For 18 years Rick Amme has spoken to, coached, or consulted with Fortune 500 companies, institutions, and executives throughout the country on how to protect and enhance their reputations especially during times of crisis or urgency. (He throws in some coaching for critical presentations as well when the client insists.)
He has handled a wide variety of cases including plant fires, closings and layoffs, accidental deaths, embezzlements, product recalls, medical mistakes, hospital and nursing home emergencies, environmental controversies, fights with unions, lawsuits, and he helped a board of directors throw out the entire top management team. Many such cases he generically describes in his interactive and stimulating speeches.
His more than 130 clients include the federal government, US Air Force, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, American Express, General Dynamics, R. J. Reynolds, Sara Lee Corporation, La-Z-Boy, and the California Community College System. Rick also speaks around the country about crisis management to companies, associations, and organizations. While he mostly handles critical issues, he has also worked with former NFL greats John Elway, Joe Theismann, and Tony Dorsett, as well as celebrities Joy Behar and Dr. Ruth to prepare them to talk to the media. STAR magazine once asked him for crisis advice for Paris Hilton.
A former Emmy-winning television anchor/journalist with more than 20 years experience, Rick is a member of the editorial board of contributors for a business journal and has written approximately 200 columns on crisis management and corporate communications that are available free on this website. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow on Twitter.
How to Protect Your Hard-Won Reputation
There are two ways we can approach this. A keynote or, and this is very popular with clients, a keynote plus a team crisis exercise.
The keynote itself is an interactive high-energy 90-minute presentation where participants learn the critical crisis leadership/management principles necessary to protect the reputations of their companies or institutions. I pack the presentation with real world examples and video clips to illustrate the points. Among the principles given are segments on decision-making, teamwork, social media, speed, and internal as well as external communications. I also do a tough mock interview with two “volunteers”.
The team crisis exercise adds another 90 minutes but clients tell me they like it because everyone gets to put into practice what they just heard. Here’s how it works. We divide the audience into teams of about 5 people each. Each team has to tackle a crisis or two and decide a) the three most important messages to deliver, and b) the three toughest questions to be answered.Each team reports out to the audience as a whole and, together, we compare and discuss what was decided. My experience is that the teams come close to having the same solutions, which indicates they learned well from the first 90 minutes. There is no limit to the size of the audience for both of these presentations.