Developing a positive communication strategy is one of the most effective steps a business can take to defend, protect and enhance their reputation during a crisis before it’s even happened.

By communicating clearly and effectively organisations can direct every situation, and as a result, benefit from a positive response when a ‘bump-in-the-road’ does strike. Conversely, ineffective communication brings about the opposite results. Responses to last year’s events further confirmed it. Your team, service users and stakeholders feel frustrated and panicked, and morale declines.

This specifically designed online ‘Positive Communications in Times of Crisis’ course ensures that you are fully prepared for when a crisis hits, placing you well to quickly promote good news stories and remain positive in the face of adversity.

Acquire practical strategies and tools to ensure the smooth handling of any crisis communications. Work with the trainer to build an effective communications plan addressing all stages of a crisis, from pre-crisis preparation to post-crisis recovery and practise the skills you have learnt in a real-time scenario.

There will be plenty of opportune moments for networking and sharing resources and experiences with other public sector professionals. Gain valuable contacts with other like-minded peers to create that invaluable ongoing support network.

Unlocking the Power of Virtual

Our virtual courses have been designed with you in mind. From group exercises in breakout rooms to live chat, whiteboards and interactive polls, we use a range of tools and techniques to ensure that you can connect with your trainer; network and share best practice with your peers and leave the day with the skills you need.

Our courses provide you with an interactive and engaging learning environment that can be accessed from any location, helping you to continue to connect, learn and grow.

This course will be delivered via Zoom.

About the Trainer: Sheree Dodd
Sheree Dodd is a communication consultant with the expertise and experience to lead organisations working in the political arena that wish to deliver communications with impact. She has led communications teams up to 70-strong.

A former Director of Communications at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Deputy Director at DWP and Head of News at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), she offers a powerful combination of experience in leading complex communications activity as well as national media practice from many years as a senior political journalist.

Sheree has extensive experience in handling high profile media campaigns. Former clients with complex communication needs include the House of Commons Commission, which she advised throughout the MPs’ expenses scandal, the Sentencing Guidelines Council and the International Diabetes Federation where as an Interim Director of Policy and Programmes she led on advocacy, messaging and projects during a year of high-profile activity at the United Nations. She currently provides communications support and advice to the Groceries Code Adjudicator and the Pubs Code Adjudicator. Other roles include editing complex reports and documents.

09:25 - 09:30


09:30 - 10:00

Virtual Ice Breaker and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:45

Understand the Nature of a Crisis

  • Define the strategic opportunity of effective crisis communications
  • Understand the need to manage expectations
  • Spot and deal with issues before they escalate
  • Examine the psychological factors related to crisis scenarios
  • Learn from real case studies of customer service issues and online disputes
10:45 - 11:30

Crisis Planning - 360° Preparedness

  • The core components of a crisis communications plan: team roles, checklists and default strategies
  • Assess your digital vulnerability: review risks and exposure
  • Understand and monitor exposure to your stakeholder’s use of digital platforms
  • Effectively train and prepare your spokespeople for a crisis
11:30 - 11:45

Morning Break

11:45 - 12:45

Handle the Media and Enhance Your Reputation

  • Understand the strategic role played by internal and external communications in a crisis
  • Develop handling strategies that integrate social and digital channels
  • Learn how to successfully deal with the media
  • Best practice: what to say and how to say it well
12:45 - 13:30



13:30 - 13:45

Reflection Session

  • Trainer will review the day’s learning and the next stages of the course
  • Delegates will have time to ask questions and share views with one another
13:45 - 16:00

Live Crisis Response Interactive Exercise (with flexible coffee break)

In this interactive workshop delegates will take part in realistic crisis simulations and learn how to respond to live crisis scenarios.

Background phase:

  • Explore the crisis scenario – real life examples of gender equality issues or online complaints
  • Learn how to effectively use digital tools and social media channels during crises

Phase One:

  • Draft your crisis handling strategy
  • Communicate successfully to other members of staff
  • Adapt messages to handling the media

Phase Two:

  • Harness online support and community resilience
  • Assess and monitor the crisis
  • Engage in a live online Twitter stream

Phase Three:

  • Evaluate your response when the incident is over
16:00 - 16:15

Round Up and Key Takeaways

  • Participants work on a scenario that allows them to apply a crisis communication plan and overcome complications and challenges
  • Evaluating the plans and lessons learnt

Tim Lloyd

Strategy & Client Service Director

Tim has led digital communications teams for the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department of Health. He…

Read more


Q: Can I make a provisional booking?

A: Unfortunately, we do not accept provisional bookings. Registrations are subject to our terms and conditions. View terms and conditions here

Q: Can I book without a purchase order number?

A: Yes. Simply email after you have booked the course, with your Purchase Order Number. Please quote your order number and the course you are booked onto.

Q: Is lunch included?

A: Yes, a two-course hot buffet is served at lunch. Tea and coffee are served throughout the day.

Q: I have special dietary requirements, how can I request this?

A: Special dietary requirements can be catered for, please ensure you include this in the further information box when registering your place. If you have forgotten to add this, you can also send your requirements to or call 0800 542 9440. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can ensure your needs are met.

Q: I have just registered for the course, when will I receive the joining instructions?

A: You will receive the joining instructions and reminders, 6 weeks, 2 weeks and 3 days before the course date. Please check your spam box to see whether the joining instructions were sent there, if not please call 0800 542 9440 so we can have these sent to you immediately.

Q: I can no longer attend the course, can a colleague attend in my place?

A: Substitutions may be made at any time but must be made no later than 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 0800 542 9440 or email with the replacement's details.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: Cancellations must be received in writing 30 working days before the date of the event and will be subject to a £195+VAT administration fee. Cancellations received after this time will be subject to the full delegate fee.

Q: Why haven’t I received the speaker’s presentation?

A: Speakers presentations are sent a week after the event date. Please contact a member of the UMG team on 0800 542 9440 or if it has been more than a week.

Q: Will there be WI-FI?

A: Yes, all our venues have the latest technology, offer full audio visual support and WI-FI.

Q: Can’t find what you are looking for?

A: Why not contact a member of the UMG team on 0800 542 9440 or email