Crisis Communications Boot Camp Chicago

11-12 April 2024, Chicago


Crisis Communications Boot Camp Chicago


11-12 April 2024, Chicago

About the Event

The Chicago Crisis Communications Boot Camp is officially SOLD OUT! But don't fret - due to overwhelming demand, we're excited to announce an EXCLUSIVE additional edition in the vibrant city of Miami on June 13-14! 

Click here to grab your ticket and join us for an intensive, high-impact Boot Camp experience.


Discover the Power of Preparedness in an Ever-Changing World

Are you ready to stay ahead of the curve in crisis management? In a world where crises can emerge in the blink of an eye, being prepared is your best defense. After the resounding success of last year's sold-out event, we are thrilled to announce the return of the Crisis Communications Boot Camp on April 11-12 in Chicago. This year, we're bringing you an exciting line-up of new speakers, fresh perspectives, and a brand new agenda designed to equip you with the tools and strategies needed to navigate the evolving landscape of crisis communications.

Why Attend the Crisis Communications Boot Camp?

  • In-Depth Case Studies: Delve into real-world case studies presented by leading crisis experts from renowned institutions and organizations, such as Ben and Jerry's, Stanford, NASA, Boston Children's Hospital, Expedia, Yelp, and the City of Atlanta Police Department. These case studies will provide you with practical insights into managing crises effectively.
  • Adaptive Crisis Communication: Explore how to navigate the challenges of the modern communication landscape, including media relations in an age of permacrisis and managing crises across different platforms. Learn to adapt your communication strategies to address the ever-evolving crisis landscape.
  • AI-Driven Crisis Management: Discover the role of artificial intelligence in crisis communications. Gain knowledge about AI tools and technologies that can monitor, analyze, and respond to crises in real-time, enhancing your crisis management capabilities.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Learn effective strategies for engaging with diverse stakeholders during crises. Understand how to maintain trust and transparency, even in the midst of complex and prolonged crises.
  • Hands-On Crisis Simulation Workshop: Participate in a full-day crisis simulation workshop to put your knowledge into practice. Work through realistic scenarios to revitalize your crisis management plan for 2024 and beyond. Develop practical skills and confidence in handling real-world crises.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to elevate your crisis communications game. Space is limited, and just like last year, we anticipate a sold-out event. Secure your spot now to ensure you're ready to face any crisis that comes your way.

Don't wait! Register today and be a part of the most comprehensive Crisis Communications Boot Camp of the year. Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to safeguard your organization's reputation and navigate any crisis with confidence. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

Facts & Figures

  • Inaugural Event: The very first Crisis Communications Boot Camp was organized in Calgary in 2017, setting the stage for a journey of excellence in crisis communication training.
  • Global Reach: Since its inception, the boot camp has attracted over 2000 PR professionals, making it one of the most sought-after events in the field. It has been held in 25 cities around the world, offering participants a truly global perspective on crisis communication.
  • Global Recognition: The Crisis Communications Boot Camp is widely recognized as one of the world's leading training programs in crisis communications, not only in Europe and North America but across the globe. Its reputation for delivering cutting-edge strategies and insights has solidified its status as a go-to resource for professionals in the field.
  • Exclusive Content: The boot camp continuously evolves to address the latest challenges and trends in crisis communication. Participants can expect exclusive content, expert speakers, and practical takeaways that empower them to navigate the ever-changing landscape of crisis management.
  • Solutions-Oriented: Unlike many other events, this boot camp places a strong emphasis on practical solutions and actionable strategies. Attendees leave with the tools and knowledge needed to effectively handle crises and protect their organization's reputation.


Donald Steel Former Chief Communications Advisor, BBC

Nicole Moreo Ketchum

Kristen Dattoli Boston Children's Hospital

Sean Greenwood Ben & Jerry's

Dave Fleet Edelman

Chata M. Spikes City of Atlanta Police Department (APD) & Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC)

Trisha McDonell Expedia

Dee Mostofi Stanford University

Allard Beutel NASA Office of Communications



Registration and Morning Coffee


Taking a Stand Amid Political and Societal Turmoil: Navigating Authentic Advocacy
In an era marked by societal turbulence, Sean unpacks the essence of authentic corporate activism through the lens of Ben &Jerry's impactful strategies. Drawing from their playbook, Sean illuminates the path to taking principled stands while preserving brand credibility. This session offers practical insights on aligning values with action, managing customer expectations, and safeguarding your brand's reputation amidst polarized landscapes. Join Sean to discover actionable steps for genuine, impactful advocacy, empowering your organization to navigate these tumultuous times with integrity and purpose.
Sean Greenwood, Director of Public Relations and Communications, Ben & Jerry's


Crisis in the Age of AI: Implications of Generative AI for Crisis and Reputation Management
Whether you are a PR professional, crisis communicator, or a decision-maker concerned about the impact of generative AI on reputation management, this session will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to navigate the evolving landscape effectively. Join us to explore the implications of generative AI for crisis and reputation management and discover innovative approaches to safeguarding your organization's brand and reputation in the age of AI.
Dave Fleet, Head of Global Digital Crisis, Edelman


Building & Maintaining a Brand Reputation in a World of Polarization ang Growing Mistrust
Drawing from her experience at the City of Atlanta Police Department (APD)  and the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC), Chata will share with you how to build and maintain a brand reputation in a world of polarization and growing mistrust. She will discuss the strategies used to create a brand that is trusted and respected by the public and how to respond to negative publicity. Additionally, she will discuss the importance of transparency and accountability in building a strong brand reputation.
Chata M. Spikes, Public Affairs Director , City of Atlanta Police Department (APD)  & Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC) 


Navigating Media Relations in Permacrisis: Strategies for Success

In this session, join Dee, a seasoned media relations expert, as she unravels the intricate web of maintaining effective media relationships during times of permacrisis. With the modern world characterized by ongoing and interconnected crises, the role of media relations has never been more critical. Dee will share invaluable insights and strategies to help you adapt and thrive in this ever-evolving landscape. Explore the art of crafting a proactive and resilient media relations strategy that ensures your organization's message is heard, even in the midst of enduring permacrisis scenarios. Learn to build and nurture relationships with the media that foster trust and credibility, allowing you to effectively convey your organization's story and navigate the constant waves of challenges. Discover how to provide timely, accurate, and empathetic responses to media inquiries and stakeholder concerns, ensuring your brand remains resilient and respected. 

Dee Mostofi, AVP, University External Communications, Stanford University


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


Crisis Planning at NASA: Preparing for the Unexpected
Join us for a riveting session with NASA's Allard Beutel, as he takes us behind the scenes of how the space agency meticulously prepares for the unexpected. Delve into the high-stakes world of crisis scenarios, where NASA's brilliant minds simulate a myriad of challenges, from technical malfunctions to unforeseen emergencies, in their tireless quest for exploration for the benefit of humanity. Discover the strategies employed to train and empower NASA's leaders to steer through adversity, collaboration across the agency, as well as commercial and international partners, and more to help ensure effective communications of NASA’s missions. Allard's insight will leave you in awe of the resilience and unwavering dedication that defines NASA's crisis planning, a testament to humanity's quest for the stars.
Allard Beutel, Director, News, Media, and Internal Communications Division, NASA Office of Communications


Stakeholder Engagement: Nurturing Trust and Credibility Through Crisis Management
In this informative session, led by Trisha, a recognized expert in stakeholder engagement, you will gain comprehensive insights into the art of managing relationships with stakeholders before, during, and after a crisis. In an era where stakeholder trust and credibility are paramount, Trisha will guide you through proven strategies to build, maintain, and strengthen these vital connections. Explore the proactive approach to stakeholder engagement, creating a robust foundation for trust that will withstand even the most challenging of circumstances. Learn how to tailor your communication and engagement strategies to various stakeholder groups, ensuring that your organization's message resonates and builds a lasting positive rapport. Trisha will also provide essential techniques for responding to stakeholder concerns with empathy and authenticity during crises, preserving the integrity of your organization's relationships. This session is your key to mastering the art of stakeholder engagement in the face of adversity, safeguarding your organization's reputation, and nurturing trust and credibility for the long term.
Trisha McDonell, Global Crisis Communications Director, Expedia 


Networking Break


Measuring Success in Crisis Communications: Essential Tips and Strategies
In this session, Nicole Moreo, a distinguished expert in PR measurement,  will provide essential insights into measuring the success of crisis communication strategies. In today's fast-paced digital landscape, understanding the impact and effectiveness of your crisis response is pivotal. Nicole will guide you through the most critical tips for crisis communications measurement, offering a practical roadmap for assessing your crisis management performance accurately. You'll learn how to set clear objectives, harness data analytics, master key performance indicators (KPIs), employ real-time monitoring, and identify trends and best practices in crisis communications measurement. Nicole's extensive experience and practical approach will empower you to navigate crisis management with confidence, ensuring your organization's reputation and financial health are safeguarded.

Nicole Moreo, Head of Customer Insights, LinkedIn


 Empower, Protect, Communicate: Crisis Management in Safeguarding Inclusivity for Gender Health Amid Threats
Explore the critical crisis communications principles and essential multidisciplinary components Kristen and her team put in place beginning on August 11, 2002, when Boston Children’s Hospital suddenly fell victim to a coordinated barrage of threats over its trans health program. Kristen will discuss the ever-changing severity of the crisis and highlight the importance of a crisis huddle, how external and internal communications and content must be aligned, and how video content from 2017 ignited a storm. Kristen will also discuss the importance of sustaining a safe and inclusive environment for all, even amid protests, challenges, and threats.
Kristen Dattoli, Director, Enterprise Communications, Boston Children's Hospital


End of Day One


Revitalizing Your Crisis Plan: A Real-Life Scenario Workshop with Donald Steel

Join us for a transformative Crisis Simulation Workshop led by esteemed crisis communication expert, Donald Steel, as we dive into the ever-changing landscape of crisis communications in a post-pandemic world. In this extended session, we'll focus on the crucial process of updating your crisis plan with real-life scenarios, ensuring your organization remains resilient and adaptable in the face of modern challenges.
This immersive workshop combines established best practices with innovative approaches, empowering crisis communicators to effectively support those affected by crises and protect their organization's reputation. You'll engage in hands-on exercises, collaborating with your peers to navigate complex crisis scenarios that involve social media, media interviews, and delicate press conferences.

By the conclusion of this workshop, you'll walk away with:
- Donald's top ten crisis communication strategies tailored to the post-pandemic era.
- A concrete plan to enhance your leadership team's preparedness for crisis communication.
- A heightened understanding of effective communication in today's increasingly assertive environment.

Upon completing the workshop, you'll be equipped to:
- Understand the crucial connection between pre-crisis preparation and swift crisis response.
- Possess the skills to evaluate and adapt your organization's social media communication style during crises.
- Be proficient in handling assertive question types during crisis media interviews.
- Be well-prepared to update and revise your organization's crisis communication plan based on the valuable insights gained during the workshop.

Don't miss this opportunity to fortify your crisis preparedness and embrace the future of crisis communications with confidence.

About Your Workshop Leader:
Donald Steel, Vice President, Crisis Communications, Kenyon International Emergency Services and Former Chief Communications Adviser at the BBC
Donald Steel has built a global reputation as a crisis communicator.  For more than 25 years he has given strategic counsel to organisations and high profile individuals in a range of serious situations, including aircraft incidents, terrorism, kidnapping, serious accidents, executive and personal misconduct, fraud, litigation and inquests and serious regulatory and diplomatic issues.
He was for 11 years, the chief media spokesman of the BBC.
In his own practice, based in London, he worlds with a range of corporate, government, NGO and individual clients across the UK, Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific and Australasia.   His clients includes airlines, hospitals, universities, hotel groups, UN agencies, orchestras, the Eurovision Song Contest, arts venues and high profile artistes.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in London and of the Royal Society of Arts.  He is a regular guest lecturer at the London School of Economics and the China Media Centre of the University of Westminster.
Alongside his own practice, last year he was appointed Vice President, Crisis Communications at Kenyon International Emergency Services, the worlds longest serving and most admired responder to incidents involving fatality and injury.  Based in Houston, Berkshire (UK), Beirut and Santo Domingo, Kenyon’s clients range from leading airlines, cruise companies, hotel groups, governments, police forces, local authorise and companies across the world who work in high risk situations.  In this role, Donald leads a team of senior crisis communicators based around the world, ready to respond to clients.
He was a member of Aviation Futures, a recent think tank of the UK Civil Aviation Authority supporting the CAA on planning the regulation of future developments in aviation.

Our partners


Catalyst Ranch, Chicago, USA

Address: 656 W Randolph St Ste 4E, Chicago, IL 60661, United States

Catalyst Ranch in Chicago is a unique meetings and events venue designed for companies to go offsite for thinking, planning, developing, creating new products, solutions, and innovative ideas. The Ranch was named the “Best Conference Venue” by Illinois Meetings & Events in 2012 and 2013 and the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convene Magazine “Best in Show” for Small Meetings 2014. The design inspires play for grown up companies with today's big challenges. Play is the first step toward creativity. Toys, games, color, texture, natural light, comfortable seating, and space to roam all contribute to the stimulate creativity and communication. For groups of 3 to 120, it's a wondrous environment that can be configured to meet your needs. Imagination, environment, creativity, innovation.