Behind the Team: It’s Not a Crisis If You Know How to Handle It

How Edelman, the world’s largest public relations and marketing consultancy firm, quickly stands up teams to handle crises

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

😓 Where most teams fall down

We begin with discovery, which means learning about the client and the situation, and then we have a kickoff with the client and dive-in to work out the messages and strategy. Ultimately, it’s about identifying resources and teams that can pitch in — pulling in the right people, activating them, and making sure they have the time and resources they need to carry out the job.

Image for post
Image for post

Much of our work is through Microsoft Teams, and we’ll often work with Slack, G-Suite or other remote collaboration tools and platforms based on client preference. These are critical not only for driving deliverables and work product, but also for developing relationships and trust outside of the videoconference meetings. You see people having quick chats for all the kind of critical interaction that normally might happen by the coffee maker or by passing by someone’s office or desk. That’s important information and keeps up rapport when you aren’t — or can’t be — in the same office.

🚀 Three steps to rapid response

Image for post
Image for post

🛠 Step 1: Culture and tools

In our domain, there are all sorts of diverse stakeholders who need to weigh in on communications to internal and external audiences. Part of the reason we focus on advanced planning work is to generate buy-in before it’s needed. A lot of enterprises don’t have established processes built around these kinds of complex approvals, but it is an area where you can see a process-based approach driving value for teams.

💬 Step 2: Goals and messaging

It starts with setting the goal and the culture around the goal. Everything else flows from there: strategy, roles, responsibilities. The way people think about achieving what needs to be done comes from a common understanding of those two things.

💪 Step 3: Shared responsibility

Typically on the crisis side, our account teams are small, nimble teams and our project timeframes are often shorter in length. Oftentimes in organizations, project management tools and tactics can be the purview of quote unquote “project managers,” but in the crisis world we all have to have a little bit of a project management tool set.

💻 Closing thoughts on remote

Image for post
Image for post

Written by

Growth at Hugo. Previously data science at Squarespace. Writing here now: https://www.conordewey.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store