What We Do
Executive Communication Coaching
Media Training & Spokesperson Skills Building
Presentation Skills Enhancement
Crisis Management Planning, Training, Testing and Response
Fortifying one’s reputation regarding high-stakes issues necessitates a forthright communication strategy and tailor-made tactics that include the comprehensive monitoring and analysis of relevant Internet content and the utilization of social media. Carefully chosen outside counsel brings specialized knowledge, valuable experience and fresh ideas to the table and is often key to ensuring the success of a given project.
C4CS® works to prioritize a communication approach, whether to supplement a program already in place or fashion a new one. We take into account our client partners’ mission, goals, objectives, and resources and thoroughly analyze stakeholder opinions and actions in order to devise strategies and tactics that assess needs, assign clear outcomes and deliver tools that achieve results.
We are seasoned professionals who know and have always emphasized the fact that organizational change is driven by effective communication. Members of our firm routinely interact with senior management regarding a wide variety of internal and external communication matters.
Crises for a company can take many forms. But whether they are accidental, financial, legal, or otherwise, there is one thing that all affected organizations have in common: a critical need for a successful managerial and operational response as well as effective communication with external and internal stakeholders.
And while many just talk about it, we have actually been there and done it. Be it crisis communication planning, training, testing or incident response, C4CS® has guided the efforts of many well-known client partners on their way to more effectively communicating in times of crisis.
Our expertise includes all facets of internal and external crisis communication with an emphasisis on effective social media monitoring, analysis and utilization. It is our goal to maximize our client partners´crisis preparedness through the development, implementation and ongoing optimization of customized strategies before a crisis occurs. Trust us, as we know from experience: organizational survival and lasting business success depend upon thorough crisis prevention and preparation.
Regardless of a company’s size, reputation or industry, preparing for effective communication in times of crisis inevitably calls for putting the proper organizational structure and processes in place. This includes assigning responsibilities, training employees and establishing instruments which enable seamless communication, even in the face of extreme stress.
We have worked with a host of corporate, not for profit and government client partners determined to ready themselves for managing potentially crippling events. From a thorough initial assessment to crisis communication team member selection and from the necessary crisis communication training and incident response testing to crafting a customized crisis communication plan and Internet strategy, we have the critical knowledge and expertise you are looking for.
C4CS® Crisis Communication Laws:
- Effective crisis communication is timely, truthful, consistent and coordinated.
- If an organization handles the managerial and operational details of a crisis well, but ineffectively communicates with its internal and external stakeholders, the entire crisis response may fail.
- A botched communication response not only leads to increased traditional and social media coverage and stakeholder scrutiny, but it may cause lasting damage to brand equity, reputation and the bottom line.
- Developing, testing and delivering effective stakeholder messages and the proactive monitoring, analysis and utilization of traditional and social media are keys to successful crisis communication.
- Effective communication at all times critically enhances stakeholder as well as traditional and social media understanding and cooperation in times of crisis.
- Preparation is at the core of successful crisis communication and involves the development and implementation of a customized crisis communication plan that includes a social media component and recurring media-spokesperson training and crisis communication drills.
The inability to recognize and act upon the fact that stakeholders perceive and react to risk in a fundamentally different way than risk analysts and scientists do frequently has even the most powerful corporations scrambling for answers. As a result, the desire to master the art of communicating risk effectively continues to increase on an international scale, and our risk communication services remain in high demand.
But multiple views of risk are not the only challenge. Because the media interprets risk to the public, it is of critical importance to also understand how the traditional and social media work, how journalists and social media users translate risk information and what management must do to communicate risk information without jeopardizing stakeholder trust and incurring reputational damage.
C4CS® is at the forefront of developing risk communication strategies and the corresponding risk messages tailored to the needs of corporations, not for profit organizations and government agencies. We have many years of experience in advising client partners concerning matters involving regulatory agencies and an excellent track record of combining risk communication expertise with tested conflict management strategies.
Our risk communication approach enables us to critically assist our client partners in effectively managing mounting pressure from and unfounded allegations made by well-organized anti-corporate activists.
C4CS® has successfully guided dozens of client partners in aligning the analytic with the affective view, shaping the public perception of a given risk, creating an awareness and an understanding of that particular risk, and seeking cooperative mitigation of the risk.
C4CS® Cardinal Rules for Effective Risk Communication:
- Accept and involve your stakeholders as legitimate partners
- Listen to your stakeholders
- Be honest, frank, and open
- Co-ordinate and collaborate with credible sources
- Meet the needs of the traditional and social media
- Speak clearly and with compassion
From Court TV to the Six O’clock Evening News and a growing number of bloggers, high profile litigation is increasingly becoming the focus of extensive traditional and social media attention. With specialized knowledge of the legal sector, C4CS® works with attorneys and their clients to enable them to enhance their representation before this court of public opinion.
As an integral aid to mounting an effective defense, C4CS® assists by providing legal teams with critical knowledge through extensive media analysis, effective message development, advancement of message delivery skills and techniques, and the coordination of courthouse media logistics.
Recognizing that attorneys never know when a client will become a high profile case, C4CS® brings its analytical, strategic and tactical crisis expertise to the legal arena to assist attorneys in dealing with the demands of this special area of legal representation.
Our understanding of legal issues combined with our crisis and media management expertise enables us to provide the attorney with an enhanced representation in this challenging, media driven arena. Past projects include: CLE instruction to State Bar Association, pre-indictment assistance, post-conviction assistance and media analysis in capital defense cases.
As the pressure on corporations and its representatives to thoroughly explain their motives and actions to stakeholders continues to rise, and because career advancement increasingly depends on whether or not an executive consistently displays the ability to lead through communicating in the necessary manner, more and more executives are looking for expert advice on how to improve their communication skills and navigate the social medi landscape.
C4CS® has developed and successfully implemented a variety of methods for coaching corporate leaders in regard to all aspects of executive communication. We work with our client partners in such areas as public speaking, interpersonal and group communication, listening techniques, overcoming communication apprehension, conducting effective meetings, message analysis and development, vocal and physical delivery, and communicating under pressure.
Our personalized coaching approach includes a confidential assessment interview followed by at least three main sessions with the executive. The overarching goal is to not only improve skills, but also to boost communication self-confidence.
Studies from countries around the world show an increasing reliance on skilled and savvy media-spokespersons. Companies, government agencies and not for profit organizations now recognize that representing themselves before the media takes a lot more than marginal skills. Spokespersons must not only speak and think well on their feet, they must keep pace with the dizzying amount of information from the Internet to global television news.
C4CS® integrates the latest media technologies and trends in its media-spokesperson training. From "live talk back" workshops to simulated news conferences and interviews with bloggers, our team of seasoned mentors gently builds individual skills in a highly supportive and contemporary style.
We often work with clients who tell us about their uneasiness when it comes to facing the media. Our trainers and executive coaches believe in skills building through repeated practice and empowering client partners to conduct effective interviews no matter whether the questions are coming from print, broadcast or social media.
Our team works with individuals and small groups. From message assessment and development to verbal and non-verbal presentation skills, C4CS® media-spokesperson workshops are on the forefront of what your organization needs to enhance its representation before the media.
Along with effective representation before the media, more and more organizations are recognizing an increasing need for their management to become more effective in presentational communication to employees, regulators, clients and other relevant publics. In fact, the ability to make effective public presentations is one of the most critical skills of effective leadership.
Accordingly, C4CS® offers a wide range of workshops and services designed to enhance the presentational skills development of an organization’s managers and spokespersons. Working with small groups or in one-on-one coaching situations, we assess a client’s particular needs and craft personalized programs to enhance presentation skills. These programs have been successful with government and law enforcement agencies, not-for-profit leaders and corporate executive clients.
Whether the needs are issues with communication apprehension, message analysis and development, utilizing PowerPoint, or vocal or physical delivery, our personalized coaching not only enhances skills in a constructive and non-threatening environment, but gives the client a greater sense of communication self-confidence.
In a world of instant global communication and an increasingly complex and quickly changing business environment, a company’s ability to correctly anticipate and proactively influence stakeholder opinion and behavior is key to its long-term success. In light of these challenges issues management has become an indispensable tool for preventing corporate crises and achieving competitive advantages.
Today a growing number of companies around the world apply proven Issues Management strategies and tactics geared at systematically identifying potential and current issues, altering their evolution, and thereby changing internal and external business environments in their favor. As a result, issues management has become an integral part of corporate strategic planning, but is commonly spearheaded by corporate communication.
C4CS® has been guiding leading corporations in North America, Europe and Asia in their efforts to develop, implement and continuously improve a customized Issues Management program for many years. Our six-step Issues Management process is successfully utilized by international client partners which realize that aligning organizational goals and activities with stakeholder expectations not only protects and enhances brand equity and reputation, but ultimately also results in a more profitable business.
C4CS® Issues Management Process:
- Early Identification and Monitoring of Potential and Current Issues
- Issue Prioritization
- Detailed Issue and Stakeholder Analysis
- Formulation of Strategic Response Options
- Implementation of Selected Response Strategy
- Evaluation of Issue Status and Process Efficiency & Learning
Because potentially debilitating crises are part of the organizational life cycle, they can sooner or later happen to any company no matter how much emphasis management places on indispensable crisis prevention. It is therefore not a matter of “if” a business will experience a crisis. It is a matter of “when,” “where,” “how” and “why” a crisis will occur and what its impact is going to be over the short and long terms.
The key to organizational survival and long-term business success lies in maximizing crisis readiness. Indeed, research shows that organizations that are well prepared not only experience fewer crises, they are also less likely to suffer significant damage to brand equity, reputation, and the bottom line.
Experienced leaders understand that recruiting and retaining crisis management consultants can dramatically improve the ability to effectively respond to and recover from sudden as well as smoldering adversity. C4CS® has a long and successful track record of helping clients across industries to navigate high-stakes events of all types, mitigate adverse impacts, and enable quick recovery.
Only if leadership acknowledges the critical importance of maximizing crisis preparedness and actively promotes the corresponding mindset throughout the company, will it be possible to minimize crisis-induced damage and convert resulting organizational change into competitive advantages. Via our experience with crisis situations in diverse arenas, we see individuals, corporations, not for profit organizations, and government agencies similarly united in this: a proactive approach to crisis management is critical to enabling and sustaining organizational success.
Whether the event is a tornado ripping through a manufacturing plant, an act of terrorism, corporate litigation, an industrial or traffic accident, a site closure, a cybersecurity incident, or another type of possibly crippling disruption of business, our experience in increasing crisis readiness and responding to adversity has helped many a client partner to minimize negative consequences for brand equity, reputation, and the bottom line. Our six-step Crisis Management Process is time-tested, methodical and disciplined.
C4CS® Crisis Management Process:
- Evaluation & Learning
Please click here if you would like to read a Smart Business Magazine article on "Weathering a storm: Crisis readiness in the 21st century" authored by C4CS®.