It is safe to say that whiteboards have become one of the most used tools for crisis managers and communicators. This should be no surprise: we consider the whiteboard as the ultimate tool to guide a crisis team through a meeting. Within crisis rooms across the country, we find similar whiteboard layouts for operational or strategic meetings (eg. Facts, Actions, Needs). Meanwhile, there is no real standard whiteboard layout for crisis communication. After hundreds of crisis exercises and real activations for acute or smouldering crisis situations, Robbert wrote an article for Be Prepared explaining his favourite whiteboard layout and his reasoning behind it. With this article, we hope to accelerate the evolution towards a common recognised and used whiteboard structure for crisis communication teams.
As our blog post introducing Mike and Julien is still being crawled by Google, we are proud to once again announce two new team members! Kim De Raedt and Pieter-Michiel Vermaut have recently joined PM to help us providing our range of services to a growing number of clients. As Kim and Pieter-Michiel have entirely different backgrounds, Robbert bombarded them for this article with 10 questions about themselves.
Mijn zomermaand juli opzeggen voor een vrijwillige stage bij PM • Risk Crisis Change? Daar heb ik geen seconde spijt van gehad. Maar jammer genoeg komt aan alle goede dingen een einde. Dankzij de uitstekende begeleiding van het team kan ik terugblikken op een positieve stage-ervaring waarbij ik mijn kennis over crisisbeheer in de praktijk kon omzetten. Een kort verslag.
Als pas afgestudeerde master in de meertalige communicatie (KU Leuven) heb ik al heel wat relevante werkervaring opgedaan in interne en externe communicatie, lean manufacturing en project- en eventsector. Praktijkervaring met crisisbeheersing en -communicatie ontbrak nog. Dankzij de lezing van Robbert Meulemeester aan de universiteit kreeg ik meteen goesting om bij PM aan te kloppen voor een stage. Niet enkel gaf hij mij die opportuniteit, maar kreeg ik ook tips voor mijn meesterscriptie over crisiscommunicatie.
Every once in a while we see a movie, television series or concert that we can’t seem to shake off. I had such an experience recently when I watched Ari Aster’s second feature film Midsommar. As I’m quite a big fan of horror and therefore love what filmmakers like Ari Aster and Jordan Peele are doing for the genre, I was highly anticipating this movie. Not only did it exceed my expecations, its depiction of empathy is remarkable. Bear with me as I make my way through the main plot (spoiler free!) before diving into empathy.
La gestion de crise ne devient un sujet de préoccupation qu’à partir du moment où on en traverse une. Il n’est pas rare de sous-estimer la probabilité d’enclenchement d’une crise. Parfois on se dit même que la production d’une crise est peu probable voire impossible et pourtant, tôt ou tard, elle surviendra. Que faire face à une crise ce moment-là? Comment s’organiser? Comment prendre les meilleures décisions lorsque qu’une crise survient?
We continue making international roster moves! To continue providing our range of services to a growing amount of clients, we recently welcomed Julien Draillard Losada and Dr. Mike Lauder to our team. Their knowledge and expertise will help us to keep delivering the high-value advices and impactful crisis preparedness projects our clients praise us for, in Belgium and abroad. In this blog, Mike and Julien briefly introduce themselves.
Early August 2018, Stijn Pieters gave an interview in the radio show De Wereld Vandaag on the Flemish public radio station Radio 1. Crisis communication about a famous event being talked about around the globe, and how to react when you suddenly find yourself in the head of the storm. Those were the topics.
In May 2018 we had the first large scale run of our brand new crisis game for teams. As part of an innovative teambuilding day, 60 team members from the ‘Webcomm’ units of the European Parliament joined Tim Van Achte, Mike Lauder and me (Robbert Meulemeester) in Brussels to save the world in an apocalyptic and chaotic scenario. Not only did we have lots of fun, as expected we also recognised many actual crisis management challenges about awareness, coordination, communication and team dynamics. In this blog post I’d like to share a few (already legendary) quotes of the day.
In April we spent more than a week at the Argenta headquarters in Antwerp to provide acute crisis management and crisis communications support. Belgians fifth largest bank was affected by a large IT crisis after a system migration, causing their online applications to be unavailable for multiple days in a row. They called our team for assistance and we jumped right in.
For the first 2018 issue of the Be Prepared magazine on emergency management in Belgium, PM wrote an article on the purpose of analysing perceptions and sentiments in a crisis. In the article, our strategic crisis advisor Robbert Meulemeester explains how crisis management teams can benefit from such analysis to improve both the quality and accuracy of the decision making process.
Forming a clear and collective strategy within the communication team is often neglected or even forgotten when it comes to crisis communication. Facing high pressure by customers and public opinion, organisations ‘under attack’ tend to jump to what to say (messages) and where to say it (channels) as soon as possible. Even in stressful situations, it is however essential to be aware of the ‘bigger picture’. Ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve by (not) communicating?
The main outlines of a crisis communication strategy are mostly considered as a policy and governance level topic, and therefore discussed within the crisis management team. The challenge of crisis communication is that the “crisis management state of mind” that members of such teams find themselves in during a crisis, disables them to form a clear view on what’s happening outside of the co-ordination room they are in. You will need someone (or a dedicated team, or an external firm) to fill you in with the outside world’s perception in order to make the decisions and define the actions that matter the most.
Robbert argues in this Dutch publication that sentiment analysis will get management teams to better appreciate the internal and external impact of a crisis situation, therefore positively influencing their crisis policies. He further discusses a few simple steps to include perception analysis within the crisis management decision making process.
View article (Dutch)
Type: PDF, 70Kb
Source: Be Prepared, issue 1/2018
This article is republished on our blog with permission of the editor Die Keure Publishing.
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About the author
Robbert Meulemeester is a crisis adviser and strategist at PM • Risk Crisis Change. At PM he developed the Zombie Game. Robbert is addicted to American football, riding roller coasters and running.
If you’d like to learn more about Robbert, click here.
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