Former Police Chief Joins H&K’s Crisis Team

posted by Brendan Hodgson

So let’s throw a few stakes into the ground for this post… the first being that the business of PR is no longer synonymous with media relations. The second being that the business of crisis communications is no longer synonymous with media relations.

Like I said just a few days ago, the media is still a critical part of our business - in terms of reach and influence – and must be viewed as such. But more and more, and particularly during times of crisis, an organization’s ability to directly communicate its messages to its most important audiences can no longer be viewed as a mere afterthought, nor distributed solely through a filtered media. And this includes – in addition to employees, customers, and communities – regulators, law enforcement and emergency services, and other government departments and agencies that will be looked to as both partner, and – in all likelihood – as the “higher authority” when a crisis hits.

Which means recognizing the vital role that these and other external agencies and government departments play in managing that crisis, and the importance of close partnership with these agencies as it relates to communications.

Which is why the addition of Dr. Gary Ellis, former Toronto Police Superintendent, to our crisis team is, from our perspective, a milestone event in the way PR firms work with clients in the area of crisis communications and crisis management. As outlined in H&K’s recent announcement, Dr. Ellis will help manage emergencies and prepare corporate clients and government agencies for a potential crisis, ensuring they are able to successfully respond to unforeseen events. 

Why does this matter? In the words of Jo-Anne Polak, H&K Canada’s National Crisis Practice Leader, “Looking at recent crises in North America – whether Hurricane Katrina, shootings at Virginia Tech, or the capture of possible terrorists in Toronto – the public response and communications during these events has been handled by law enforcement officials – and extends beyond media relations into true stakeholder outreach. Dr. Ellis brings to Hill & Knowlton a tactical knowledge of how to organize and coordinate a response during an emergency, as well as to incorporate the concerns of a broad range of stakeholder groups.” 

Combined with our aggressive focus on digital and crisis in a Web 2.0 world, the addition of Gary to the crisis team is something I’m pretty excited about. Welcome aboard, Gary!  

3 Comments
28

Nov
2007

Brendan Hodgson

You may have noticed that I’ve been talking a lot about crisis recently. The reason being that a crisis

28

Nov
2007

Brendan Hodgson

You may have noticed that I’ve been talking a lot about crisis recently. The reason being that a crisis

Add a comment