Agencies & Consultancies

Training for agencies at all skill levels

  • Account management
  • New business
  • Confidence
  • Productivity
  • Writing
  • Motivating teams

In-House Comms

Training for in-house communications professionals

  • Best practice
  • Demonstrating value
  • Brand recognition
  • Confidence & Credibility
  • Media training

Kickstart Your PR!

Two-day intensive public relations workshop

  • Capturing media attention
  • Brand recognition
  • Engaging content
  • Supporting sales and marketing

Is it a crisis, or a client panic?

After nearly twenty years working in public relations, I've seen my fair share of crises. From websites getting hacked to staff leaking internal emails, from companies caught up in the dot-com crash to health concerns over parabens in cosmetics.

Things can go wrong which appear to be critically impacting your role or your company

I've also seen my fair share of panics from clients and from internal stakeholders. I say "panic" with the utmost respect, because when you work in marketing or sales, and you really care about your job, things can go wrong which appear to be critically impacting your role or your company.

However it's important in a PR or communications role to take a step back and assess these issues from an external point of view. It is an issue if a competitor puts his head above the parapet and criticises your client's product in the media. It could well be a problem if your client is excluded from a major product round-up piece in a key trade magazine. Having to manage a wave of redundancies, or the closure of an office, is a stressful time where care must be taken to communicate sensitively. But these things, which can generate concerns and in some cases panic, are not crises.

They may escalate into crises, and could well cause more serious reputational problems, but with a calm and measured approach from a PR manager the client panic can be defused and the issue dealt with in a way which ensures it never becomes a crisis.

Crises are those incidents which will dramatically impact the company's profitability, reputation, or ability to operate

Crises are those incidents which will dramatically impact the company's profitability, reputation, or ability to operate. Negative media coverage in a trade magazine (probably) doesn't fall into that category — even if it feels that way to you or your client!

In many of the crisis situations I've experienced, I've found that sadly the customer experience can be neglected. In an ideal world, when a crisis occurs you should simply be able to kick into action your well-planned and rehearsed crisis comms plan! But in the event that you don't have one, a tip:

When a crisis occurs you should simply be able to kick into action your well-planned and rehearsed crisis comms plan

Take it upon yourself as a communications representative to understand the customer experience clearly. You will probably find that many integral stakeholders will be involved when crisis strikes — the IT team, the HR people, the business leaders, a sales representative for example — but often no-one is specifically tasked with keeping in mind the customer experience.

Focus on gathering information to develop as clear a view as possible of the customer experience. This will ensure that the main focus of any communications materials you develop will look at how customers are impacted, if at all.

Good crisis communications is rarely seen

It's my view that good crisis communications is rarely seen. By this I mean: good crisis communications is invisible. Some "crises" may well be just "panics" or issues, but the flipside to an issue is a crisis if you don't handle it well. With sensitive handling, keeping the customer at the heart of your response, many situations will be defused before they become a crisis allowing the client to solve the issue and continue operating as normal.

Training Courses for PR and Comms Agencies

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All of our training courses for agency professionals

talented with clients

Be credible, effective and prevent problems

talented in the office

Manage time, people and campaigns with ease

talented with the media

Writing and pitching stories that get noticed
Client Management
Talented with Clients

Improve and develop your working relationships with each client

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Social Superstars
With the Media

How to Make Your Clients' Social Media Communications Shine

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Confidence and Assertiveness
in the Office

Say what you mean, professionally and directly

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Mastering the Art Of Writing
Talented with the Media

How to write almost anything

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Presentation Training
with Clients

Make every presentation more engaging and effective

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Time Management
in the Office

Manage your workload and get tasks completed on time

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Advanced Presentation Training
with Clients

Become a captivating and effective presenter

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Writing effective news releases
with the Media

Get more stories published

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Becoming a Manager
in the Office

Incorporate great management techniques into your daily life

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Crisis Communications
with Clients

Where do you start when it all goes wrong?

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Pitching to the Media
with the Media

Get more of your stories published

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Grammar Crammer
in the Office

Grammatical errors and how to avoid them

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Management and Leadership Training
in the Office

Get the best out of your team

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Improving Personal Communication Skills
in the Office

Make good working relationships great

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Editing and Proofreading Other People's Writing
in the Office

The seven steps to successful editing

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Refresh your press release writing skills
with the Media

Be more successful at getting your stories published

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Practical Creativity for PR
in the Office

Power up your brainstorms and boost your creativity

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Getting Buy-In
with Clients

Influencing and Persuading

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Writing compelling content for the media
with the Media

Make your writing effective, engaging and shareable

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Supercharge Your Writing
with the Media

Take your writing to a higher level

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Bespoke Leadership Coaching
in the Office

By application only

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Kickstart Your PR!
with the Media

Introduction to PR

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Time Management for Remote Working
in the Office

Manage your workload from home

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