“Get the people who panic out of the room,” was Amadeu Altafaj’s blunt advice on how to handle a crisis at the latest News and Booze event for NGO communicators.
As a European Commission spokesman during the financial crisis, Amadeu knows how to keep calm and carry on communicating when things go pear-shaped. So does experienced comms consultant Jo Sullivan, who advised: “You need to be at the front of the crisis with a solution.”
Other tips on how to handle a crisis were: Make sure you have an updated crisis communication strategy, accept there is a problem and talk about the solution, and stick to your core principles when messaging.
If you missed the session, News and Booze co-founder Julia Ravenscroft has kindly summed up all the tips for you.
We hope you had a sparkling festive season and wish you the best of health and much happiness for 2018.
At Clear Europe we started the year by taking a long, hard look at the training courses we offer to make them even more focused, practical and relevant to your needs as communicators. But we can’t do this without you. So if you have a couple of minutes to spare, we’d love to hear what you think of our current courses and which new ones you’d like to see in future.
EU communication has a reputation for being boring, stuffed with jargon, obsessed with process and hardly cutting edge. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
One EU official who seems to be on a personal mission to shake up the way Europe communicates is Dan Sobovitz, an Israeli, Swiss and Hungarian national who is a speechwriter and digital communication strategist for European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.
We’re big fans of the campaigns Dan runs so we invited him along to talk about ‘How to Spice up EU communication’ at the monthly News and Booze meeting for NGO communicators we co-host with Joanna Sullivan and Julia Ravenscroft.
It’s been a busy year for us at Clear Europe and we’re taking a well-earned break. We hope you are too and wish you and your loved ones happy holidays and a cracking new year.
To get you in the Christmas spirit we’re posting our favourite festive video – from the BBC above. But if you’re looking for something slightly less Santamental check out Greenpeace UK’s epic trolling of Coke to hammer home a powerful message about protecting our oceans.
There are two quotes in the tweets above and both are terrible. Why? Because they are crammed with jargon (#EuropeanSemester, #PillarOfSocialRights), obsessed with process (#EURoad2Sibiu) and full of stuffy technocratic language like ‘social dimension’ and ‘country specific recommendations’.
So how do you craft a cracking quote?
Use colourful, vivid language that paints a picture.
Voice strong opinions rather than bore people with facts, context and process.
Make use of rhetorical devices like contrast and repetition.
Cut all jargon, process and acronyms. Use clear, simple language.
You can find more tips on how to write sticky soundbites in Gareth Harding’s article here. Or sign up for his masterclass on Working with Journalists on December 12.
“What we have here is failure to communicate.” Remember that famous line from Cool Hand Luke? We think about it all the time at Clear Europe because so often we see organisations failing to communicate clearly and concisely. So this autumn we are offering 10 media and communication masterclasses that are open to everyone, affordably priced and taught by our experienced comms pros. We still have some places for our October courses, so book a place now: