The Upside of Downturn: Unlocking the Hidden Benefits of Crisis

October 29, 2020 12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

Session Type: Reputation & Crisis Management

Even the most comprehensive crisis and issues management plans often overlook a high-value component: recognizing the multiple positive benefits afforded by critical organizational challenges. Generations of communications professionals have been taught to tackle the downside risks of crisis, but few understand how to identify, reconfigure and harness looming problems for short- and long-term gain.

In the right hands, with the right mindset, crisis can fuel greater customer loyalty and increase employee engagement. It can deepen media, analyst and influencer relationships. It can strengthen executive leadership and communications teams. This session will put savvy public relations professionals on a path to understanding methods for converting consternation to calculable advantage.

In “The Upside of Downturn,” Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, will once again bring his contrarian, disruptive and industry pace-setting recommendations to the PRSA International Conference. Participants will walk away with new constructs for more effective crisis planning, inspired strategies to align the thinking of executives and peers to a nontraditional approach, and invaluable tools and techniques they can employ as soon as the session is over.

Incorporating global and domestic examples from recent headlines, the presentation also will offer vital tips to help PR professionals avoid their own downfall amid the crisis maelstrom: team and individual burnout. At a time when heightened chaos and unpredictability are defining how many communicators practice, this high energy, insightful session will prepare participants to implement an enhanced framework for crisis success.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to: 
• Determine why and how upside opportunity can coexist with downside risk during times of crisis, and build such into comprehensive response planning.
• Recognize the seven most common upside opportunities for an organization during a crisis, and be better prepared to incorporate them into new and existing plans.
• Navigate how to align the thinking of executives and peers around a dual threat-opportunity construct for crisis response using a series of inspired strategies and proof points.
• Employ a series of new tools and techniques to convert the upside theory into action — in most cases, almost immediately.
Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA (photo)
Michael McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA

President, McDougall Communications