Active crisis management
As well as providing strategic advice to clients in crisis, we also get involved in a hands-on way with our clients’ crises. Teams can be deployed to help your firm to communicate either remotely – over the phone, by email, and via video-conferencing (e.g. Skype) – or in person. Based in London, our staff supports clients from across the country, and handles global and national media with professionalism.
What can Chelgate offer?
Our active crisis management service is for clients who require both advice and assistance in managing a particular communication issue.
Our service can be tailored: it is not “all-or-nothing”. If a client feels they have strong media monitoring capabilities, or excellent existing media contacts, for instance, we can step back from a given responsibility. We offer assistance in all of the below activities:
- Handling media enquiries
- Press conferences or briefings
- Off-record meetings with journalists
- Press release distribution
- Message distribution
- Monitoring the reception of a given message
Media monitoring (broadcast, print and online)
Who needs active crisis assistance?
We manage the crisis communications of clients of all sizes. Large firms may be reluctant to divert their PR resource away from regular duties to handle a crisis internally, preferring instead to hand this responsibility to Chelgate. In addition, holding a permanent, experienced crisis PR capability internally can also be expensive, and the capability will spend large periods of time idling, or committed to mundane day-to-day tasks. Simply hiring Chelgate during peak periods of need makes sense.
For smaller clients, we often act as the client’s sole crisis PR capability. As the liaison between the client – typically a CEO or senior board member – and the media we are sometimes given some professional leeway to make our own decisions about how an issue should be handled. As a company that likes to build long-term client relationships, this is often the case when we have been involved earlier in a preparatory role.
It is easy to make mistakes when handling a sensitive issue: even highly-experienced members of a PR team – who may only have managed a handful of crises during a decades-long career – are liable to make mistakes. These could range from errors of judgement to apparently innocuous (but actually revealing) slips in conversation with, for instance, an aggressive tabloid journalist.
In addition, our crisis PR team can insulate the client. A client can rarely admit to a journalist that it does not have the latest facts, or a relevant statement. But Chelgate can. We interface between the client and the press, ensuring that careful, thoughtful – but prompt and timely – replies are always given to journalists, and that the client is never caught off guard.