Fairbanks: When Nightmares Come True: A crisis communications case study

Oct 18, 2016 | Past Events

Join PRSA Alaska in Fairbanks for a behind-the-scenes case study look at crisis communication. This campaign was honored with the 2016 PRSA Alaska Aurora Grand Award and first place Aurora Award in crisis communications.

Finding out your child’s educator may be a predator is one of any parent’s worst nightmares. That nightmare came true when a local tutoring company found out one of its long-time high school tutors was being investigated for the possession of child pornography and sexual relations with a minor.

As the situation began to unfold, the need for an effective crisis communications strategy was immediately made clear. The company began the process with the goal to reinforce the trust of its parents and partners. This would surely be a challenge in the midst of legal constraints, uncertainty of facts, flaring emotions and quickly changing circumstances.

In the months following the employee’s arrest, however, the company did not experience even one customer lost due to that event. Instead, numerous thank you emails from parents and high school staff had been written to the company’s CEO related to the handling of the situation—and at the time of this submission, the company was on its third straight record-breaking month as measured by both customer acquisition and total revenue. Partner engagement as measured by the number of practice SAT/ACT events and presentations held at high schools had also increased over the previous spring.

In this session, Kristin Helvey, APR, will discuss the development and implementation of this crisis communications plan, including challenges and lessons learned, and the remarkable impact of sincere, transparent and timely communication—even when it’s difficult.

Kristin Helvey, MBA, APR, is principal of Helvey Communications, a full-service public relations firm in Anchorage, Alaska. She is published nationally for her client’s work in engaging underserved populations. Her teams have earned numerous awards for special events, communication materials and campaign design, while building extensive and unique experience in such areas as multicultural communications and community partnership development.

Kristin’s Alaska Native heritage lured her home after completing a bachelor’s degree in public relations at Oklahoma State University. To solidify a keen understanding of communication as it relates to business priorities, she completed her master’s degree in business administration at Alaska Pacific University, where she later returned as a professor of marketing. She serves as a board member for Public Relations Society of America Alaska Chapter and represents the Alaska market in the national PRConsultants Group. Kristin is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America.

Join the Public Relations Society of America – Alaska Chapter for tips on crisis communications strategy at the professional development luncheon in Fairbanks.

In this presentation, you will learn:

  • How to plan ahead for crisis communications so you can be as prepared as possible when crisis strikes.
  • What worked and what didn’t: learn tips from a real case study.
  • Understand the impact of sincere, transparent and timely communication—even when it’s difficult.

Price before Sept. 15:
$30 PRSA members // $40 Non-Members // $10 Students
At the door tickets:
$34 PRSA Members // $44 Non-Members // $10 Students
Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Time: Noon to 1 p.m. (Doors open at 11:30 a.m.)
Location: Westmark Hotel, 813 Noble Street, Fairbanks, AK