Crisis Communication Training for Government

Crisis Communication Training for Government:  A skills development program for effective crisis response for government organisations.

Sometimes government organisations find themselves embroiled in a major event with negative consequences if the response isn’t quick and sure-footed.  But it is already too late when a crisis occurs to ask, “What do we do now?”  We need a plan before a crisis strikes. Better still, we need to analyse our organisation to spot where the potential crises are and deal with them before they become a problem.

In a world obsessed with brands and image, it is dangerous to forget about the reputation of a Government Department or Government business enterprise.  Each organisation is surrounded by stakeholders who have some area of interest in its activities; a community examining plans for a new development in the neighbourhood, a change of policy that impacts on people’s lives, the granting or withholding of funding – stakeholders will be more influenced by the way a department conducts itself than by any glossy advertisement. This is particularly true in times of crisis.

Reputation Australia conducts crisis communication training workshops for Government, providing your team with processes and principles for effective crisis communication. The session covers structures for a crisis team, facilities, information flow and handling the media. A mini crisis simulation can be built into the session, providing an opportunity for the team to put into practice the skills they have been exploring during the day.

Crisis communication Training for Government covers:

  • An issue versus a crisis
  • The aims of crisis communication
  • Preparing a crisis communication plan
  • Developing a crisis communication team
  • Managing stakeholders and information
  • Your role in a crisis
  • Reviewing case studies
  • Managing your messages in the media.

Participants leave the training session with:

  1. Templates to apply to their own organisation to assess it for risk exposure.
  2. A diagnostic tool to identify key stakeholders.
  3. A plan for identifying and recruiting suitable members of a crisis communication team for within the organisation.
  4. A template for a crisis communication protocol including contact databases, first advice procedures, monitoring, reporting and evidence/evaluation.
  5. All these materials PLUS a copy of Mastering Media Interviews in the 21st Century.

Crisis Media Training for Government

Reputation Australia also provides a very specific skills training course for those who will act as spokesperson in the media in the event of a crisis.  All media training programs contain the following. However, programs can be designed specifically to meet your requirements.

  • The Australian media and Australian journalists including the online media landscape
  • Generating Coverage – what constitutes a news story?
  • When the media comes to you – first response
  • Messaging – what would be the most effective thing to say?
  • Message packaging – how to structure your message in a tight sound-bite (grab) or quotable quote
  • Steering an interview – determining the outcome and getting your message across
  • Exercise 1 – a practice press interview recorded and played back with critique
  • Exercise 2 – a practice radio interview recorded on camera and played back with critique
  • Exercise 3 – a practice TV interview recorded on camera and played back with critique
  • On-going media relationships including follow-up or appeal
  • Issues such as ‘off-the-record’ or ‘No Comment’

Our Approach to Training

  • We research your department or organisation, your area of government and your issues before each program to make the role-play exercises relevant.
  • Each course is structured to meet the needs of each individual. This means that you get the maximum return on the time spent in the program.
  • Our Trainers are committed to providing individualised coaching in a small group environment.

Handling an issue or crisis can be management’s biggest challenge.  It can represent significant risk to a government organisation’s good name, impact upon daily operations, traumatise staff, adversely affect service clients, and threaten future budgets.

Likewise, many issues test the capability of a department on a day-to-day basis; staff morale problems, information leaks, legal challenges, deteriorating confidence, rumour and speculation in the media are among the more vexing challenges facing management in the public sector today.

There is no escaping the fact that in the 21st Century, the public will demand to know what is happening in a crisis and how management is coping. Government entities can either try to deny this and suffer the consequences or responsibly manage the situation.

The Reputation Australia team has been supporting organisations at all levels of government in a range of communication functions, including preparing for and responding to a crisis or serious issue that threatens their good name.  We’ve been doing this for more than 30 years.

Our people come from government backgrounds are seasoned veterans with a well-earned reputation in the field.

We have people on the ground in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.  However increasingly, we are delivering programs in an online virtual environment opening up our training solutions and services to a broader audience spread across Australia and around the world.

Contact us to find out more about our solutions.