providing each participant with a 'hands-on' opportunity to avert a media crisis - before venturing into the media minefield.
Janine Lazarus Media Consultancy
083 260 2458
25 Apr 2007 09:54