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Surviving a Product Recall Crisis with Effective Crisis Communication & Reputation Management

If you sell products to customers, you will have a recall at some point.  No organization is immune from recalls.  Recalls can be driven by production errors, unexpected failures,  unanticipated customer use of a product, or even tampering.  Today’s social media serve to amplify customer awareness and anger over products that are defective and/or can harm them.  Any recall poses a threat to your organization’s reputation and finances (loss of revenue and share price).  How you react to the crisis does matter.  Your recall efforts, especially the communication, can lessen or increase the damage inflicted by a recall crisis.  Preparation is a key factor.  Do you have a Recall preparation Plan in place? Did you develop your Crisis Communication & Reputation Management strategy? Do you understand the factors that shape the success or failure of your recall crisis management efforts.

Turning 'Theory' into 'Practice'?

This interactive program will prepare you for the three phases of a recall crisis:  (1) preparation and prevention, (2) the crisis response, and (3) post-crisis actions.  The sessions will focus on the role of planning and communication during each of these three phases to develop a comprehensive, strategic approach to recall crises. You will learn from real life case studies and reputation risk reduction lessons and benefit from the extensive experience of our specialist trainer who has developed and implemented crisis communication policies internationally.

Who should attend?

Those responsible for planning and implementing crisis communication & recall crisis strategy. This course is designed for senior management who need to revise and evaluate their crisis plans and see value in understanding how media work and learning how effectively deal with them, including anyone on your recall team and crisis management team Heads, Vice Presidents, Directors and Senior Management executives cross industry, in the following job functions: PR/Corporate Communications, Public Affairs / Corporate Affairs, Media Relations / Corporate Media, Marketing Communications, Crisis Management / Recall Management, Safety / Quality & Assurance / Operations, Logistics / Supply Chain / Procurement   To ensure we meet your expectations and maximize your return on training investment, we favor a classroom/workshop set up for the delivery of our courses. Please note we have therefore limited number of spaces available and these will be assigned on a first come, first accepted basis. We recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.    

Key areas to be covered in the programme and documentation

Crisis Response Timeline – Importance of Integrated Crisis Response Plan
• Analysing what happens in the first few minutes and hours of a crisis
• Understanding who to contact and why
• Creating criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the crisis recall effort


Assessing your overall Crisis Preparedness and Recall Crisis Preparedness

• Reviewing your current strategies and actions in place
• Exploring your organisational readiness – are the steps and plans clearly defined and communicated to the all layers of the workforce

• Examining options for improving readiness

• Proactively testing existing recall scenarios


Implementing a Crisis Communication Strategy

• Creating your crisis communication plan step by step
• Minimize the crisis with a well defined crisis communication plan tailor-made for your organisation including safety and security measures
• Establishing a strategic framework - Creating necessary documents and protocols as a proactive step towards managing potential crisis

• Creating linkage between corporate reputation, business strategy and crisis response to recalls

Defining the Roles and Responsibilities – Crisis Teams & “Crisis Leadership”
• Choosing a role for the CEO
• Understanding what makes for effective spokespersons
• Activating the crisis team

·         When are we in a crisis?

·         Who handles responses to key stakeholders

·         Who monitors reactions to the recall efforts

• Ensure communication between departments including PR, legal, communication and supply chain and quality management


Communicating the Message with Transparency and Authenticity
• Preparing for a press conference when one is necessary

• Improving media interviews by understanding the media
• Press releases – the significance of the content, style, and legal issues
• Using your website and other Internet channels to support your messages

• Creating message consistency through information and coordination


Exploring Different Social Media Channels and Integrating them into your Crisis Communication

• Listening value of social media
• Integrating new and traditional media into a recall, “telling your story”
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of various Internet channels
• Realizing what builds trust with whom during a recall
Analyzing case studies of corporate social media best practices


Review of Regulatory Requirements for Recalls

·         Knowing what the government expects/demands

·         Understanding how these requirements shape the crisis recall response


Review of the Financial Risks from Recalls

·         Appreciate the various ways a recall financially harms an organization

·         Understand the connection between reputation and financial assets

·      Review the role of recall insurance

Benefits to you

Understand the key factors that shape effective crisis recall communication

Create an effective Recall Preparation Plan and Crisis Management & Communication Response Plan before recall occurs as strategic imperative aligned with business strategy and goals

Appreciate the negative effects a recall can have on reputational and financial capital

Seamlessly communicate through changes or crisis to a diverse audience – employees, customers, shareholders, and government

Evaluate potential short-term profit losses versus increased long-term consumer trust and future sales

Develop message maps to help target key audiences before, during, and after a crisis

Understand how to effectively employ social media and other Internet channels before, during, and after a recall.

 Appreciate the legal requirements of crisis recall communication and the advantages and disadvantages of going beyond these requirements

Enhance the cooperation between corporate communications, PR and legal department to handle a recall crisis seamlessly

Learn to approach a recall crisis as a strategy rather than an event


Pre-course questionnaire: A detailed questionnaire will be sent to all course participants to establish exactly where the group training needs lie. The completed forms will be analyzed by the course leader/trainer and followed by telephone if further clarification is required. As a result we can guarantee that the course is pitched at exactly the right level and that the issues that you regard as relevant are addressed. The course material will reflect these issues and will enable you to digest the subject matter after the event in your own time.

Companies already benefiting include:

Duration of Course

2 Day Course

Course details

TBA, 2013

For more information about this course and upcoming course dates, please contact Emily Jones at or call 312.540.3000 ext 6714

All general management, business strategy and project management public courses are also delivered on an In-Company basis. This is in addition to a number of FOCUSED courses covering such areas as Communication & PR, Sales and Customer Relations, HR, MarComm, Innovation and Risk, Audit, Reporting. Organizations with six or more people who need tailored training in the same topic can save 20-50% or more on training costs!

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Further information

UK Enquiries: +44 (0) 203 002 3057

Non-UK Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246

North American Enquiries: +1 312 540 3000 X6714 or


"This course will allow my company to develop its existing strategies to a much greater and hopefully profitable level."

Managing Director, Tarmac