Agfora recently conducted research into new guidance for communications professionals on the management of threats from hostiles, a joint initiative by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).

The guidance, ‘CRISIS MANAGEMENT FOR TERRORIST RELATED EVENTS’, draws on feedback from 30 communications professionals working for high risk businesses/organisations, the police and crisis management experts, who were interviewed by Agfora end 2018. Half had been directly involved in a major crisis, most of them terror related.   

Although generally well-prepared, they readily admit their organisations could always do more, and it was evident those who had NOT been exposed to a terrorist event were often somewhat under prepared in terms of communications planning. The assumption is that a terror-related crisis should be treated like any other, but the research shows there are clear differences and that there is demand for specific communications guidance.

Participants shared their experiences with us, the lessons they had learned and their tips for fellow colleagues working in similar organisations. I think I can safely say that both my colleague, Ruth (McNeil), and I were really touched by the stories that unfolded as we carried out the research for this guidance. The participants had often lived through incredibly harrowing professional experiences and had found themselves on a steep learning curve at the time of the incidents they described. Thankfully for us, many felt compelled to share, for the greater good and with incredible frankness, what had and hadn’t gone well at the time, in order to help others who might one day find themselves in a similar situation. 

For more information go to the CIPR newsroom.