This issue of Communication Command contains an interview about the Risk and Resilience HUB, as well as a Media Training Q&A Part II. We hope you will enjoy our e-Newsletter.
Spring 2019
CLE Class on Crisis Communication
C4CS® has accepted the invitation to conduct recurring Continuing Legal Education classes for the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA). We look forward to teaching our first Crisis Communication CLE class on May 31, 2019.
CLE classes on additional topics including Media Relations & Media Interview Skills, Presentation & Public Speaking Skills, Reputation Management, and Crisis Management will be offered in the coming months.  
Crisis Communication Presentation
C4CS® Senior Vice President, Dianne Chase, and C4CS® Vice President, Joe Pepe, made a crisis communication presentation at E4 Carolinas’ Energy "Double Header": Next Gen Nuclear + Managing Crisis Communication. Dianne also functioned as Day Chair of the event. 
C4CS® is an E4 Carolinas corporate member and Communications Task Force participant.
If you would like to have a C4CS® team member make a presentation for your organization, please contact us at
Lecture on Crisis Management
C4CS® President & CEO, Oliver S. Schmidt, has accepted the invitation to give a lecture on crisis management at Poznan University of Economics and Business on June 5, 2019. Poznan University of Economics and Business is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of economics in Poland.
Issues-Risk-Reputation Panel Discussion
IABC Charlotte hosted CIABC board members C4CS® Senior Vice President, Dianne Chase, C4CS® Vice President, Joe Pepe, and Brent Gilroy in early April for a panel discussion about: “Issues-Risk-Reputation: What you need to know to plan, prepare and protect your brand”
Emergency Services Facility Tour
We would like to thank Steve Imbarlina, Assistant Chief of Fire/EMS at Allegheny County Emergency Services, for giving us a tour of the new Emergency Services facility in March. C4CS® team members are pictured with Steve (second from left) in the Media Room.
PA DEP Visit
In March, C4CS® visited the Southwest Regional Office of the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Our team would like to thank Regional Director, Ron Schwartz, and head of communications, Lauren Fraley, for the invitation. Both are pictured with C4CS® Vice President Anne Linaberger (on right).
Crisis Communication Workshop
C4CS® conducted a Crisis Communication Workshop for members of YPO Pittsburgh on March 8, 2019 in collaboration with the Center for Media Innovation (CMI) at Point Park University.
If you would like to have a C4CS® team member conduct a workshop for your organization, please contact us at
Professionals interested in our e-Learning course on Harnessing the Power of Social Media in a Crisis may download the course brochure here.
Congratulations to those who completed the course work and obtained a Certificate in Social Media Crisis Management Planning accredited by ICOR.
If you have questions concerning our e-Learning course, please contact us at
Please click on this link if you would like to access past issues of our Communication Command e-Newsletter, which is sent to about 2000 professionals in several dozen countries around the world.

Five Questions about the Risk and Resilience HUB

Kathy Rainey is the publisher of the Risk and Resilience HUB.

Kathy Rainey

What is the mission of the recently launched Risk and Resilience HUB and why is it needed?

The Risk and Resilience HUB is a new digital B2B platform that brings together the silos of business continuity, crisis management, disaster recovery, emergency management, governance, and risk and compliance. Our goal is to help minimize risk and build resilient organizations and communities in the private and public sectors. The vibrant ecosystem we are creating is not simply a website but rather a global hub for professionals to meet and collaborate.
We realize that in today’s 24/7 world, the focus on resilience is continuously growing in both the private and public sectors. The resources for resilience are abundant. Technology is robust. Collaboration will fuel future expansion of our industry in an online world. The Risk and Resilience HUB is an internet-based platform for valuable interaction. Harvard Business Review author Sangeet Paul Choudary characterizes platform thinking as “an approach to understanding how the rules of business are radically changing in the age of the internet.” We agree and look forward to enabling professionals around the world to connect and learn from one another through the HUB.

Why are you and your colleagues qualified to build an industry HUB?

Our Disaster Resource GUIDE has served the business continuity, emergency management and crisis management marketplace since 1985 – first as a publication focused on earthquake preparedness, then shifting in 1996 to an all-hazards approach focusing on disaster recovery and emergency management. From the beginning, we have specialized in connecting buyers and sellers. Our mission has been to integrate the silos of business continuity, disaster recovery, emergency management, crisis management, and enterprise risk management.
We partner and actively engage with all the major industry stakeholders: conferences, magazines, publications, associations, educational institutions, and certifying bodies. The GUIDE’s content covers six core categories foundational to all organizations in the private and public sectors. Our relationships with thought leaders worldwide, which we have built over more than 30 years of experience in the industry, are the foundation for this new Risk and Resilience HUB.

What resources does the HUB offer to professionals?

The HUB is unique because of the combination of offerings in the following four key areas:
Knowledge Center: Featuring experts in key areas and integrating the disciplines of business continuity, crisis management, disaster recovery, emergency response, and governance risk and compliance. We will provide access to top-notch subject matter experts and the best thought leadership on the planet. Oliver S. Schmidt, C4CS, is one of our subject matter experts – and a prime example of the highly experienced professionals we will feature in the days ahead. Content is organized in six key categories: Enterprise Resilience, Human Concerns, IT Availability & Security, Communications & Network, Physical Infrastructure, and finally Incident & Crisis Response. Think Google but curated with the best content.
Five Directories: Products & Services, Associations, Events, Educational Institutions, and Government Agencies. Does your company have a need for a product or service? Does your company have products and services for this industry? You have come to the right place. Think Angie’s List.
Community: A place to make connections, share ideas, learn new things and more. The community will of course only work if professionals from around the world get involved. Complete your profile, invite your friends, post a blog, join a group or start a forum topic. Think Facebook without the ads.
Partners: The HUB is a gathering place that brings together companies and industry groups which offer solutions that are needed in this fast-paced environment. We leverage decades of building industry relationships to pull together the resources professionals need. Think Skype with problem solvers.
Our value proposition includes forums and social networking, surveys of industry professionals, a massive outreach to help grow our industry, resources to vet vendors and establish a content framework for the silos to answer the question, “How does everything fit together?”

What is your history and background in our industry?

The vision for the HUB developed 35 years ago and has certainly evolved. First, we had an Emergency Preparedness cooperative focused on earthquakes, followed by the Disaster Resource GUIDE, next came the Continuity eGUIDE, and now we have launched the Risk and Resilience HUB. A lot has changed since the early days.
The Disaster Resource GUIDE has roots in the lessons learned after the devastating Mexico City earthquake in 1985, which highlighted the need for preparedness and proper planning. The recurring message in the mainstream media: “Human suffering could have been enormously reduced if 72-hour preparedness had been a pre-earthquake priority.”
The Disaster Resource GUIDE is published by Emergency Lifeline Corporation (ELC) of which I am the CEO. ELC was founded in 1985 with the purpose of helping businesses, schools, families and individuals prepare for 72-hour self-sufficiency. In addition to selling preparedness kits and supplies, Emergency Lifeline published educational resources for hazard mitigation and emergency preparedness. These simple educational publications spotlighted several companies with diverse products for a developing marketplace.
In the early 1990s, an industry began to emerge. There were small steps of collaboration between the disciplines of business recovery, which is referred to as business continuity, and emergency management. Major corporations realized that business recovery and resumption was linked to the well-being of its employees and the survivability of its infrastructure. This movement was the catalyst for the Disaster Resource GUIDE, which we launched in 1996.
The Disaster Resource GUIDE was always about helping companies, institutions, communities, and families preserve and protect those things that are most important – reputation, people, property, jobs, business assets, community. We published the annual Disaster Resource GUIDE, Special Edition Mini-GUIDEs, the Wednesday Continuity eGUIDE and the online DR GUIDE.
Our job has been made easier by a growing corporate and government commitment to work together to ensure continuity of our corporations and communities. Today, we see Information Technology, Facilities, Human Resources, Risk Management, Safety and other departments working together to create enterprise-wide programs for the continuity of the organization. We have seen an increase in the number of grassroots contingency and emergency planning groups which are eager to share the wealth of their knowledge, training, and experience. These public and private partnerships have grown locally because of a shared belief that, by working together, communities can lessen the impact of disasters. With all of this organic grown in our industry, the HUB can take resources developed locally and make them available globally, in real-time, with constant interaction possible. These options collaborate online have the potential to help professionals within vertical sectors to share unique solutions with others in their own industries, such as healthcare or banking. 

How can professionals interested in the HUB become involved?

The HUB is in beta mode until late May 2019. We invite professionals from around the globe to visit the HUB online at Please check it out, connect, collaborate, critique, and help us test and improve the Risk and Resilience HUB.
It has been a three-year journey. Now it is finally time for “show and tell.” Along the way, many challenges in the trenches have reminded us that resilience is about vision and perseverence. The HUB will develop into a comprehensive platform shaped by the industry we care deeply about. We invite professionals to tell us what they think, what works, and what does not work. Any and all feedback is welcome and matters to us.
The Risk and Resilience HUB is and will remain a work in progress. With your help, the best is yet to come. First, let us know that you want to participate. We will contact you and convey ways in which you can contribute. We offer you a free membership that will allow you to connect, access content, start or join a group, post a blog, suggest an expert, be the expert -- and much more. Do not hesitate to email us at We look forward to hearing from you.

Media Training Q&A (PART II)

C4CS® regularly conducts on-camera media training and spokesperson skills coaching, which we customize to fit our client partners' needs. Following the publication of our first Media Training Q&A in January (please click here to access the Winter 2018 / 2019 issue of our Communication Command e-Newsletter we published in January), we received questions from subscribers of which five are addressed below. We hope the information is of interest to our readers.

What is the recommended number of media training participants?
Format, content, and delivery must be tailored to the client partner's and the individual participant's needs. Therefore, C4CS® media trainers and spokesperson skills coaches carefully assess training participants' skills and experience and customize each session accordingly.
A key consideration concerning any group media training is how much on-camera time and individual instruction each participant will need to acquire the desired theoretical knowledge and communication skills. In general, the more on-camera time and individualized instruction is needed, the fewer participants should be included in a training. Consequently, we may recommend switching from a group media training format to a one-on-one spokesperson skills coaching session in order to maximize individual learning, especially for key executives and spokespersons.
The number of media training participants in one session is also determined by other factors including the client partner's desire to have a specific group of managers – for instance those who have recently been appointed as spokespersons –- attend the same training session. However, in order to allow sufficient on-camera time the number of participants for a full day media training should not exceed eight.

How does the use of a professional news videographer enhance media training?

A professional news videographer makes the on-camera media interview practices more realistic and produces higher quality video clips for media interview performance review and critique. Using a professional news videographer and professional video equipment also enables training participants to be better prepared for actual media interview situations.
In addition, an experienced professional news videographer is in a position to share important tricks of the trade. This includes explaining how they use light, what shirt and tie or blouse and scarf color patterns are best for TV, and at what angle the best camera shot can be taken. Such advice increases the likelihood that C4CS® training participants will make the most of upcoming interview opportunities.
In order to make the preparation for TV interview opportunities even more realistic, we recommend that our client partners consider the use of a TV studio. The additional cost associated with the use of a TV studio is justified, and should perhaps even be viewed as necessary, if it is already known that designated media training participants will conduct important TV interviews in the near future.

Should media training be designed around issue specific scenarios?

The use of realistic scenarios in on-camera media trainings is another way to increase participant learning. In our experience, issue-specific scenarios that involve decision making across multiple functional areas and business units improve training participant collaboration and often lead to better results in message development and message delivery.  
Issue-specific scenarios also enhance team building. We have, for example, provided scenario- based media training to managers who had never met prior to the training. By the end of the training, however, participants had found a way to work as a cohesive unit and understood one another's areas of expertise, approach to problem solving, public speaking preferences, etc.  
These positive outcomes are also the reason why C4CS® recommends the use of realistic crisis scenarios in its crisis communication training. While even half day media training and crisis communication training sessions will become more effective due to the use of a realistic scenario, we generally recommend that a scenario be used for training that spans at least one full day so participants gain as much as possible from each customized training session.

How much information on social media should be included in on-camera media training?

Because of social media's continuous rise in importance and the fact that shrinking news rooms result in reporters with traditional media outlets increasingly turning to social media, our media training includes an optional component on social media that keeps growing in size and relevance. The related training content first of all discusses social media characteristics and highlights important differences between traditional news media and social media.
In addition, our media trainers share how bloggers work and what it takes to successfully pitch news to them. Information concerning the latest use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, among other social media platforms, as well as reputational risks associated with social media is also addressed in our media training.

Social media-related on-camera practices include mock interviews with bloggers that make use of Skype and other online technologies. And finally, C4CS® also uses training materials that convey how traditional news releases differ from those that are written for social media.

Is there anything else that C4CS® does in order to increase the value of media training?
We tell our client partners that an informed and proven approach to selecting spokespersons will yield the best results. As such, we design our media training in a way that also enables spokesperson identification and generates recommendations as to which training participants are best suited to be considered as potential spokespersons.

In order to simplify the planning process, we encourage our client partners to utilize a formal Media Training schedule. The training schedule typically covers a full calendar year and identifies the number of on-camera media trainings for each month as well as training parameters, including the maximum number of participants and where each training will be held.

It takes a lot of practice to become comfortable with developing key messages, distilling them into memorable sound bites, and staying on message during a media interview. That is especially true when cameras are involved. C4CS® media trainers and spokesperson skills coaches are hence not only available for structured training, but they can be contacted at any time for immediate consultation and assistance in preparing for a media interview opportunity, as well as serving as media liaison and spokesperson when needed.  

Please send an email to if you have questions concerning our group media training and one-on-one media skills coaching.
If you would like to receive our C4CS® Media Training & Spokesperson Skills Building Q&A, please contact us at
We look forward to hearing from you.

Food For Thought

“Brands can quickly suffer irreparable damage
in today's rapid-fire social media environment.
Crisis planning and preparation is no longer
an option, it is a necessity.

Errol Cockfield
SVP of Communications at MSNBC


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Leaders in Strategic Communication
and Crisis Management