CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS, MEDIA SKILLS & PUBLIC SPEAKING

Overview

Would you or your company know how to handle an emergency situation? 

Handling a crisis has become a part of our everyday lives. Whether it is a serious accident, a plane crash, a terrorist attack, a chemical spill, or a natural disaster, knowing how to handle such situations, and managing the media in the aftermath of a crisis, is essential to maintain the reputation of any company. 

This course recreates potential situations and participants learn how to deal with a crisis and how to press, radio & TV, and social media. Reporters fire difficult questions and TV interviewers challenge participants in a live TV studio environment.

We can also offer a bespoke course which combines theory with practical sessions and is designed to meet the needs of your company.

The duration of this Crisis Communications, Media Skills & Public Speaking course is 3 days and covers the following elements:

Group 1: Front-line staff 

 3 hours 

  • Presentation on media interest in a crisis
  • Exercises practising techniques for dealing with reporters calling in, dealing with calls

Group 2: Training trainers 

3 hours 

  • Presentation on media interest and social media in a crisis
  • Explanation of techniques to deal with media
  • Short on-camera practice

Group 3: Second level response - senior operational/technical/managerial 

4 hours

  • Presentation on media interest and social media in a crisis
  • Explanation of techniques to deal with media – focused on not releasing information 
  • On-camera practice and review of techniques

Group 4: Senior Executive Team 

10 hours 

  • Presentations on media behaviour in a crisis/preparation and messaging for print, broadcast and online/on-camera performance /difficult questions/social media
  • On-camera interviews
  • On-camera reading of statements
  • Managing a crisis – half-day crisis scenario, including statements and interview

 

TrainersNick Walshe & Munro Forbes

 

Our Approach 

The philosophy behind our training is to be positive. We believe in building up our participants, overcoming concerns and bringing confidence to their public performance. All our training is structured to be varied, interactive and entertaining. We believe that if our trainees are happy they will learn well. 

This is an intensive 3-day course. The background of our trainers as TV professionals means that we stage fast-paced and dynamic theory sessions, including smart graphics and relevant news clips. We mix those sessions with regular on-camera segments, recording and replaying video. This is the best form of education – seeing yourself as others see you, and learning from the strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues. 

All course materials are prepared for individuals, focused on their location, business sector and the occupations and responsibilities of trainees. We spend considerable time preparing bespoke presentations and interview scenarios targeted directly at our trainees. 

Our outlook is international. Our trainers have worked as journalists and trainers across the world and understand political and economic issues, political and economic, which affect our clients. We research meticulously to prepare course materials and interview scenarios. Our trainers have decades of on-screen experience at the highest professional level and are experienced trainers with a dynamic approach to teaching. They have covered crises around the world, both as correspondents and from headquarters, and have a deep understanding of how a crisis develops and how to deal with it. 

Finally, they also have wide experience of writing for voice, as scriptwriters and speechwriters, and constantly prepare trainees to face an audience and give of their best. 

Day 1: Groups 2 & 3 

Both courses will open with a presentation – First Response: The Importance of Front Line Staff in a Crisis – which explains: 

  • The importance of front-line staff in crisis
  • The damage a crisis can cause to corporate reputations
  • What behaviour can be expected from the media and how long it may last
  • How they should manage media inquiries in that period, including how to decline interview requests

This is followed by a short interactive workshop working out appropriate responses and behaviour, followed by an on-camera exercise involving role-play by the participants. We replay and review the exercise, encouraging comments by the trainees, and then repeat the exercise. We expect to see significant improvement the second time.

 

Day 2: Group 4  

A full day’s training is appropriate for company leaders, and this mixes theory and practice. We plan this as just over seven hours of training.

We begin by understanding the likely behaviour of the media in a crisis and how to prepare for a media exchange, in print, online and broadcast. We plan messages and look at appropriate body language, either on-camera or when speaking to an external audience. 

 

Each participant then takes part in a short, non-confrontational interview which is played back to the group. This is where the best learning takes place, as participants see themselves as others see them. We then cover some crisis theory, with examples of bad practice, and also “bridging techniques” for dealing with difficult questions. A second round of interviews is more challenging, allowing trainees to use their new skills. All these interviews will be planned in advance and cover controversial issues in the shipping industry.

 

The final presentation looks at social media and its positive and negative use in a crisis. We finish by practising reading crisis statements to camera.

 

Day 3: Group 1 

We begin with the First Response: The Importance of Front Line Staff in a Crisis presentation, and then rehearse techniques for dealing with incoming calls in a crisis, followed by a round of exercises. These will be recorded as audio and then reviewed with the group.

 

Day 3: Group 4 

Nick Walshe & Munro Forbes will deliver a 4-hour crisis simulation exercise at the Sigma Television studios in Nicosia with the Top Level Crisis team. 

Participants will react to breaking news, deliver statements to camera and take part in a series of interviews in the TV studios and outside with a TV crew. They will feel the pressure of working to deadline and fielding challenging questions. 

 

Course elements include

 

Media Skills Training

  • Introduction to media
  • Interviews – dealing with all media
  • Messaging – speaking on behalf of the company
  • Social Media and Online – awareness of, and dealing with, the interactive world
  • Language and body language – communicating without distraction
  • Difficult Questions – techniques for answering

Crisis Communications

  • Understanding crisis and the media
  • How the media will react
  • Dealing with other stakeholders
  • Social media and crisis
  • Facing the crisis – good practice and bad practice
  • Preparing a crisis plan

Public Speaking

  • Preparing for public speaking and appearances
  • Writing your address
  • Making an impact
  • Voice – tone and delivery
  • Body language
  • Filmed addresses and replays

 

After the course, we provide short individual feedback notes on every participant and edited versions of their on-camera appearances.