PM is part of CCNE, the Crisis Communications Network Europe. CCNE is a network of European owner-managed agencies with unrivalled expertise in crisis communications characterised by their national focus and client commitment. To encourage sharing knowledge, insights and experiences, CCNE members are currently experimenting with member exchanges.
As a pilot test for the exchange program, PM was honoured to welcome Sandra Woudsma from the Dutch agency Van Hulzen Communicatie. Sandra spent a week at PM, joining our trainings, hosting Zombie Games, contributing to team meetings and working on joint proposals. As much as we’d like to ramble on about the experience, here’s what Sandra had to say.
Last week it finally happened: the first CCNE exchange. During our previous CCNE Conference, we had different talks about how we could take sharing knowledge and learning from other members to another level. The great idea was to do so by exchanging the CCNE members. And yes, there we are! I, Sandra Woudsma from Van Hulzen Communicatie, was lucky to be the first candidate. And I can tell you: it was a great experience! I spent the past week at PM, our Belgian CCNE partner.
The exchange program took one week in October. The whole week was deliciated to (you can already guess): crisis! Not only crisis communication, but everything related to it. This week I was honored to be a part of the PM team. PM showed me the way they roll during a ‘regular’ week and how they train organizations by means of crisis simulations in order to be prepared for crises. We’ve prepared the simulations that were planned for this week together to be ready to train these organizations! After sharing knowledge and methods of both PM and Van Hulzen Communicatie, I came to new and very interesting insights. These are my key take-aways:
- Awareness is critical for crisis preparedness. Being prepared is essential for coordinating crises and the further progress of the crisis. However, when there is a lack of awareness of the consequences and the importance, people are less willing to invest in preparing the organization for protentional crises. Well begun is half done!
- The impact of crisis simulations is enormous! I was already a huge fan of crisis simulations, especially PM’s Zombie Game. But after seeing the responses of the participations in the Zombie Game and what they’ve learned that we’ve discussed during the debrief, I was even more enthusiastic. The impact on group dynamics and awareness is indescribable.
- Information flows are key. And the process to have the information flows well organized and streamlined within an organization is very complex and can only be reached through crisis training and simulations. However, nothing is impossible. When the information flows within an organization are indeed streamlined within the golden triangle (operations, policy, and communications), you can manage every crisis! You can trust me on that.
During that week, I felt part of this warm team and I would like to thank all of you. It was amazing to experience your daily work and to see how passionate you all are. A close and ambitious team: it was amazing! Thank you for all the learnings and your kindness, especially thank you Robbert for taking care this whole week. Can’t wait to see you again and to do great things together. I am already looking forward to it!
Thank you Sandra for joining PM for a week, and we’ll be in touch!