Archive:

The skills of modern media relations

3 December 2019 by Steph Gray

The popular picture of crisis communication is maybe a high-stakes press conference, or the chief executive being grilled by a well-known broadcast journalist or politician. We imagine brand reputations living or dying by how well leaders can demonstrate empathy on camera; or how adroitly the press conference can be stage-managed.…

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Crisis teams that work: processes, personalities and point-people

5 July 2019 by Steph Gray

I had the privilege to see a well-drilled client crisis team at work this week. Their organisation is enormous, and they have a crisis process honed and documented and rehearsed across the world on a regular basis. It’s impressive to witness, with a depth of strategic thought that we don’t often…

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departures board

Mobilizing for crisis: the benefits of longer exercises

2 April 2019 by Steph Gray

Our typical exercises tend to run for 3 or 4 hours, often in a pair of adjoining boardrooms with good wifi, clear diaries and coffee on tap. The participants get to feel the shock and stress of dealing with something unexpected and fast-paced, and understand how well they work together…

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Cursor on 'security'

Cyber incident trends: what can you do to prepare?

20 February 2019 by Steph Gray

As you can imagine, the last couple of years have seen us get a lot more enquiries from clients looking to stress-test their crisis preparedness. Cyber incidents are especially tricky to handle, for a number of reasons: The information vacuum is more acute and extended It can take a while…

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Staying sharp in the era of fake news and Insta influencers

24 January 2019 by Steph Gray

Since we launched Social Simulator back in 2010, we’ve seen huge changes in the social media landscape and the way that news breaks and crises are managed online. In recent months we’ve been helping clients rehearse their readiness to handle fake news and malicious digital manipulation, blend media relations with…

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A is for Authenticity

27 November 2018 by Steph Gray

Before fake news, there was spin, and before that, there was ‘PR’. The bottom line is, why should anyone believe you, especially when you’re trying to dig your way out of trouble? That’s a theme which came out in an exercise I’ve just wrapped up here in South Africa, which…

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In emergency management warning and informing, a picture is worth a thousand words

18 September 2018 by Steph Gray

When the Weather Channel posted their video warning of Hurricane Florence, it soon started popping up in timelines all over the internet. Storm surge will be a huge factor for Hurricane #Florence Check out what it might look like with @TWCErikaNavarro: pic.twitter.com/TPqTZTmiAM — The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 13, 2018…

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smashed glass

Using “prudent overreaction” to manage an incident of our own

15 May 2018 by Steph Gray

Simulations and exercises are our bread and butter. It’s great to rehearse in a safe space, to test out crisis plans and teamworking before the real thing happens. But crises don’t come neatly diarised, in well-equipped conference rooms, so simulations can only be one element of your crisis preparedness efforts.…

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Oxfam’s Haiti crisis: two lessons for crisis communicators

12 February 2018 by Steph Gray

Oxfam’s leadership and communications team has had a torrid weekend, dealing with a media story about shocking allegations of a cover-up of sexual abuse of beneficiaries in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in 2011. There will be countless crisis consultants offering their hot takes on what looks like a serious…

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Social Simulator: now in New York City

5 February 2018 by Steph Gray

We’ve been doing business in the USA and Canada for several years, helping clients in sectors from pharmaceuticals to financial services, energy to agritech to stress-test their crisis and emergency preparedness through crisis drills incorporating a realistic and dynamic social media element. This month we enter an incredibly exciting new…

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