M13: EXTENDED SESSION: “Communications Under Pressure: Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?”

Andrew Gilman, President & CEO, CommCore Consulting Group

Will your crisis plans hold up in a real-life catastrophe? Find out in this fast-paced, dynamic simulation exercise. Andrew Gilman turns up the heat with CommCore’s PressureTest™ Crisis Simulation, which uses role playing and real-life scenarios to put crisis planning to the test. In this session, you’ll learn how to take a strategic approach to crisis, as well as the tactics necessary for optimal crisis planning, preparation and response. PressureTest is applicable to all types of organizations—corporate, non-profit, agency and associations. You’ll find gaps in your existing plans and learn how to build teamwork to save time when a real crisis occurs.


Ensuring that “Transformation” Isn’t a Crisis

Courtney Boone, Vice President of Global Communications, Westinghouse Electric Company

How do you communicate to employees during a $6.3 billion write-down of a global company…and continue those communications when filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy three months later? Courtney Boone shares how the world’s premier nuclear energy company sustained and improved communications with employees during a nearly two-year period of crisis. This case study provides attendees with a comprehensive view of the communications strategy employed as the company faced extensive transformation efforts. Professional communicators need to understand the importance of increasing internal communications and touchpoints during these times in order to ensure consistent, safe delivery upon commitments.


How Toyota Transitioned from Recalls to Recovery: A Case Study

Curt McAllister, 2018 IABC Detroit Communicator of the Year; Midwest Public Relations Manager, Toyota North America

During the first half of 2010, the crisis facing Toyota dominated headlines around the world.  With more than 8 million vehicles recalled globally, the world’s largest automaker saw its sterling reputation diminish in a matter of weeks. A company known for quality and reliability was now relegated to punch-line status. Curt McAllister discusses how communications played a pivotal role in reaching out to vital internal and external audiences. He’ll share how public relations helped assure the industry’s most loyal customer base, and forge an even tighter bond between the automaker and its national dealer body.


Attorneys as Allies: Balancing Stakeholder Needs with Legal Concerns in a Crisis

Deb Hileman, SCMP, IABC Executive Board Member; President & CEO, Institute for Crisis Management

Public relations professionals and attorneys often seem to have opposing goals in crisis communications. While PR pros are focused on humanizing a crisis with transparency and protecting the organization’s reputation in the court of public opinion, attorneys are concentrating on the court of law and minimizing the risk of adverse legal action. In this session, Deb Hileman explains how attendees can use preventive crisis management strategies and shared goals to help attorneys get comfortable with strategy and the initial statements that need to be made quickly when a crisis erupts.


Vulnerability in Today’s Digital World: A Case Study

Tina Kozak, President, Franco

The 24-hour news cycle and the growth of social media has enormous potential to spread inaccuracies about an organization’s ideas and its leaders. Tina Kozak shares a case study from the 2018 mid-term election in which the Michigan Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit opposing a ballot initiative. While the lawsuit sparked some attention, the negative print and social media campaign by a national advocacy group ignited opinions. This presentation looks at the Chamber’s response in the face of inaccuracies and unethical practices by the advocacy group and how they worked with the media and law enforcement during the crisis.