Crisis Communications Boot Camp

This interactive workshop is focused on practical application-based crisis situations—so you'll know what it takes to manage one.

Nov. 6, 2019: New York City



Congrats! You are now a communication professional for "EliteBook" and "Qualified Airlines" and have been summoned to headquarters for an important meeting with your fellow communication colleagues. Little do you know what the day has in store for you and your new crisis communications team.

Throughout the day, you will manage two crisis situations through the lens of different job functions. Working in a crisis team, you and your fellow participants will put your skills to the test and learn what it really takes to manage the worst-case scenario.

9-9:15 a.m.

Getting ready: Portfolio review and teambuilding

In this kickoff session, you'll review your portfolio, outlining your new communication role for each crisis scenario. Plus, we'll engage in a bit of teambuilding by asking you and your fellow attendees to respond to this fun question: "What do you do—and what do your family and friends think you do?"

9:30 a.m.-noon
Scenario one:

Mayhem comes knocking @ EliteBook

You've just taken on your new role at social media platform EliteBook, and mayhem is knocking on your door, requiring you to shift into crisis mode—stat. You will be briefed on the situation and then take the lead on the communications plan for this issue. Get ready for a few plot twists and turns—mayhem often causes collateral damage.

By the end of this first scenario, you will have practiced your crisis communications plan and gained insight into how to handle a heated situation. Plus, you'll walk away with an understanding of the first steps to take during any crisis.

Key takeaways:

  • How communication professionals should triage during a crisis communications situation
  • What should be included in a holding statement and how quickly you should get something out
  • How to create a crisis communications team that works cohesively without overlap

Scenario debriefing: Each team will recap what it did right and what it would do differently

Noon-12:30 p.m.


12:30-3:30 p.m.
Scenario two:

Mayhem strikes twice at Qualified Airlines

Time to shake things up again. You'll flex your crisis communications muscle with a new role and crisis team at Qualified Airlines. In this scenario, you'll work as a team to handle a crisis, learning from the perspective of a different role and gaining valuable practice for real mayhem. You'll learn to lean on your plan and think on your feet when things don't go as expected.

Key takeaways:

  • How to anticipate what you'll need in a crisis before it happens
  • Determine what (if anything) you can recycle from previous crises
  • Apply best practices to "make better mistakes" on your next crisis

Scenario debriefing: Each team will recap what it did right and what it would do differently

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Building a battle-tested crisis communications plan

This is where we tie it all together and make the day's work actionable. We'll use the debrief sessions from each scenario and group discussions to develop a crisis communications plan from the best knowledge sources: your peers.

Key activities and takeaways:

  • Swap war stories:
    • What types of mayhem have you handled?
    • How did you survive?
    • What lessons did you learn that you'd like to share?
  • Create individual to-do lists and next steps for bringing your plan to life

Bonus: Awards will be given for the worst crisis you're able to share