July 31, 2020

Live from the Roundtable: Crisis Communication in Practice

by Ellen Mallernee Barnes in News

Last week, Redsters Linda Descano and Lesley Sillaman joined crisis and leadership experts Shannelle Armstrong Fowler, adjunct professor of brand strategy, consumer behavior and marketing at Columbia College Chicago; Henna Inam, CEO of Transformational Leadership and author of Wired for Disruption and Wired for Authenticity; and Dino Delic, director of executive deliverables at Meltwater, for the third part of a panel discussion about leadership in crisis.

The discussion focused on applying the leadership principles identified in our recent white paper, Leading Through Crisis: Communications Lessons and Opportunities, through the pandemic and into today’s racial justice movement and beyond.

In the discussion, panelists covered the following topics:

  • Minding the C’s: Adding to the original six C’s identified in the paper, panelists discussed the importance of three additional C’s: conviction, clarity and control—and also a “new” C, courage. The audience engaged with questions about the varying importance of each C, and panelists emphasized the crucial element of calm.
  • Vulnerability: Panelists discussed the importance of showing vulnerability and the mindset shift—potentially created by the pandemic—that CEOs and leaders can show strength through, not despite, demonstrating vulnerability.
  • Saying vs. doing: Panelists discussed the pitfalls of failing to take meaningful action and the danger in overcommunicating without backup, as audiences will recognize this and hold brands and organizations accountable.

Audience questions came around the topic of “unlearning” past practices and how to engage young or lower-level employees in transformative change.

You can view our discussion on Meltwater’s LinkedIn page.