It is an uncertain time for the world as we know it, and the global and national implications as a result of COVID-19, are starting to take shape. Combined with the horrific start to 2020 with the bushfire crisis, we have certainly seen some clear communications themes emerging from the industry.
Firstly, the need for crisis communications and issues management experts, with the experience to respond to developments in global or national issues, both internally and externally as they affect your company is of increasing importance. If companies are not on the front foot in informing their staff, customers and investors alike, they are going to suffer considerably (if they haven’t already).
We have also seen a strong move towards contract hiring instead of permanent due to the uncertainty in the markets and the unknown full implications to business. Contracting is a great option for times such as these, whether it’s for a general marketing/communications professional for a 3 month contract or for a crisis or issues management professional to create and execute a strategy for 4-6 weeks – now is the time to act!
Below we have featured some of the crisis communications profiles you may see if you post a project with Commtract. There are over 700 crisis, issues, and reputation management experts on our platform across Australia and New Zealand.
FIONA (SYDNEY, NSW)
“I have almost three decades’ experience in offering full service communication solutions to clients of all sizes. One of my specialist areas is incident and crisis management from strategy through to implementation. I have managed large scale crisis strategies such as the crisis response for the Australian broadcaster during the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and internal incident management such as a company wide response to the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009. I have developed industry-wide responses as well as company-specific responses around issues such as the Banking Royal Commission and Childhood Obesity Crisis, and have helped several companies (across multiple industries) to develop their incident response strategy for self-management into the future.”
MICHAEL (SYDNEY, NSW)
“I’ve had almost 40 years’ experience around the world as a journalist, editor and communications professional. As a foreign correspondent, I saw a lot of people, places and organisations in crisis, and observed how various stakeholders dealt with such situations, or failed to deal with them. I’ve worked as Chief of Communications and Publications for Interpol, Manager of Media and Public Affairs for Amnesty International Australia, Manager of External Relations for the Reserve Bank of Australia (Banknote Division) and Director of Research and Communications for the Australian Press Council. In all of those senior roles, effective crisis communication was essential and all too often required. I have honed my skills in those jobs, and as a consultant and strategist for a number of other corporate and NGO clients. Managing internal and external communications for Interpol, the world’s largest international police organisation, and controversy-prone, was, to say the least, a trial by fire.”
JOE (MELBOURNE, VIC)
“I am a senior professional who provides high-level best practice advice on corporate affairs strategies and engagement tactics. I have been successful in working with clients to identify risks and to manage high-profile national issues while developing corporate narratives that engage authentically with a diverse range of stakeholders. Most recently, I have been at the forefront of leading, managing and implementing effective crisis and communication activities during the most high-profile and politically complex time in Australia’s energy industry. I have a proven ability to deliver calculated communications counsel that ties communication objectives to strategic business drivers and in turn help shape the future direction of organisations involved in major issues. I am passionate about building, enhancing and protecting brands and driving positive reputation with clear communication.”
LISA (MELBOURNE, VIC)
“I am a strategic communications specialist with more than 12 years of experience managing issues and crisis communications, media outreach and stakeholder engagement for organizations around the world. I have developed issues management plans and reputational risk matrixes while working for the United Nations and international NGOs, and I have successfully managed complex reputational issues in global markets, including South America, Africa, Europe and Australia. Establishing close relationships with journalists and preparing proactive issues management plans are key to my crisis communications work.”
JOSEPHINE (NEWCASTLE, NSW)
“I am an established communications professional with over 20 years of global, corporate experience across F&B (Starbucks) and cosmetics (Estee Lauder). Having worked in Sydney, New York City and Hong Kong, I am recognised for my ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders, create and implement long-term communication strategies and develop effective crisis management plans. The F&B industry provided an action-oriented environment for managing consumer driven local, regional and global issues. In the cosmetics industry I lead the resolution of a counterfeit consumer product issue in Australia. I have since developed a series of media training modules which I tailor for executives, in an endeavour to share my knowledge of crisis management. Knowing what to say, who your audience is and understanding the nature of your message is crucial in times of potential risk to reputation.”
MICHELLE (CHRISTCHURCH, NZ)
“Crisis communication is one of my strengths, having managed crises in business, government agencies and natural disasters. A team approach and plenty of past experience is what I bring to organisations battling reputational issues or crises. From reducing the spread of H1N1 influenza through award winning communications, to providing some of the first public communications, after Christchurch’s 7.1 earthquake, I am accomplished in communicating difficult issues to a wide array of stakeholders. I regularly assist businesses with reputational issues, ranging from health and safety crises to liquidation. In 2016, I was invited to Oslo by the Asia-Europe Foundation to share her experiences and learn from other international crisis communicators.”
ELISSA (SYDNEY, NSW)
“I have extensive experience in public relations and communications having managed the reputation of some of the largest Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed organisations and brands in sectors including international brand marketing, fast moving consumer goods, finance, energy, tourism, entertainment, professional services and health. I have expertise in issues and crisis management and throughout my career I have successfully managed risk while delivering on business strategy, growth, revenue and reputation targets. I have proven ability to deliver strategic corporate counsel to C-Suite executives and Boards on strategic and corporate communications, public relations and, issues and crisis management.”
NATANAEL (MELBOURNE, VIC)
“I am a corporate and crisis communication professional, working in both the private and public sector with clients in infrastructure, health, finance, tech and NFP/NGOs across Europe and Australia. I also train spokespeople and executives (media training, coaching, war rooms…) for public interventions in high stakes environments: press conferences, television appearances, public meetings, parliamentary hearings and general assemblies. During crisis times, my art of work is in the careful mediation between complex corporate issues and communicating to manage risks and preserve reputation. I am an occasional contributor (speaker/writer) in Australian and French media. I am the co-founder and co-host of Europa Voice, a weekly podcast produced by SBS.”
GRAHAM (SYDNEY, NSW)
“I am a communications specialist spanning more than 30 years across local, state, national and international politics, corporate frameworks, journalism and sport – a mix of roles and learnings that have taught me the vital importance of sustained community consultation coupled with sizeable and dedicated attention to Issues Management, Brand Protection. In one of my previous roles I was the Director of the City of Sydney’s City Engagement Division, I had leadership, oversight and direct involvement in pro-active communications alongside promoting and protecting the reputation of the organization as well as helping develop a sustained high level of trust and in-house culture.”
ROBIN (MELBOURNE, VIC)
“Based on 20 years in Australia’s foreign ministry, and eight years in the resource sector, I have first hand experience in crisis response and communications. I was awarded a humanitarian medal for leading Australia’s consular response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami in Thailand in 2004. I have a practical background in industrial safety, employee engagement, inclusion and diversity, media liaison, and strategic analysis. I initiated innovative corporate partnerships, including the ‘1000 Day’ health and nutrition project with UNICEF, and managed a portfolio of development programs overseas. With a strong background in issues and reputation management, government and community liaison, negotiations, and established networks, I can quickly deliver professional commercial and communications outcomes to meet demanding requirements.”