Crisis Management

A crisis involves chaos. It can trash reputation and revenue. Clarity and nimbleness are essential in Crisis Communications, as is experience.

Wilkinson Butler’s Chairman, Peter Wilkinson, is a crisis management & recovery expert with two decades experience in this field.

He has managed successful crisis outcomes including countering cyber-security attacks, sexual abuse/harassment, media and social media attacks, industry restructures, product recalls, court cases and judicial inquiries, activist campaigns, pollution spills, extortion and blackmail threats, and fires/explosions.

A lot of these crises are exacerbated by social media; others, as companies’ struggle to cope with the rapid changes brought about by structural, cultural or digital transformation. The ‘recovery’ part of a crisis often involves significant change management – transformation.

Are you in Crisis?

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Crisis PR is perhaps the most stressful type of communication. It usually involves intense media, which can be merciless, and for a period we will be without friends.

Some people around us will lose their cool and want to change strategy. Others will try and interfere, thinking they know what's best. After an event, say a story on TV, many will second-guess what should have been done.

To survive a crisis, we need to be experienced, confident and assertive, giving clear instructions nimbly and simply. We need a thick skin.

Peter WilkinsonChairman, Crisis PR Expert

Crisis PR is perhaps the most stressful type of communication. It usually involves intense media, which can be merciless, and for a period we will be without friends.

Some people around us will lose their cool and want to change strategy. Others will try and interfere, thinking they know what's best. After an event, say a story on TV, many will second-guess what should have been done.

To survive a crisis, we need to be experienced, confident and assertive, giving clear instructions nimbly and simply. We need a thick skin.

Peter WilkinsonChairman, Crisis PR Expert

24/7 Crisis Advice & Support

Our skills are hard-earned from experience; we’ve been honing our skills for two decades: attacks in the media, industry restructures, product recalls, court cases and judicial inquiries, pollution spills, extortion and blackmail threats, sexual abuse/harassment and countering damaging industry or activist campaigns.

Crisis Preparedness

The best way of avoiding a crisis is practice – crisis training. A strong, thoughtful strategy is the result. Practice ensures:

  • Nimble strategy design and tactical responses
  • Board and management unity under pressure
  • Rapid message preparation
  • A prepared spokesperson
  • Media and social media preparedness

The next step is often:

  • An issues or crisis audit
  • Crisis plan development and design

Media & Social

Peter Wilkinson was one of Australia’s most respected newsmen with 30 years working on programs including the ABC’s This Day Tonight (which preceded 7:30) and Four Corners, and then Channel Nine’s ACA and 60 Minutes, and then 15+ years in managing media and social issues.

Our social and digital team is well versed in the strategies and tactics for crisis (this is a rare skill in social media).

Leadership & Board Guidance

Peter Wilkinson counsels leaders on strategies towards business goals and ‘raising the bar’.

Disruption & Culture Change

Change is hard – possibly the greatest leadership challenge. Despite that, there is a process, and we have extensive experience in the communications involved. It starts at the top and then, for some, it’s motivating or building teams, for others it’s being customer-focused, or the hard work of community engagement. It involves engaging with critical stakeholders via a variety of channels. We study, research and constantly discuss what is genuine change versus temporary ‘bright shiny toys’, to ensure we, and our clients, stay ahead.