lean principles in internal communication Posts

Our Consulting Philosophy

I received this comment from a client today about a video script I wrote: “This looks wonderful, and is exactly what we needed. Thank you for your partnership. It’s so valuable.”

As you can imagine, it made my day for a lot of reasons, but I especially liked the “partnership” reference because it precisely reflects my consulting philosophy: “Consulting isn’t something I do for you – it’s something I do with you.”

Check out this super short video I made using PowToons a few years ago about my consulting philosophy and see if you agree.

Top 10 Crisis Communication Tips

After nearly three decades of helping organizations prepare communication responses for a crisis, here are our top tips to navigate stormy waters:

1) Don’t repeat negatives in a question. Instead, say that you have different information than what was stated and then deliver your key messages.

2) Cultivate relationships with industry experts and keep them informed about your business. If they know your business, they can be great third-party validators during a crisis.

3) Identify the top social media users in your city and your industry and cultivate relationships with them. Invite them to insider events. They may come to your defense when you need them the most.

4) Prepare key messages for likely scenarios and have them vetted by your attorneys before the crisis strikes. (Learn how in our new online Crash Course in Crisis Communications).

5) Know your organization’s policies on commenting about ongoing investigations, confirming employment status, releasing information about employees, etc. Don’t say you have policies if you don’t have them in writing.

6) Have an updated Crisis Communication Plan and practice drills quarterly.

7) Talk about actions you are taking and avoid talking about inaction. “Clean-up efforts are underway…” “A hot-line has been set up…” “Grief counselors are on-site…”

8) Tell the stories of the heroes such as first responders or employees who sprang into action.

9) Don’t speculate about motives or causes. Be wary of speculative questions that contain the word “if.” Stick to confirmed facts.

10) Never say “no comment.” Instead, explain why you can’t answer and turn to what you can say. “It’s not our policy to speculate but here is what I can tell you…”

What tips would you add to this list? Leave them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you1


The No. 1 Crisis Communication Mistake

Top 10 Crisis Communication Mistakes to Avoid

How Your Organization Can Become Stronger through a Crisis

Podcast: Taking the Crisis Out of Crisis Communication

Webinar Replay: Internal Communication in Times of Crisis

Special Offers

Crash Course: Get half off our online Crash Course in Crisis Communications. With video instruction you’ll learn how to devise powerful messages on the fly, what to prepare, how to predict the coming crisis, and how to practice. Use Coupon Code FOP50. You pay only $24.50.

The Toolkit: Go beyond messaging with our Crisis Communication Toolkit. Get all the tools, templates, and tactics you need to ensure you are ready. The toolkit includes a 29-page instruction guide and a 108-page Word template that allows you to create your own custom plan. So, how much does all this cost? Would you believe YOU DECIDE THE PRICE! $$$ Yep, you decide how much to pay. But hurry, because this offer won’t last long!


5 Ways to Conduct Better Virtual Meetings

happy business people using conference phone at modern office

By Paul Barton
Principal Consultant

With everyone hunkered down at home these days, virtual business meetings are the new normal. But conducting a virtual meeting is not as simple as flipping a switch and carrying on like a typical in-person meeting. There are special considerations If you want to have a productive and collaborative meeting.

I recently wrote this article for the Phoenix Business Journal outlining five steps business professionals can take to help ensure a more productive virtual meeting.

Some of my clients have been working virtually for quite some time. For others, working from a laptop on the kitchen table is a new experience. Either way, I think there are some helpful tips here.

I’d love to hear your tips as well. How have you made sue your meetings run smoothly? What creative things have you done to keep your audience engaged? Please drop your thoughts in the comments box below. Thank you!