Crisis Communications Boot Camp 18

24-25 March, Hyatt Regency, Atlanta


Crisis Communications Boot Camp 18


24-25 March, Hyatt Regency, Atlanta

About the Event

Welcome to the 18th edition of the Crisis Communications Boot Camp and our second edition in Atlanta!

Completely revamped with brand new speakers and topics, the 18th edition of the Crisis Communications Boot Camp will bring together PR and communications professionals from North America and Europe to explore the stories and lessons learned from the most talked about crises of the past years.

!Book by January 21st and SAVE US$600!

Attending the Crisis Communications Boot Camp 18 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 Boot Camp 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 in a post-pandemic world
  • 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


Nancy Bistritz-Balkan Purchasing Power

Lydia Sermons Spelman College

Greg Trevor University of Georgia

Susan Brown PwC and Emirates Airline & Group

Shaila Manyam BCW Global

Jason Molinet Northwell Health

Ashley Korte Equifax

Vivi Siegel Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



Registration and Morning Coffee


Adjust Your Crisis Communications Strategy For the New Reality
In this opening keynote session, Shaila will share with you what it takes to create a crisis communications plan in uncertain times where political polarization is worse than ever, the public is increasingly confused and the spread of misinformation is rampant – and issues like human rights, climate change and other global topics can impact your local business.
Shaila Manyam, Senior Vice President, Client Lead and Senior Director, Public Affairs & Crisis, BCW Global


Be First, Be Right, Be Credible: Applying CDC’s Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Principles in Real-World Situations
CDC’s Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) curriculum provides trainings, tools, and resources to help health communicators, emergency responders, and leaders of organizations communicate effectively during emergencies; including structure for communicating with audiences under extreme stress. Learn about the CERC core principles and how they apply to each phase of a crisis. The presentation will include examples of how CERC can be used for natural disasters, chemical or radiological disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and other events.  
Vivi Siegel, Associate Director for Communications, Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Master the Six New Rules of Crisis Communications in Post-Pandemic World
One poorly managed issue or incident can quickly and thoroughly threaten the reputation of any organization. But many organizations do not invest the necessary time and resources to plan for existential crises and other emergencies, hoping instead that they will somehow be lucky enough to escape the inevitable. Fortunately, there are steps that any organization can take to be better prepared. Greg's presentation will outline six practical rules that will enable communicators to anticipate, manage and deal with the aftermath of crises.
Greg Trevor, Associate Vice President for Marketing & Communications, University of Georgia


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


Reimagining Crisis Communications: Understand the Importance of Quick Transformation of Your Organization's Crisis Communications Strategy
In the past two years, companies of all shapes and sizes faced a crisis unlike any other they have faced before. Communicating in the heat of the moment has become the "new normal" and the risks of missteps that could create lasting damage have increased drastically. In this session Jason will share with you lessons learned from Northwell Health's communications journey during COVID-19 and the importance of quick transformation of your crisis communications strategy in order to communicate with your key internal and external audiences with strength, resilience and compassion.
Jason Molinet, Senior Director, Media Relations, Northwell Health


 From COVID to Chaos: Effective Teams and Plans for Weathering Crisis Communications Storms
Lydia formerly served as Chief Communications Strategist for the City Atlanta, Georgia mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Shortly after joining the City, Lydia was faced with managing the Mayor’s communications response to the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice demonstrations and a highly charged presidential and U.S. Senate election cycle. Lydia’s prior experience leading communication initiatives for the White House during President Clinton and President Obama’s administrations, a former US member of Congress, federal agencies and Washington, DC, and Atlanta mayors, equipped her with the tools needed to meet Atlanta’s challenges. She has led national communications strategies on healthcare reform, mental health, racial equity, and financial education, and for national health crises from the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks to the U.S. City of Flint, Michigan water lead contamination.
During this session, Lydia will share best practices for building effective Communications teams and plans to help you survive during and thrive before and after a crisis.
Attendees will gain insights on how the best communications defense is built upon a great offense and approaches to determining the effectiveness and preparedness of your communication team and plans. 
Lydia Sermons, Vice President for Public Relations and Communications, Spelman College


Networking and Refreshment Break


Cybersecurity Crisis Communications: From a Breach to a Pandemic 
The world has changed dramatically for communicators in the past 24 months. Crisis has become somewhat commonplace, and radical shifts in the need to provide employees and other key stakeholders with information has never been more important. And over the past 24 months, cyber criminals have used this time of uncertainty, chaos, and fear to their advantage. In this session, attendees will learn what it was like to be on the front lines of one of the largest cybersecurity events in history. They will also walk away with insight into what it's like to be a communicator working in a cybersecurity environment - during a pandemic, for a company who played a critical role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. 
Nancy Bistritz Balkan, Senior Director, Corporate Communications, Purchasing Power


Preparing for the Impossible: A Case Study by Equifax

The moment you believe it won’t happen to you, is the moment you put your business at risk. Ensuring your organization is prepared to respond to the unexpected quickly and effectively is critical to the continuity of any business. In this session Ashley Korte will discuss how Equifax equips internal stakeholders with the skills and resources to successfully navigate crises.
Ashley Korte, Senior Director, Global Crisis Management, Equifax


End of Day One


Full Day Crisis Communications Workshop with Susan Brown, Big Impact Communications & Former Head of Global Communications, PwC and Emirates Airline & Group
The past two years have shown us how we, and our institutions can rapidly adapt and adjust during a time of global crisis. Is this the new normal? What crisis is lurking around the corner waiting to hit next? 
In this one-day specialist workshop, international crisis communicator Susan Brown will lift your vision and energy to make sure you and your organization are fully crisis communications ready. 
In this fully interactive and engaging day, together we will discover what success looks like in crisis communications and gather learnings from situations where people have gotten it right.  We will also find solutions together and share the experiences of our participants. 
We will explore how technology is changing the dynamic during a crisis, and how we must broaden our crisis communications response to factor that in so that we own and drive the narrative.

At the end of this workshop you will:
- Be familiar with the trends in crisis communication
- Understand the relationship between advance preparation and speed in crisis communications
- Be equipped to review your organization’s tone, language and style on social media in a crisis
- Be familiar with aggressive question types in crisis media interviews and how to deal with them
- Understand what your end game is managing the crisis
- Be ready to review/revise your organization’s crisis communications plan post workshop
- Leave the workshop feeling energized, with a checklist of actions to take back as you seek to take your crisis preparedness to the next level

Interactive scenario part one
- The changing media landscape
- The new crisis communications timetable
- Getting ahead of the narrative on social media
- Staying victim focused

Interactive scenario part two
- Crisis storytelling 101
- Types of crisis narrative such as Heroes and Villains
- Building the statement blocks in a crisis including social media
- Owning the narrative, controlling your story
- Building public confidence

Interactive scenario part three
- In the driver’s seat, managing the messaging/narrative
- Avoiding losing control
- Handling aggressive media interviews and recognizing question types
- Dealing confidently with emerging issues
- Media interview practice with group representatives


Closing Discussion 

Our partners


Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 30303
Tel: +1 404 577 1234 | Fax: +1 404 460 6444 |


Hyatt Regency Atlanta is in the heart of Atlanta, just blocks from sports and concerts at Mercedes Benz Stadium, events at the Georgia World Congress Center and attractions like Centennial Olympic Park. The Peachtree Center MARTA train station is next door, connecting us to the airport (a 30-minute ride) and making our hotel the perfect base to explore Atlanta’s neighborhoods, restaurants and rich history.