Ketchum Event: There’s no such thing as a public relations crisis

Ketchum Event: There’s no such thing as a public relations crisis

I’ll be joined by colleagues and communication directors from Coty, HMRC, HPE, International Rescue, and Sage for an event on crisis communication in London on 27 June.

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Social and internet fuelled news media has heightened our sensitivity to crises, especially for those at the front line of communications within an organisation.

Our view is that there is no such thing as a public relations crisis but that good public relations is the best way for an organisation to manage a crisis event.

A crisis occurs when an organisation is faced with a disaster or emergency and needs to carefully manage its relationship with the public and all other relevant stakeholders to maintain confidence and trust.

Issues are no longer contained by geographic borders. Consequently, crisis preparedness must sit at the heart of international organisations and any location around the world must be equipped to manage a response.

The best defence is monitoring, planning and bringing together a team experienced in front line communication and ongoing reputation management.

The role of PR in managing a crisis

The Ketchum Creating the Difference event will explore the role of public relations in managing a crisis event. We’ll cover competency and preparedness, addressing multiple stakeholders during a crisis, and post-event communication.

The format for the event will kick off with a keynote by Ketchum London CEO Jo-ann Robertson. Her view is that a crisis event can often appear more severe than it actually is due to the ferocity of social media. Analytics is critical to making sense of noisy media environment, and a combination of experience, skill and process is crucial to dealing with a crisis event.

Jo-ann will chair a practitioner panel of Ketchum crisis experts who will explore the tension between planning responses for every eventuality versus building preparedness skills and expertise within a team as a learned behaviour. Our panellists include:

  • Erin Salisbury, Senior Account Director, Research & Analytics
  • Jamie Robertson, Managing Director, Corporate Reputation
  • John Bradbury, Partner, Global Issues & Crisis Management

Case studies from communication directors

We’ll hear from a second panel of communication directors from Coty, HMRC, HPE, International Rescue, and Sage, about their preparedness and processes for managing crisis communication. This will include:

  • Anna Lucuk, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Coty
  • Emmanuel Fyle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Mark Mann, Head of Communications for the Customer Compliance Group, HMRC
  • Laura Kyrke-Smith, Director of Communications, International Rescue Committee
  • Sally Moore, Communications Director, Sage

The event will be conducted under the Chatham House rule to facilitate candid conversation and information sharing.

The evening starts at 6.00pm for drinks and canapés followed by the main event starting promptly at 6.30pm.

This has been a fascinating event to pull together. We’re lucky be joined by such a fantastic group of practitioners.

If you work for a brand in communications, marketing or public relations I suggest it’s an event not to be missed. I'm travelling this week but please let my colleague Jane Phillips know if you'd like to come along.

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