Crisis Communications Boot Camp 19

2-3 June, Zurich, Switzerland


Crisis Communications Boot Camp 19


2-3 June, Zurich, Switzerland

About the Event

Welcome to the 19th edition of the Crisis Communications Boot Camp and our first ever European edition in the new reality!

The COVID-19 pandemic and the societal and political turmoil have drastically changed the way that consumers interact with brands. In this new reality, it is now more important than ever to communicate effectively to the right audience, with the right message and plan for every potential threat to your brand’s reputation.

In our two days, interactive Boot Camp, our expert panel of speakers will help you identify and tackle every element of a crisis whilst safeguarding your organization's reputation in the new reality. 

Why register?

  • Adapt your strategy to the new world of crisis management.
  • Hear practical, real-world tips on how to prepare for a crisis.
  • Understand the importance of empathy in crisis communications
  • Take a human-first approach to crisis management.
  • Deal effectively with outrage and polarisation on social media.
  • Leverage technology and media intelligence to manage crisis communications effectively
  • Detect early warning signs for a crisis, and minimize the damages
  • Structure a robust and effective crisis management and communication plan
  • Leverage social media for effective crisis and communication management
  • Rebuild trust and reputation post-crisis

Facts & Figures

  • The first ever Crisis Communications Boot Camp took place in Calgary in 2018. Since then we have hosted the event 18 times all across North America and Europe, including Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Helsinki.
  • The Crisis Communications Boot Camp is organized by P World, the company behind the amazing success of the Global PR Summit in 20+ countries around the world. 
  • Over 1500 PR professionals have attended our Boot Camps around the world, 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….


Piers Schreiber BT GROUP

Patrick Jephson Former Chief Of Staff To Princess Diana

Mary Jo Jacobi Former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, Former Assistant US Commerce Secretary for President George H.W. Bush, British Civil Service Commissioner

Ginger Buxa Plumbo Mayo Clinic

Giles Read MSC Cruises

Greg Prager Weber Shandwick

Kate Brader FTI Consulting

Christian Lindmeier World Health Organization



Registration and Morning Coffee

09.20 Opening Keynote: Managing Reputational Risk in Unprecedented Times

Mary Jo Jacobi is the only person in the world appointed by two US Presidents, two UK Prime Ministers and the Queen of England.

In this opening keynote, drawing from her experience at Royal Dutch Shell, BP America, Lehman Brothers, HSBC Holdings and Drexel Burnham Lambert, Mary Jo will share with you what it takes to build and maintain a global reputation in the post-COVID era, how to successfully handle corporate and financial crisis and most importantly, how to craft the perfect apology after a major crisis.

Mary Jo Jacobi, Former Assistant U.S. Commerce Secretary, Former Chief Reputation Officer at Royal Dutch Shell and Former Executive Vice President of BP America, USA


Out of the Shadows: The Most Important Trends in Reputation that CEOs Need to Understand
Patrick was Princess Diana’s first and only Chief of Staff. He served the Princess for eight years (1988-96), responsible for every aspect of her public life, charitable initiatives, and private organization. Now, an internationally renowned reputation consultant, a Bestselling Author and consultant for Netflix’s “The Crown”, in this session Patrick will help you identify the qualities people expect to see in CEOs and senior officials, how to prepare them for major crisis, build their key messages but most importantly acquire substance, not spin. 

Patrick Jephson, Former Chief of Staff to Princess Diana, New York Times Bestselling Author & Consultant, Netflix's The Crown, UK


Being Ready to Respond to a Crisis in the New Reality
Drawing from her work at FTI Consulting, Deloitte and Regester Larkin and her experience in responding to the NotPetya cyber-attack, high profile discrimination issues and environmental activism, in this interactive session Kate will discuss how to address the components of planning, training and exercising. She will also share with you lessons learned from live responses on what to be ready for.
Kate Brader, Managing Director, FTI Consulting, UK


The Golden Communication Rules
In an interactive session we will develop and elaborate on the Golden Communication Rules from the perspective of a spokesperson for an International Organization. A special focus will be put on communicating uncertainty in a changing environment. The speaker will also share insight into Communication scenarios for Reputational Risk Management.
Christian Lindmeier, Spokesperson & Communications Officer, World Health Organization


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


Media security: Managing Risk in a World of Mid and Dis Information

In this session Greg will share with you how intelligence, technology, data, human analysis and content converge can help brands and organizations shape narratives in today’s world. He will also walk you through the new principles and practices for how we apply, technology, data, and behavioural sciences to shape narratives and protect brands and organizations in today’s media.

Greg Prager, Chair, EMEA Corporate Practice; Managing Director Switzerland, Weber Shandwick, Switzerland


 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, Piers 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.
Piers Schreiber, Head of Corporate Affairs, British Telecom, UK


Networking Break


The Importance of Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Case Study by MSC Cruises
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted the world economy with tourism being one of the worst-hit sectors. In this presentation, Giles will share with you how one of the world’s leading cruise companies adapted its crisis communications strategy during COVID-19, the role of leadership in managing a crisis, and how it is now using lessons learned from the pandemic to create a crisis strategy for the new reality.
Giles Read, Global Head of Corporate Communications, MSC Cruises, Switzerland


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, USA


End of Day One


Interactive Crisis Simulation Workshop with Donald Steel, Former Chief Communications Adviser at BBC: Adjusting to the New Reality
In this extended workshop, leading crisis communicator Donald Steel explores how crisis communications is changing in the post-pandemic world.
Combining long standing best practice with ideas on how crisis communicators can effectively support those affected by the crisis and protect the reputation of the organisation they represent.
This highly interactive workshop includes an opportunity to work with your fellow delegates through a challenging but very engaging crisis scenario, harnessing social media, media interviews and a sensitive press conference.

You will return to work with:
- Donald’s ten top post-pandemic crisis communications tips
- An action plan to improve executive readiness for crisis communications
-  A heightened awareness of how to communicate in an increasingly aggressive environment

At the end of this workshop you will:
- Understand the relationship between advance preparation and speed in crisis communications
- Be equipped to review your organisation’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
- Be ready to review your organisation’s crisis communications plan in the light of the workshop


Ten top post-pandemic crisis communication tips


Crisis Scenario Part One - breaking news and the use of social media


Can you be social in a crisis and the role of the dark site


Crisis scenario Part Two - handling a media interview


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


Crisis scenario Part Two (continued) - the media interview


Crisis scenario Part Three - press conference


Discussion, summary


End of Crisis Communications Boot Camp 19

Our partners


Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport, Zürich, Switzerland

Address: Flughafen Zürich, Rondellstrasse, 8058 Zürich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 800 40 40

Welcome to the Radisson Blu, the only hotel with direct access to the terminal at Zürich Airport. The hotel is just a short walk from the airport train station, and from there it's only a 10-minute train ride to downtown Zürich. Here you can admire the famous stained-glass windows of the Fraumünster Church during a stroll through the picturesque Old Town, then enjoy the fresh breeze by Lake Zürich before returning to your elegant, comfortable lodging. All 330 rooms and suites at our Zürich hotel feature soundproof windows and a sleek, modern style created by acclaimed architect Matteo Thun, with furnishings from the Designers Guild.