Nano-seconds Crisis Response



This training seminar deals with preparing for a crisis (in advance), handling the reality and communication aspects of a crisis when one arises, formulating a strategy and deciding on a plan of action to protect your reputation, minimize damage and, if possible, turn things around.

It incorporates best practice thinking from the fields of Crisis Management, Crisis Communication, PR, Emergency Response, Social Media and Strategic Planning.

It is designed to increase an organization’s Crisis Readiness Capability in a nano-seconds world. Wikipedia defines Capability as the ability to perform actions. As it applies to crisis management, capability is the sum of capacity and ability.


A Crisis contains the highest potential to destroy a company’s reputation, brand and share value. How a company reacts and communicates, improves perceptions and speeds recovery.

A reputation is probably the single most important asset an organization owns. You rarely get a second chance to avert a crisis. It is crucial that you have in place a crisis capability such as a crisis management plan and the know-how to hopefully avoid, plan for and act, when a crisis arises.

“Crisis in the Chinese language is represented by two characters. One symbolizes danger: the other opportunity.”

If I had the opportunity to address a Board of Directors about the need for adequate crisis response planning and emergency preparation, there are only six points we would discuss, and the discussion would take just a few minutes. They are:

1.  How surviving the first two hours of an emergency or disaster can save assets, markets, and reputations.

2.  How poorly handled crises can end careers. The Ford Bridgestone tyre withdrawal, the 1999 contamination of Coca-Cola in Europe and the BP Gulf of Mexico crisis all  ended the career of the companies’ Chairpersons/CEO’s and are excellent high-profile examples.

3.  Why the expectations of outsiders and various stakeholders will control the perception of how a crises is managed.

4.  How handling a crisis insensitively, or not at all, can escalate visibility, cost, and reputational damage. (Look up Dow- Corning’s handling of the breast implant disaster)

5.  Why what the Board says and does and when it is said and done will profoundly affect the organization’s reputation for some period after the crisis subsides.

6. How Social Media has changed the Crisis Management & Communication landscape and why prior preparation to communicate in nano- seconds is vital.

The single purpose for preparing to manage the unplanned visibility caused by a crisis is to survive the first few seconds, minutes, hours, and perhaps day or two of the problem – if indeed it lasts that long.  The greatest inaccuracy, misinformation, and error occur during this very early time frame. In fact, most communications energy following this early phase will focus on the correcting errors, mistakes, and misperceptions created at the beginning of the problem.

Fortunately, with a modest amount of preparation, practice, and assignment of roles and tasks, early miscues can be minimized and corrected. That means less damage to reputation, credibility, and employee morale.   When bad news occurs, there are critical audiences, including your own employees, who have expectations of your behavior and ability to manage problems. Every one of your stakeholders will focus on your organization’s response. How it acted, what it said, all of these will either add or distract from the organization’s reputation.

The reality and the perceptions created during the crisis need to be addressed. Experience have taught the importance of foresight and preplanning.  A Crisis Response and Communication Plan is a blue print of what processes and actions needs to kick in depending on the type of crisis facing the organization.

Training  Objective

The aim of this workshop is to enable managers to plan for a Crisis before it happens, deal with it swiftly and communicate effectively during a Crisis situation.

Training  Outcomes

The workshop will help to develop the required management behaviors in terms of the individual and the organization and its approach in dealing and planning for crises and reputation risk. It directly enhances the development of specific management competencies including Strategic Thinking, Communication and Crisis Management skills.


The training seminar consists of the following sessions. Questionnaires, case studies, PowerPoint presentation and checklists are all used to illustrate the need for better crisis planning. Content will focus on:

Session One – How ready is your organization to deal with the hand of fate?

  • What is a crisis for your business?
  • Historical/current examples of good & bad execution or planning
  • Why is it important to be fully prepared for a crisis?
  • Measuring what should be in place to ensure your Organisation Readiness- Reviewing actions and strategies that are currently in place, whether they are clearly defined and practiced. Using instruments such as questionnaires and checklists to enforce Organisation Readiness- I will use an 11-page detailed questionnaire to stimulate debate. Example exercise: Delegates will be asked to review their organization’s readiness using a number of instruments such as questionnaire and checklists. Completing it first individually and then in groups, gaps can be determined and strategies and necessary actions defined.
  • Understanding the difference between a crisis plan & a crisis communications plan (I am a firm believer that you cannot separate perceptions from reality. In any crisis there are reality issues such as dealing with the crisis and then dealing with the perceptions that are created during the crisis)
  • Fundamentals in preparing for a crisis such as Building A Crisis Team – The key to successful crisis management is selecting a team to handle crises as they occur. Who should be on this team?
  • Guidelines on How to Write and Develop a Crisis Management & Crisis Communication Response Plan. Years and years of experience have proven that the companies who copes the best with crises of all kinds are those who are prepared to deal with the hand of fate. Those companies who have set in motion processes to minimize potential crises.

Companies who cope successfully with crises are normally companies who have a predetermined plan of action including action protocols and communication response plans.

Session Two – Mastering the art and science of crisis response.

A  Crisis  Leader  is  a  person  understands  both  the  Art  and  Science  of  Crisis  Response,  has  the competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) to lead an organization in a time of duress and take the appropriate action under the circumstances. I will cover:

  • Knowing what happens in crises and the stages of development in a crisis
  • Differencing between a Crisis, Disaster, Emergency, Problems and Issues
  • Taking appropriate actions – Knowing what the right thing to do is and doing it right
  • Adhering to best practices in crisis management and crisis communication

Session Three – Realizing the importance of integrated crisis response                    

 Crises management is defined as the ability of an organization to deal quickly, efficiently, and effectively with contingency operations with the goal of reducing the threat to human health and safety, the loss of public or corporate property, adverse impact on normal Business continuance, and damage to its good name – it’s Reputation. In this session, we will take an in-depth look at the various levels of response. I will cover:

  • Surviving the first few minutes – preparing to manage for the unplanned to avoid errors, mistakes and misperceptions
  • Integrating preparation, practice, and assignments of roles and tasks to minimize damage to reputation, credibility and employee morale
  • Social responsibility: Knowing your vulnerability points and stakeholders and tackle them in advance to miniseries damage and pain to the community
  • Keeping communications open and up to date to ensure the right information and messages is being circulated, understanding the problems and immediacy created by Social Media

Session Four – Compiling and writing an integrated Crisis Management & Communication Plan

Years and years of experience have proven that the companies who copes the best with crises of all kinds are those who are prepared to deal with the hand of fate. Those companies who have set in motion processes to minimize potential crises. Companies who cope successfully with crises are normally companies who have a predetermined plan of action including action protocols and communication response plans. I will cover and give each delegate a copy of a planning template:

  • Listing essentials elements to be included in writing an integrated crisis management plan
  • Using various templates which incorporate emergency procedures, safety, security procedures, communication and other action plans that will safeguard organization’s reputation
  • Identifying what specific questions should be asked and what documents should be examined to construct a plan

Session Five – Fulfilling the needs to communicate effectively and promptly with stakeholders in a crisis

In a Crisis situation, stakeholders have particular information needs. The media plays a crucial role in fulfilling these needs. Hard-earned lessons in the field of crisis communications have shown the importance  of  having  in  place  strategic  communication  response  plans,  well  trained  spokespersons and a crucial understanding of the media by those involved in message development.

  • Taking a close look at communication do’s and don’ts, especially now in a Social media frenzy
  • Understanding the thinking behind crisis communication strategies
  • Dealing with media when there is increased scrutiny
  • Strengthening the role of the spokesperson in a crisis
  • Detailing the roles and responsibilities of a spokesperson to maintain the reputation of organization
  • Relevant Tips for spokespeople

Session 6 – Mastering media survival skills                                   

In the event of a spokes person being injured or away, a member of the Crisis team may find themselves in the position of having to be a spokesperson.  An understanding of the rules of engagement in dealing with the Media is therefore crucial even though you may not be in that position full-time.

  • Understanding the dangers and opportunities inherent in media interviews and Social Media
  • Mastering the steps to a successful media interview – Guiding principles of interviews and some Media do’s and don’ts – Dealing/Communicating with the new media – bloggers and internet issues
  • In this session, I will take a look at the new phenomenon of Social Media and the impact it has on crisis communication and share advice on how to mitigate the risks when dealing with topics such as Web 2.0 – blogs, wikis, Facebook and other social networking tools inc. how to respond when a blogger writes something bad about your company
  • Trust in an organization is established long before problems arise. This is vital to understand that relationships with stakeholders should be built long before a crisis occurs. When a crisis occurs, what must you do to protect the brand? Rely on Advertising or Public Relations? Product Recalls, 3rd party endorsement or other strategies.

Session Seven – Putting planning into action: Summary, integration and conclusion

In the final session, delegates will make recommendations to management as if they were acting as a Crisis Management Counselor to the organization. This process will integrate all the learning’s so that when they leave they will understand that dealing with a Crisis is like dealing with a Siamese twin situation. Dealing with Perceptions and Reality.

Fees (Terms and Conditions apply)

R7950 exc. VAT per delegate ( Payable within 5 days of date of invoice)
R8950 exc. VAT per delegate (Pricing for Organizations whose payment terms exceed 5 days)
R6350 exc. VAT per delegate – NGO’s and Associations
R6750 exc. VAT for three delegates or more from the same business unit.

Early Bird discounts may be available on promotion. Look out for a promotional Code. The course fee is inclusive of the event proceedings, materials, refreshments and lunches.

How to Register:

Please complete the registration form and Terms and Conditions acceptance and forward it to reputationeducation (at) – Upon the completion and receipt of the registration form a confirmation letter and invoice will be sent.

Payment must be received PRIOR to attendance. Fees include hand-outs, meals, and refreshments, secure parking and benchmark information and top notch facilitation. Payment is due in 5 days unless otherwise arranged. By signing and returning the registration form you are accepting the terms and conditions. (Registration is only confirmed on receipt of payment.)

If you are interested to attend, please note that places are on a first come, first-served reserved basis as only a limited number of participants are accommodated each time.

To register: Call 011 475 3515 or e-mail for a registration form or register now by downloading the registration form.

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