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Crisis Communications Planning Conference
with Gerald Baron, Neil Chapman & John Philbin

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Crisis Communications Planning Conference
with Gerald Baron, Neil Chapman & John Philbin

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Crisis Communications Planning Conference
with Gerald Baron, Neil Chapman & John Philbin


Organisations that face a crisis are at risk of being overwhelmed very quickly by information demands and a deluge of reputation-damaging comments before they have had time to assess and react.

Social media fuels media attention and a complex frenzy of attention that can make it hard for organisations to even get out their messages in time - let alone compete for attention when key audiences may have already judged their response as too slow.

Citizen journalists, blogs, social media, YouTube may have struck before an organisation has fully understood what has hit them.
An interactive & Practical Event to Identify the Gaps & Strengthen your Plan
The interactive conference has been designed to help organisations design their crisis communications plans to be effective in today’s unforgiving world.

Using our industry-leading, proprietary Gap Analysis Tool we will help participants identify the strengths and improvement areas for their crisis communications plans, measured against industry best practice.

At the end of the two days they will have established their score against a set of key criteria - and identified where they need to focus their attentions to ensure they are as fit as they can be to deal with a crisis.


For most, it’s not a matter of if, but when
Major crises can hit suddenly, or smoulder and then catch fire.

Are you ready? And how can you be certain?

How can you know if the plans, training and preparations you have invested in will work to protect your reputation, your brand, your future?

The Gap Analysis Tool is the first to provide an objective auditing and assurance test.
The Crisis Communications Planning Workshop, led by industry experts with years of crisis experience, will help you evaluate your plans and procedures using a detailed questionnaire that incorporates lessons learned from some of the largest events ever.

All aspects of your plan are evaluated including your preparation to meet the online threats of a hyper-connected world.

We also highlight the strategies to face the intense demands of stakeholders

We look at:
  1. The four key areas a fit-for-purpose crisis communications needs
  2. Strategic and tactical planning frameworks
  3. Organisation models for communications teams
  4. Resource priorities and allocation
  5. Message distribution channels
  6. Media and social media engagement
We will guide you through the Gap Analysis Tool that addresses over 150 topics, which are scored to quickly identify plan strengths and gaps.

The Tool has been developed by a team of crisis communications professionals with a wide range of frontline response experience. It builds upon lessons learned from real incidents and inside analysis of crisis case studies.

Your Workshop trainers
Leading the two information-packed days will be John ‘Pat’ Philbin, formerly of US Coast Guard and FEMA and Neil Chapman, formerly with BP. Both have frontline communication experience during some of the biggest headline-grabbing incidents in recent times. They will be joined by influential crisis blogger Gerald Baron, and author of the book: “Now is Too Late: Survival in an Era of Instant News.”

In addition the workshop team are backed up by an international team of crisis communications experts who have contributed to the Gap Analysis Tool concept. The team includes former journalists, communications professions as well as a professional incident response leader.

Who Attends

Who Should Attend?

  • Corporate Communicators
  • Emergency response managers
  • Public Affairs professionals
  • PR professionals
  • Business Continuity Manager
  • Media Relations directors
  • Digital communications Managers
The Workshop is designed for any organisation that has crisis communications plans to address operational upsets, potential repetitional attacks, simmering events or catastrophic incidents. At the same time the workshop addresses the potential for organisations to be impacted by a natural disaster that could disrupt business continuity.


The Conference Will Be Covering

Day 1

The workshop will address policies and processes your plan needs in order to meet today’s social media driven world.
  • Message templates
  • Escalation triggers
  • Direct stakeholder communications
  • Clear and efficient approval processes
  • Organisational communications guidelines
  • Today’s news environment
The interactive sessions will be enhanced by video illustrations, and case study examples.
Day 2
Participants will put their own plan under the Gap Analysis Tool* microscope, to measure it against the key crisis communications phases. The process will help establish the plans effectiveness against what their stakeholders expect and demand in the event of a crisis - and judge the plans sustainability and scalability.
  • Event notification and response triggers
  • Information flow and discipline
  • Worst case assessment
  • Team activation and structures
  • Workflow and team interaction
  • Scale up and de-activation


Valiant Business trainers are the best and most appropriate trainers for each individual course in terms of area of expertise, training style, commercial/industry experience and proven track record. We choose trainers who are specialists in their respective fields, and are dedicated to enhancing the skills and knowledge of our delegates through applicable training.
Gerald Baron
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In his varied career, Gerald Baron has been a university professor, a publisher of regional business and special interest magazines, a candidate for state elected office, and a serial entrepreneur. He is the founder and creator of PIER Systems which was acquired by O’Brien’s Response Management in late 2009. He served as Executive Vice President, Communications for O’Brien’s until January, 2011 and continues as a Senior Advisor to the company, the leader in crisis and emergency response management.

As a communication responder to the Olympic Pipeline accident in 1999 and other significant events, Mr. Baron recognized the need for a solution for companies to meet the challenges of the instant news and Internet-dominated world. PIER (Public Information and Emergency Response) has been adopted by the US Coast Guard, US Army, other major federal agencies, numerous local and regional government agencies, leading oil companies, universities and other industry leaders. PIER was used effectively in many major events including hurricanes Katrina and Ike, wildfires in Northern California, the BP Texas City refinery accident, and the G8 Summit in Georgia. During the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill, PIER Systems provided the technology to manage media, stakeholder, response partner and internal response communication as well as a team of communication and technical experts.

Mr. Baron has written several books, including Now is Too Late2: Survival in an Era of Instant News, published in 2006. His latest work is the OnePage Crisis Communication Playbook, a simple, but comprehensive guide to crisis and emergency communication in a hyper-networked world.

Neil Chapman
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Neil Chapman has worked on high profile public affairs issues in different parts of the world for more than 25 years. For much of that time he was a senior communications executive in the energy industry, working for BP and Amoco. He has responded to major crises in the US and UK - including the recent BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill, a deadly refinery blast, litigation, helicopter crashes, trading scandals, hostage taking and natural disasters. He is the founder of his own communications consultancy - Alpha Voice Communications Ltd focused on crisis communications readiness and presentation/media training as well as issue management.

He has trained and counselled scores of business people at all levels on honing their communication skills, particularly when delivering hard messages or facing hostile audiences. As well as the energy sector he has worked for the chemical, construction and mining industries. Neil was a journalist in the UK, working for newspapers, TV and radio and is a qualified teacher.

John 'Pat' Philbin
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Pat has a 25+ year career in U.S. federal government, congressional, public and international affairs; organizational and business development and transformation; change management initiatives and innovative leadership with top-level, senior government officials and company executives, including crisis communication, media relations, employee communications, reputation management, and strategic planning. Pat's experience in a wide range of strategic communication, program management and scenario-based planning projects has resulted in significant organizational improvements and cost savings/avoidance in such organizations as the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and the Department of Defense's Business Transformation Agency (DOD BTA).

He has extensive executive level experience in leading, managing and participating in large scale, high-profile events, including, but not limited to, loss of the space shuttle Challenger in the mid-1980s, mass migrations of Haitians/Cubans in the early 1990s, the loss of TWA Flight 800 and Alaska Air, the loss of JFK Jr.'s aircraft off of Martha's Vineyard, and dozens of contentious and complex business and legislative issues associated with FEMA's transformation following Hurricane Katrina

Pat served for more than 21 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, retiring as Chief of Public Affairs in 2004. He holds a Doctorate in Communication from the University of Maryland, a Master of Science in Public Relations from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Science in Government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He also holds an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.


Course Name


Crisis Communications Planning Conference

With Gerald Baron, Neil Chapman & John Philbin

Strand Palace Hotel, London, UK
£1995 GBP (+ VAT)

An Introduction To The Gap Analysis Tool
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Across all Masterclasses in 2012

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Source: VBM Feedback Form
Average client score in 2012


RWE Dea AG, Germany
Nord Stream,
Energy Regulation Office,
Husky Energy,
GB Oils,
Renewables UK,
Portland General Electric,
Pare Resources,
APX Endex,

Columbia Gas of Virginia, USA
Bonneville Power Admin, USA
Intentional Hydro Power,
Hellenic Petroleum,
Galsi, Italy

APZ, Netherlands
Maersk Oil,
Wien Energie,
Lombard Odier,
Mainstream RP,
UK Power Networks,

Shell, Netherlands
Veolia Water,
Gold Fields, South Africa
Eesti Energia,