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Crisis Management Workshop

Our client, a professional services firm, has a strong and effective communication team. Like most successful organisations, it spends most of its time focusing on positive, pro-active communication rather than dealing with crises. Whilst that’s exactly what you would expect, it does mean that the team’s knowledge and skills in crisis communication can become a little rusty.

So, the communication director asked us to deliver a half day crisis management workshop to sharpen up the team’s skills in this critical area. Beginning with a round up of the latest cases and research, we shared best practice and some of the pitfalls to avoid.

Crisis simulation exercise
We quickly moved into a practical exercise with participants grouped in their areas of specialism – internal communications, external communications and digital. Each was presented with a scenario and tasked with developing their crisis communication response. Little did they know that each group was dealing with the same scenario, but from a different perspective. When their plans were reviewed by the whole group, the message was clear: crisis management is a team game and better outcomes are achieved when we communicate clearly and consistently across our stakeholders.

Crisis management team
The session concluded with a tactical decision making exercise (TDX) with the team challenged to make good decisions and communicate effectively under pressure as a crisis scenario unfolded. The exercise served to sharpen decision-making skills and allowed the team to rehearse decisions that might need to be made for real.

The event was described by one delegate as the best training session they had ever attended. One thing’s for sure, the team is better placed to handle a real crisis as a result of it.