Crisis Communications Boot Camp 17

24-25 March, 10am - 4 pm (GMT-7)


Crisis Communications Boot Camp 17


24-25 March, 10am - 4 pm (GMT-7)

About the Event

Welcome to the 17th (Virtual) edition of the Crisis Communications Boot Camp and our second edition in Calgary!

With presentations by some of North America's leading PR pros, our interactive Boot Camp will cover the whole span of the crisis from preparing and laying the groundwork before it occurs, during the incident, and the aftermath, including the move to recovery. Our panel of crisis experts will guide you through each phase, providing details of what to consider, what should be done, and tips and checklists for improved responses.

This highly interactive Boot Camp will equip you to deal with any kind of crisis - whether caused by internal error, customer action, natural disasters, terrorism or political upheaval. Supported by case studies and examples from responses to events, the course will also explore the role of leadership in a crisis and developing a crisis communication response that has people at the heart of it.

At the end of the Boot Camp you will be able to:

  • Understand the most important principles of effective crisis communications
  • Detect early warning signs for a crisis, and minimize the damages
  • Structure a robust and effective crisis management and communication plan
  • Manage diverse stakeholders and communicate efficiently in times of complex crisis
  • Choose the right messaging channels
  • Communicate when information is scarce
  • Deal with aggressive media interviews better
  • Craft powerful key messages and take full control of media exposure
  • Leverage social media for effective crisis and communication management
  • Rebuild trust and reputation post-crisis


Facts & Figures

  • With six editions of the Global PR Summit Canada, as well as Boot Camps on PR Measurement, Healthcare Communications and Crisis Communications, P World is Canada's leading organizer of PR and communications events. 
  • The first ever Crisis Communications Boot Camp took place in Calgary in 2018. Since then we have hosted the event 15 times all across North America and Europe, including Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Ottawa and Helsinki.
  • Over 3000 PR professionals have attended our events in Canada, including representatives from: Cadillac Fairview, Canada Goose, Invest in Canada, Merck, Bell Media, EY, Veritas Communications, AbbVie, Region of Peel, Foresters Financial, Government of Canada, Purolator, Elections Canada, Sobeys, Capital One, Canadian Tire Corporation, Maple Leaf Foods, Morneau Shepell, Canadian Bankers Association, Scarborough Health Network, Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) , Hydro-Québec, City of Brampton, Royal Ontario , Boehringer Ingelheim, Canadian Red Cross, Department of National Defense, University of Waterloo , Sun Life Financial, RBC, McCain Foods, Innovate BC, Export Development Canada, Ryerson University, Medtronic, CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services Company, Travel Alberta….


Kim Blanchette, APR Argyle

Greg Vanier Edelman Canada

Shafiq Jamal Principal, Jamal Communications Inc.

Ginger Buxa Plumbo Mayo Clinic

Jordan Redshaw NATIONAL Public Relations

Ukwori (Onuma) Ejibe Former COVID-19 Crisis Communications Lead, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Kathryn Kolaczek Alchemy Communications

Matt Wood University of Northern British Columbia



Crisis Communications in a Post-Pandemic World: Planning for the Next Phase in Crisis Communications
The COVID-19 pandemic raised the bar for what qualifies as "being prepared". In this session Greg will share with you how the crisis landscape is changing and what are the new crisis dynamics that are affecting businesses in Canada and around the world.
Greg Vanier, VP, Crisis and Reputation Risk & National Lead of Data Security and Privacy, Edelman Canada


The Importance of Quick Transformation of Your Crisis Communications Strategy: Case Study by Mayo Clinic
Ginger Plumbo is a communications manager at Mayo Clinic, a top-ranked nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, with locations in Rochester, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona.  In this session, she will share with you the importance of quick transformation of your communications strategy in times of unprecedented crisis. Ginger will also share her thoughts on the importance of innovation and adaption while working 100% remotely, how to successfully manage the flood of media requests during crisis and successfully craft your media relations strategy for local and regional media vs. national and international media during a crisis.
Ginger Buxa Plumbo, Communications Manager, Issues & Crisis Communications, Mayo Clinic


The Importance of Seeing a Crisis Before It’s a Crisis
The COVID-19 crisis is not over yet, but a different crisis may be waiting around the corner, just as we are at our most exhausted and vulnerable. In this session, Matt will lift your vision and energy to make sure your organization is fully crisis communications ready. He will share with you tips on how to identify potential crises, detect early warning signs for a crisis to minimize the damages, and understand the relationship between advance preparation and speed in crisis communications.
Matt Wood, Director, Communications and Marketing, University of Northern British Columbia


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


Understand the Role of Data in Crisis Planning
“Only 30% of marketers and PR pros say they conduct a risk assessment of potential threats to their brand’s reputation about once per year.” - Crisp and PR News
This session will discuss how to use data effectively. It is not just about uncovering what happened “after” a crisis, it is about being prepared before the crisis, being able to make real-time decisions during the crisis, digesting what to takeaway as lessons for the next crisis, and how to understanding what the long-term impact is. This session will focus on a different way of thinking about data and provide clear recommendations on how to use data for your next crisis situation. 
Ukwori Ejibe, Senior Communications Specialist, TC Energy,  Former COVID-19 Crisis Communications Lead, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change


Rolling With The Punches: My experience Working Though Fires, Floods, and Uncertainty
Jordan led municipal communications during the response to and recovery from the 2016 Wood Buffalo wildfires and, more recently, led a contracted support team during the community’s flood response and recovery efforts during their flood event in 2020. His presentation will provide a first-hand perspective of communicating through natural disasters and the lessons he has learned while communicating in adverse, dynamic, and uncomfortable environments.
Jordan Redshaw, Director, NATIONAL Public Relations



Understand the New Rules of Crisis communications in a Hostile Cyber Risk Landscape

According to The Economist, if the prize resource of the 20th century was oil, the prize resource of the 21st century is data.
Information is the currency of today’s world order. Boards and business leaders have been forced to learn how to adapt to the risks that cybersecurity issues pose to their businesses.
The learning curves have been, in many cases, steep and costly. Our business landscape is littered with examples and case studies of organizations that either severely underestimated the threats and risks posed by the lack of robust and secure networks, or they were ill equipped to manage and handle their response expediently and effectively, thereby affecting their reputations and consequently their businesses.
And as we continue to innovate, evolve, and enhance our communications and information networks, the risk exposure rises exponentially. COVID-19’s forced pivot to working from home, only exacerbates the situation. Everything is now fair game – from remote networks to your VPN’s, to your organization’s privacy and security. 
Cybercriminals are drooling and rubbing their hands with glee at this time. This is prime time for hacking, phishing, and other related nefarious activities when your data is most at risk and your IT team is stretched and focussed on other priorities.
And as the cyberattacks increase in frequency and severity, companies face another challenge. Those looking to purchase insurance against cyberattacks in which their data is held for ransom, will soon find it more expensive and difficult to obtain. 
In this presentation, Shafiq Jamal will dive into the current cybersecurity landscape, helping you get a handle on how attacks are evolving and the way these attacks are being launched. Looking at industry best practices, he will help you understand what you need to do to ensure your organization is well equipped to handle your organization’s response to future attacks.
Shafiq Jamal, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Weber Shandwick


Networking and Refreshment Break


Mini Interactive Workshop With Kathryn Kolazek, CEO at Alchemy Communications: Crisis Communications: Essentials to Building your Plan
Is your organization prepared to handle a communications crisis?
In a world where outrage travels fast, and the list of brands and individuals facing a 'cancel culture' backlash grows longer, a crisis is likely no longer a matter of if - but when. By being prepared, you can move your organization from a place of reaction towards a mindset of accountability, avoiding missteps, mitigating damage, and rebuilding trust more quickly.
In this workshop, Alchemy Communications CEO Kathryn Kolaczek will lead you through common crisis or 'cancellation' scenarios your organization could face and help you build a plan and sharpen the tools you need to navigate a crisis confidently and authentically.
About Alchemy Communications
Alchemy Communications is a full-service Public Relations firm specializing in traditional and social media strategy and integration, and strategic communications management, including crisis communications. Led by CEO Kathryn Kolaczek, Alchemy has created and executed crisis communications strategies for brands managing national and international product recalls, board governance issues, employee injuries and death as well as environmental crises. In times of brand stress, Alchemy works to create and clarify the key messages, control the conversation, and offer support to media and communities in need of accurate and timely information.


 End of Day One


A Full Day Crisis Communications Workshop With Kim Blanchette, Senior Vice President and GM (Western Canada) | National Lead, Indigenous Engagement & Communication, ArgyleMastering Crisis Communications in a Post-Pandemic World

 The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as, political and societal turmoil, have raised the bar for what qualifies as “being prepared” and as a result, many organizations are now re-evaluating their crisis communications plans for the post-COVID road ahead.
In this interactive workshop, Kim will cover the most important principles of crisis communications in a post-pandemic world, from building and updating your crisis communications playbook, preparing in advance, addressing misinformation to using the right frameworks, tactics to protect your reputation in times of unprecedented changes.
Attending this workshop will enable you to:
- Conduct a vulnerability audit to assess potential crisis scenarios
- Create a core message that can be communicated across all social media channels
- Properly monitor your social media channels for potential problems
- Coach your spokesperson on the tough questions they may face from the media
- Engage the media and address misinformation and negative commentary
Part 1:
 - Analyzing The Importance Of Reputation And Reputation Management: What is Reputation?
 - Building trust
 - Case studies of good and bad examples of reputation management
Part 2
 Writing a Crisis Plan: The Role of Executives
Part 3
 Key Principles of Crisis Management: Writing a Crisis Statement
Part 4
 Managing The Media
 This segment will include key tips in managing the media, giving broadcast interviews and the essentials of organizing a good press conference.
Part 5
 Interactive Crisis Simulation
 Participants will be divided into groups and each group will select a spokesperson who will be interviewed on the particular crisis situation. As the crisis develops, other spokespeople will be taken.
 The simulation will also include a press conference where the spokespeople have to answer journalist questions.


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