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Crisis, issues & litigation


We help organisations around the world prepare for, manage and communicate around crises – to protect their people, assets and reputation.

When a crisis hits, we act fast. We offer a round the clock crisis response. We are always on hand to provide strategy advice and support. We can help in whatever way you need, whether that’s advice by phone, seconding someone to join your crisis management team, or providing more general communications support. Importantly, we can also help you prepare for a crisis by ensuring you have the right measures in place and training your team.

  • Strategy  What actions do you need to take, and how should you talk about them? We can provide senior strategic counsel for your leaders, and communications/media strategy support to your communicators
  • Press office  We can provide additional staff to join your media office
  • Spokesperson  We can act as your spokesperson for media conferences and interviews
  • Social media  In a crisis, social media becomes vital as a tool to communicate your position and as a way for stakeholders to engage with you. We can help you plan and execute your social media response
  • Content Development  We can prepare all the necessary materials: messages, Q&A, news releases, statements, speeches etc

We bring the knowledge and experience for how to prepare for all the necessary elements of effective crisis management:

It should be immediately clear who is needed for a crisis response, and what each person’s role is. Your people should also have easy-to-use tools on hand, ready to go when a crisis hits.

We can help your organisation prepare for crises:

  • Policy, processes and plans – the documents that define your response. It is critical to keep it simple and easily accessible, with every role aligned. We develop toolkits and check-lists to support every step of the way.
  • Crisis preparedness audit – to benchmark your preparedness, and offer advice on improving plans and processes.
  • Crisis management training – for executive teams and others across the organisation.
  • Crisis management exercises – to rehearse your organisation’s crisis response, from a simple plan walkthrough to a full simulation exercise.
  • Crisis Communication materials – key messages, Q&A, and briefing materials on the most serious and most likely scenarios.
  • Handbooks – to ensure your team have what they need, when they need it.
  • ‘Dark site’ – to deploy quickly when a crisis hits.
  • Digital readiness systems – to ensure smooth management of a crisis situation.
  • 24/7 on-call services – to make sure you are never alone when facing a crisis.

The idea of facing a crisis can be intimidating. Ensuring that your people are familiar with your organisation’s plans and processes, and giving them a chance to practice their response, is vital to ensuring your organisation is crisis ready.

To familiarise your team with how it feels to face a crisis, we run tailored, in-depth training sessions suitable for your Crisis Management Team, Crisis Communication Team, or functional teams (eg. HR). These are often coupled with crisis exercises, allowing your team the chance to rehearse their crisis response in a realistic, but contained, environment:

  • Crisis Management Training – to familiarise Crisis Management Team members, senior leaders, managers, and other staff with crisis best practice, your plans and processes, and their individual and team roles in a crisis. This training is tailored to the needs of the participants, pitched at the right level to convey the right information.
  • Desktop exercises – a scenario based discussion, allowing participants to walk through their crisis response in a controlled setting. Desktop exercises are suitable for single teams, or multiple teams practicing the same scenario.
  • Simulation exercises – we create a realistic-feeling crisis situation based on a credible scenario, using crisis actors, journalists and a social media simulator to bring the situation to life. Participants react to events in real-time, and undertake actions as they would in a real situation. The scenario is adapted as participants engage with the exercise to ensure that it remains challenging, and that learning objectives are met. Simulation exercises are suitable for single teams, or multiple teams practicing together in the same location, or remotely.
  • Process walkthrough – a simple walkthrough of a particular process or role (eg. Mobilisation test, logkeeper role etc.), to familiarise individuals and teams with their role in a crisis.
  • Crisis media training – aimed at anyone who may be called upon to engage with the media. The training includes message development, techniques for sticking to your messaging (Acknowledge, Bridge, Continue), one-to-one interviews, and press conferences. Participants will practice their interview technique as if with real journalists.
  • Crisis leadership training – generally run as one-to-one/small group sessions, this training introduces leaders to the challenges of leading a team during a crisis. Grounded in psychology, we teach how to approach and manage the intensity and stress of a crisis situation. This training is perfect as a supplementary training for the CEO, the crisis Management team leader, the crisis communications Team Leader, and those leading other functional or geographical teams.

Understanding the landscape in which you operate and challenges you might face will help you mitigate issues before they reach crisis stage.

We work with clients to understand, map, and break down potential issues and risks, and work across functions to identify mitigation strategies.

We deploy a range of stakeholder mapping tools to identify key influencers around an issue, providing clarity to your crisis prevention strategy.

We can help you understand your issue and stakeholder landscape:

  • Issue mapping – gain a clear understanding of risks and issues, and develop strategies to manage and mitigate.
  • Stakeholder mapping – know the key players in your sphere of interest, and develop strategies to engage them.
  • Netnographic stakeholder and discourse analysis – identify and quantify the influence of stakeholders around a particular issue, and understand how best to engage them to avoid issues escalating.

Communicating is one of the most high pressure aspects of a crisis response. Your response needs to be communicated internally and/or externally, and everyone involved in a crisis response is in some way responsible for engaging with stakeholders.

Whether it’s ensuring that your communications team have what they need and know what to say, preparing your CFO to speak to investors, or getting your CEO ready for a media interview, ensuring your people are prepared is the key to effective crisis communication.

We can help you prepare for and communicate around crises, issues, and organisational change in your local language:

  • Media training – prepare your spokespeople to deliver messages effectively, and with authority. All training is tailored to the participant, and can cover TV, Radio, and print media interviews, as well as media briefings and press conferences.
  • Change communications – map stakeholders, and develop tailored communication strategies to mitigate the impact of change on your organisation.
  • Live communications support (24/7 on-call service) – we act as an add-on to your communications team in a time of crisis, providing support across press office, media response, social media, internal communications and strategic functions, as required.
  • Crisis communication strategy  helping you set your course, and navigate a crisis situation to protect your reputation.
  • Crisis communication plans and processes – ensure your communications function is well organised to respond to a crisis – know who is required, and what they need to do.
  • Crisis communication playbooks – pre-prepared communications materials to ensure your team has what they need, when they need it – including Q&A, key messages and briefing materials on the most serious and most likely scenarios.
  • ‘Dark site’ – to deploy quickly when a crisis hits.
  • Crisis communication exercises  media and social media simulations to allow teams to rehearse their communications response.

Communicating effectively around ongoing litigation is more important than ever in this fast paced world of social media and 24 hour news.

Court cases can drag on for years, hitting the headlines again and again as each new development is revealed – damaging your reputation, and impacting relationships with key stakeholders.

With our in-house legal expertise, we can support you to understand, pre-empt and put in place a strategy to manage challenging litigation:

  • Issues and stakeholder mapping – litigation isn’t just plaintiff versus defendant. Ensure you know the whole playing field, and understand potential issues which could arise.
  • Litigation strategy – the lifecycle of litigation is long, so knowing who should you be talking to, what should you be saying, and at what stage you should be saying it is vital. We help you put a strategy in place, grounding communications, preparing for, and reacting to events.
  • Communications materials – be ready for any revelation or verdict, with statements, media and stakeholder lists, and other communications materials prepared in advance.

When the worst has passed, it is tempting to breathe a sigh of relief, and return to business as usual. This misses an important opportunity – to learn, and make sure the same thing will never happen again.

We can help you learn from a crisis:

  • Post crisis review – we conduct a thorough review of your crisis response, including interviewing key responders, to understand what worked, and areas for improvement.
  • Monitoring / measurement – using our innovative Netnograph discourse analysis tool, we can measure the breadth and impact of the crisis in each stage, to identify exactly how the story unfolded, and what you can do to prevent the same situation happening again.
  • Making changes – helping you close the loop, and make sure you are better prepared for future crises.

Our strategic advice

Should you have any queries contact us