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Crisis Communication Workshop

  • Royal Society of New Zealand 11 Turnbull St Wellington, Wellington, 6011 New Zealand (map)

Knowing how to manage a crisis has never been more important for SCANZ members. The Fonterra botulism scare and 1080 contamination threat are two recent examples of high profile incidents, not to mention weather and earthquake events.  

If the worst were to happen to you and your organisation, this workshop will give you invaluable tips to lift your game, and will cover how to:

  • Identify risks and potential crisis scenarios

  • Establish effective communication processes from the start

  • Actively involve important stakeholders

  • Allow for community input where needed

  • Create crisis plans that work

  • Prepare crisis resources

  • Practice your plan and rehearse roles

Workshop participants will test their skills in groups, preparing communications responses in a hypothetical crisis scenario.   

The workshop will be run by Brian Small and Simone Keough of BRG Ltd (


Brian Small

Brian Small

Brian first became involved in crisis communications over 20 years ago. An early assignment was to advise a DHB whose sole pathologist had misdiagnosed 50 cancer patients; he then worked with the Department of Conservation after the Cave Creek disaster and was also a member of the Esso communication team after the Longford Gas explosion in Victoria, Australia. Since then he’s helped manage airline incidents, foot and mouth outbreak scares, food and other product recalls and major oil spills. In 2010 he was part of the Pike River disaster communications team, and in 2010 and 2011 was heavily involved in the Canterbury earthquake responses.  He has helped many organisations prepare and test crisis response plans. These have included ultra-high level lab facilities, major international events and iconic tourist destinations.

Simone Keough

Simone Keough

Simone’s crisis management experience began while working for the Canadian Government’s equivalent of our Environmental Protection Authority in the mid-90s. It included a 170,000 litre crude oil spill in a lucrative fishing area that was also home to thousands of seabirds.  Another incident was more of ‘a slow burner’.  NASA decided it would launch a military satellite whose solid rocket booster would land in the middle of a Canadian offshore oil field, peppered with oil platforms and of course rig workers. (If you come to the workshop, Simone will tell you what happened in the end). Since emigrating to New Zealand over a decade ago, she’s helped manage many incidents as well as prepare and test numerous crisis plans for various organisations.


This workshop is an add-on to the 2015 SCANZ Conference.

Separately bookable half day workshops: bid writing, story telling, crisis management.

Times may vary slightly. Please register your interest at

  • $60 each for conference delegates

  • $100 each casual rate (not attending conference)