Wednesday, May 9

8:30–9:20 a.m.
Opening keynote

The canary in the coal mine: Crisis communications in the information age

From sophisticated activist investors and NGOs to online campaigns and citizen journalists, no organization these days is immune from a crisis. Most aren’t good at anticipating the “canary in the coal mine”—and crisis teams aren’t always on the same page as their adversaries. They’re accustomed to reacting as communicators have done for seventy years. Crises now operate at the speed of light, leaving little time for reaction, only anticipation and preparation. We now must be proactive. This requires a radical transformation of how we do our jobs in today’s corporate structure. Join to hear what it will take to break down silos and improve risk intelligence so you can successfully embrace the speed, transparency and trust necessary to survive (and thrive) in today’s climate of constant conflict and crisis.

You’ll learn:

  • How ideas become movements—plus, how to identify threats and anticipate crises
  • Speed, trust, transparency—the key elements of the new, proactive crisis PR
  • How to use peacetime wisely—from risk intelligence to identifying allies
  • The importance of striking down silos so all departments work together
  • Insights into empowering communicators and engaging C-suites in a 24/7 crisis world
  • How to constantly assess new and evolving threats with sophisticated risk mapping

Chairman and CEO

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9:30–10:20 a.m.

Category 5 alert: Irma’s lessons for the new age of natural disasters

From hurricanes to earthquakes to wildfires, the past year saw countless deadly disasters. The urgency surrounding these catastrophes provides powerful lessons in crisis communications—including those learned by Baptist Health South Florida, a network of 10 hospitals. As Hurricane Irma approached, the communications team rapidly mobilized all its platforms to inform its communities. The integrated response across social media, traditional media and internal channels was a huge undertaking, and it serves as a model for any team preparing for tomorrow’s threats today. Join for a behind-the-scenes look at this Category 5 crisis response.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Manage teams with an integrated, digital-ready crisis plan
  • Plan for effective media relations during a crisis, including:
    • Build relationships with key reporters in advance
    • Craft messages that convey facts—and concern
    • Handle news crews and embedded reporters
  • Lead your social media response in a crisis, including:
    • Monitor official social feeds with tools like Meltwater
    • Respond quickly with tools like Sprout Social
    • Shoot and share updates to Skype and Facebook Live
  • Monitor, measure and adjust your crisis plan on the fly

Communications director

Baptist Health South Florida
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Media relations manager

Baptist Health South Florida
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Social media manager

Baptist Health South Florida
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10:30–11:20 a.m.

CYA on social media: Protect your reputation in the age of Trump tweets

Every organization or individual with a reputation worth protecting should be ready for their moment in the crisis spotlight. This interactive session will arm you with the know-how you need to build and defend reputations from threats as varied as data breaches and product liability cases to natural disasters and even late-night Presidential tweets. The session will be capped off by a live crisis training session that will put your skills to the test under the most extreme circumstances.

You’ll learn:

  • How to effectively train your team in social media use
  • How to influence online communities while opposition groups are aggressively driving the online conversation
  • How to develop a comprehensive crisis communications program
  • Best practices for establishing authentic and credible social media channels to engage key stakeholders before, during and after a crisis
  • How social and digital mediums can drive traditional media outcomes
Senior vice president, head of communications
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11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

Rebuilding trust: Combatting a “crisis of trust” in today’s global landscape

The public no longer trusts you or your brand—and you’re not alone. We’re facing an epidemic of diminished trust in institutions. Today’s crisis of trust is compounded by unprecedented risks to data security, global safety, changing political landscapes, new systems of influence and a world where promises are no longer good enough. How do you safeguard your organization’s relationship with the public? How do you build and keep the public’s trust amid new threats? Join this session to discover how to promote, protect and advance your reputation in the face of today’s era of eroding trust.

You’ll learn:

  • A strategic snapshot of the state of trust worldwide
  • How to be prepared: Steps to execute risk assessments in a global context
  • How to practice messaging with purpose—internally and externally
  • How to practice greater accountability and transparency
  • How to use social media channels to build trust in the face of skepticism
  • How and when to tap media, spokespeople and partners to engender trust

Global communications director

Save the Children International
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12:30–1:30 p.m.

Networking lunch

(provided on site)

1:30–2:20 p.m.

Keep cool in the hot seat: Reputation management secrets from NYPD to Uber

Some organizations emerge stronger from reputation crises, while others don’t learn from their mistakes or simply fail to recover. Learn what it takes to become a “comeback organization” when your brand takes a hit—and how to step up your reputation management game when it’s all on the line. You’ll discover the core competencies communicators need to survive in the fishbowl of a crisis firsthand from Uber communications director Jason Post, based in New York, who previously served as an NYPD spokesman and first deputy press secretary to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where he coordinated communications for everything from firearms policy to Hurricane Sandy recovery and post-9/11 counterterrorism efforts.

You’ll learn:

  • What leadership expects from communicators in a crisis
  • How to use polling and research to guide response strategy
  • Staying cool under pressure: How to remain on point in the hot seat
  • How to work cross-functionally with legal and partners
  • Building and rebuilding reputation: How to work with think tanks, influencers and policy makers to “become part of the future” before—and after—any reputational crisis

Director of public policy and communications
Uber Technologies, Inc.
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2:30–3:20 p.m.

Cyberattack: Strategies for coping with data breaches, hacks and trolls

For most of us, corporate data breaches have been someone else’s PR nightmare. What happens when your organization becomes ground zero for a cyberattack? This special kind of crisis can create numerous victims, both internal and external. How do you prepare for an event that is becoming more common? What are your first steps if it happens to your organization? How do you regain the trust of your stakeholders? How do you communicate with the news media? Answers to these questions and more will be provided by retired FBI agent Jeff Lanza, who has dealt with this type of crisis as a cybercrime investigator and as a crisis communicator with the FBI.

You’ll learn

  • Different types of cyberattacks and how they might affect your organization
  • The first steps communicators must take after a data breach
  • How to facilitate internal information sharing when no wants to tell you what’s happening
  • Recovery planning—how to regain public trust following a breach
  • Essential steps for dealing with internet trolls following a breach
Retired FBI agent, author and founder

The Lanza Group
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3:20–3:50 p.m.

Networking break + lightning talk

4–4:50 p.m.
Closing keynote

Create a “Quick Reaction Force”: Crisis lessons from Baghdad to Puerto Rico

This fast-paced session will transform your approach to crises. You’ll hear how a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of truth and transparency was unleashed during recent tipping-point crises—from the Al-Qaeda insurgency that created a flashpoint crisis for the White House during the Iraq War to the disasters of terrorism in San Bernardino, Orlando and Europe and the natural disasters of 2017 that produced a “new normal” model for crisis communicators worldwide. The insights you gain will help you create your own QRF so you can better navigate what’s becoming the era of constant crises.

You’ll learn:

  • Key questions every crisis communications strategy must answer, starting with: What’s the truth? Where can we be transparent?
  • How to build a QRF “Go Team” to deliver truth and transparency—long before competing narratives can air
  • Steps communicators can take to stop disasters from becoming crises
  • The typical phases of disaster—and how to react at each critical stage
  • How to keep a crisis from snowballing (this is where most communicators lose control of their crisis plan)
  • How to stop worrying about your job and lead from the front: Inspiring lessons to guide your career and crisis management

Director of communications

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
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For event information, contact Customer Service 800.878.5331, or