Docleaf warning on crisis management

The opening seminar of this year’s C&IT Corporate Forum kicked off yesterday with a message to client event planners to take a back-to-basics approach to crisis management. David Perl, chief executive of crisis management specialist Docleaf, warned of the dangers of not having a recognised action plan in place and not being up to speed with everyday details, such as delegate information and an agreed media-handling procedure. The forum has run from Monday to Wednesday this week at the Marriott St Pierre Hotel & Country Club, Chepstow, and the first of two sessions from Perl showed that just six out of 18 corporates were aware of a specific crisis-management plan for their events. “Go back to your companies and find out exactly what plans are in place,” Perl said. “If something does go wrong, do you have all your delegates’ next of kin information? If your event happens at a weekend, how will you track down the correct person in your organisation? As soon as an accident, for example, hits the news, the phones will ring and potentially you are leaving the person on the front desk to field those calls.” Royal Mail head of events Sally Blakeney, one of those who said her company did have a solid crisis response plan in place, said that it was as much about logistics as breaking bad news: “Even simple details such as delayed flights mean you need to know exactly how to contact all of those who are relevant to the event,” she said.

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