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I95Business Leadership Series: The Crisis Cliff

February 2014


Protect Your Corporate Reputation
MAY 8, 2014 | 8:00am – noon
Mt. Washington Conference Center, 5801 Smith Ave., Baltimore, MD

CCbusinessmanWhen companies are faced with adversity or crisis, people respond. What strategic decisions are being made and by whom? Who will speak for your company in response to an unforeseen crisis? Are the people who will be asked to respond prepared to do so? If not, they should be. As Warren Buffet says, “It takes 20 minutes to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

I95 BUSINESS presents its first Business Leadership Series on May 8, 2014 at the Mt. Washington Conference Center in Baltimore. The Crisis Cliff brings together three nationally known experts who will present tactics and strategies on how your company should prepare in advance for an unexpected corporate crisis. Powerhouse speakers include Marianne Banister, an award-winning television journalist and respected expert in media management who will provide insight and an insider’s perspective on how to manage your image in the public media forum. And, Rob Weinhold, a seasoned crisis leadership expert and strategist who has advised countless executives. Weinhold is often a Chief Executive’s first call when an unexpected crisis arises, especially as it relates to reputation management. Keynote speaker Ed Norris certainly understands the anatomy of a crisis as he has dealt with both professional and personal adversity that changed the course of his life. Norris will speak very candidly about how to manage crisis, both privately and in the court of public opinion.

Crises quickly take on a life of their own and can spin out of control. When not dealt with properly, they can cost your brand its hard-earned reputation. And, even your job. The Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case at Penn State illustrates how quickly a crisis can spin out and ensnare those who are related to it. It clearly cost the university on many levels, including the demise of reputation, sanctions by the NCAA and the executive jobs of the President, Vice President and Athletic Director. In October of 2013, Penn State agreed to pay nearly $60 million to 26 victims. While this expense is expected to be covered by liability insurance, any way you consider it, the losses are massive.

While you’re sure this could never happen to your business, never say never, as the saying goes. What if a tragedy or crisis occurred at your place of business or at the home of an executive officer? At a local bank or office building? At a fundraising event? Would your team be ready? While impossible to predict, companies and their business leaders stand to risk major damage to their reputation if they have not prepared a plan for such a situation.

SPEAKERSRob Weinhold
Principal, Fallston Group: “Anyone can lead during the good times, but true leaders emerge during times of adversity and crisis. If you have a stake in corporate reputation, attend this event. Remember, the decisions you make today will be judged by many for years to come … why wait to prepare?”Marianne Banister
President, Banister Media: “In a crisis, you and your company will be remembered one of two ways: how well the crisis was handled or how badly you dropped the ball. There are no do-overs in crisis communication.”Ed Norris
Keynote Speaker: “Who should come? Your entire leadership team – C-Level Executives, Presidents, Owners, Principals, VPs, Attorneys, Directors, Brand Managers, Reputation Managers, Digital Strategists, Communications, PR, PIO & HR Executives, Non-Profit Leaders & Board Members.”

The Crisis Cliff is designed to help your entire leadership team begin the process of crafting a crisis response plan, with everyone starting on the same page, hearing the same message. It allows your team to be a part of the conversation, part of the preparation. The lessons are real. The danger is real. The only option is to be prepared. “This event will help an organization learn how to prepare for, navigate through and recover from issues of adversity or crisis,” says Weinhold. “Timely decision-making and strong leadership is critical for a positive outcome.”

While crises come in many forms, they inevitably put people in a position to present a view, a response, a perspective to the public. Weinhold is known for saying, “If you don’t tell your story, someone else will. And, when someone else tells your story, it won’t be the story you want told.” Without a response, the public draws its own conclusion, creates its own story. Banister agrees, “How you deliver your message is as important as the message itself. The most common phrases can make a bad situation worse. For instance, the last thing that should be said to a reporter is ‘No comment.’ It’s essential for every organization to have a well-crafted, strategic plan and know how to put it into action.”

A crisis catches a company off-guard. Banister understands this very well and warns, “The media and the public will not wait. In this digital world, news coverage is immediate and far reaching. You may have moments to spring into action to protect your brand, your message, your stakeholders.”

Weinhold continues, “There is no question that crises cost time, money, customers and careers. There is not a business leader I know that can afford to lose any of these. The Crisis Cliff will teach participants how to turn adversity into advantage. Take the time to prepare.”

Banister recently worked long hours reporting on the Mall at Columbia shooting. During her broadcast, she called on crisis expert Weinhold to offer insight and thoughts about the unfolding story as it was covered on Fox45. This is a powerful line-up of speakers that will give you and your team the tools you need to turn adversity into advantage. I95

Bring your team
Involve your executive leadership team. They need to understand what’s at risk and be involved in the plan.

REGISTER ONLINE For groups and sponsorship information, contact Vicki Franz,