Q&A with Derek Delano, SVP at Tier One Partners on Upcoming Crisis Communications Program

On Wednesday, March 27 at 6 pm, the PRClub will host a program entitled, “Managing a Crisis in a Minute-to-Minute Newscycle.” Panelists including Melissa Mahoney, Senior Vice President at Version 2.0 Communications; Gary Sheffer, Sandra R. Frazier Professor of Public Relations at Boston University (and former VP, Communications at GE) and Dan O’Neill, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and former Director of Communications at Iron Mountain, will share insights from their experience successfully managing and navigating a host of corporate issues, including best practices in crisis communications, the importance of preparation, and the need for transparency and immediacy when we communicate.

We spoke with session moderator, Derek Delano, Senior Vice President at Tier One Partners, about why depending on luck isn’t an option when it comes to managing a crisis and what session participants will learn from this session.

PRClub: Derek, what’s changed in the communications landscape that makes crisis preparedness more essential than ever?

Delano: There are a few drivers. Social media and the way brands engage with their audiences is the most obvious one. Brands now communicate and engage with their customers in the moment. No longer do brands have the luxury of time to pause and deliberate over the perfectly crafted statement that appears in print the next day. Audiences expect immediacy and transparency from brands, but even more than that, they expect authenticity. Being transparent is table stakes in today’s environment. Both business and consumer audiences expect brands to be authentic in their response to an issue. To over-communicate, not share less. These interactions also need to be two-way dialogues, not just brands talking at their audiences.

Our news cycles have also changed, thanks not only to social media, but to the 24/7 nature of today’s news environment. We’re in a minute-to-minute news cycle – just think about the impact President Trump’s tweets have on what’s being talked about in the news from one moment to the next. From a crisis perspective, this means brands need to be ready in an instant to be on the front lines responding to crises.

PRClub: Tell us about some of the takeaways the program participants will leave with?

Delano: I’ll be moderating a conversation among leaders who have all been in the thick of crisis situations and who understand what communicators need to do to prepare and better protect the reputations of their companies or clients.

We’ll cover what goes on in the minds of communicators during a crisis and the best ways to stay prepared. While each crisis is different, session attendees will learn best practices for successfully navigating a crisis, and they’ll also learn from the real-life case studies, successful and otherwise, that our panelists share. I’m really excited about the panel we’ve assembled, and I look forward to a lively and interesting discussion.

To register for the PRClub event, click here: https://www.prclub.org/programs/managing-a-crisis-in-a-minute-to-minute-newscycle/