Expert Ideas, Tools & Musings
How good are you in a crisis?Amber Daines | 6 September, 2022
Every day we see large corporations making headlines for all sorts of crises. And sure, they have large-in-house communications teams, media savvy CEOs, and big budgets to pull in all the resources they need no matter the time of day or night, which is why they tend to get the stories on and off the front pages without too much drama or reputational damage.
But the truth is that smaller businesses are vulnerable to crises too.
Are you prepared if you’re faced with some emergency that needs you to front up to the media?
Manage the media, or be besieged by it!
I meet a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Inevitably on the journey of business growth, there comes the point where media training is a must. If not to make your in-house promo videos look more slick and professional … but also because when you start to gain brand awareness and media attention, you must manage your media attention well.
In a crisis, it’s imperative.
You might think that is not going to happen to you. Still, I have to warn you that the odds of you having actually to face the media at some point are higher than ever before, simply because these days, thanks to social media, multiple media platforms are available to anyone, at any time, 24/7 with a smartphone and an opinion to share.
We offer a range of different workshops, but one I often recommend to companies with smaller budgets is our crisis media training. Why? Because it’s comprehensive, the strategies and skills you and your team will learn to apply are applicable not only in a crisis but they will also serve you well in all areas of your external communications at any time.
What is crisis media training?
Crisis media training is not just about ‘fronting’ the media – it’s much more.
It is about ensuring you know how to answer questions and how to ‘lockdown’ the narrative so you can take control, protect the type of information you want to share, and mitigate the risk to your business reputation.
In a crisis, you need to strike a balance between being seen as competent and caring. Your organisational spokesperson/spokespeople need to come across as ‘in control’ and authoritative but also compassionate. This takes confidence and experience, and we aim to help you develop both in our crisis media training.
Our media training is designed specifically for:
- Is part of a crisis management team
- Manages the communication process for an organisation
- Is likely to be a spokesperson for the business, or
- Needs to understand the pitfalls of the media game.
- Everyone – from spokespeople through to frontline staff – will leave equipped with the skills and knowledge to manage the media in response to an unexpected event successfully.
Be prepared – the media waits for no one
The best time to do crisis media training is now – well before a crisis arises. Businesses need to be prepared for the unexpected, mainly because the media won’t wait for you to get your act together when you’re in the middle of a disaster.
What’s more – if you don’t respond immediately, you can do even more damage to your reputation. Audiences can be unrelenting when they want answers they don’t think they’re getting. There is a great need to be open and take the lead and control the story.
Develop a crisis management plan
Our crisis media training will also allow you to develop a media crisis management plan should you ever need it. This is an excellent exercise because it will make you think about the potential risks and threats you might face and how to work effectively as a team in a real crisis. This includes such core competencies as practical, hands-on issues management and crisis control, the best possible ways to prepare – what to think about – and reputation management – displaying grace and confidence under pressure.
What you’ll learn
The training simulates real scenarios and uses role-playing to give you real experience, not just the theory. The significant difference between what we can offer is my expertise as a journalist. I know how the media works. Importantly, you’ll walk away with a clear understanding of how the media works in a crisis. During my time as a television journalist, I saw companies that do crisis management well, and some that have done this very poorly. I can help you to develop the skills to minimise the impact of any potentially ‘bad’ news and protect your reputation.
The training will also help you to understand other important aspects of clear communication, including:
- Understanding your audience
- Determining who should be your spokespeople and crisis management, team
- Developing key messages
- Knowing how to maintain control of media interviews, and
- Ensuring your side of the story is heard.
So are you ready? There’s no time like the present. Let’s talk about tailoring a workshop for your core team.