Larkfleet Group – Crisis Communications

The Who

Larkfleet is a forward thinking, technologically advanced housebuilder and developer that is proud to have the environment at the heart of everything it does.

The Why

Like all industries, the construction and development industry is susceptible to a potential crisis situation – or two, or three. There is always the possibility of being faced with a situation that could affect a company’s reputation in the eyes of its stakeholders. So Larkfleet asked Metrix to help put together an effective crisis communications plan – and help polish the communications skills needed to effectively deliver it. After all, as they say, preparation is everything!

The What

Metrix worked with Larkfleet to produce a flexible plan that can be swiftly implemented if a crisis should occur.

However, there is nothing quite like the real thing – or as close to the real thing as you can get without there being an actual crisis! Metrix organised and hosted a half day intensive crisis PR/media awareness workshop for Larkfleet’s directors. The workshop covered important areas of effective crisis communications such as:

o Identifying key audiences and key messages.
o Establishing and managing a crisis team.
o Handling media enquires and public statements in a crisis.

We produced a fictional but very feasible ‘incident’ relevant to Larkfleet’s business for its directors to work with.

Role play media interviews formed part of the workshop, with a working journalist putting each director under the hypothetical spotlight as she interviewed them on camera about the fictional ‘incident’. Each interview was recorded and the group then critiqued their responses with the journalist, learning from mistakes and understanding ‘best practice’.

The Wow

Larkfleet is now better prepared to communicate effectively if a crisis situation should arise. It has established a dedicated crisis communications team, produced a detailed crisis plan and identified key stakeholders.

Designated media spokespeople within the company now know more about what to expect in telephone, studio and site interviews. Key messages and communications skills are better understood, ready to be utilised if necessary. Cool, calm and collected under media pressure, an acting career beckons for some …

Since the crisis PR/media awareness workshop, Larkfleet has had cause to use some of the skills it learnt.

Paul Adams, Larkfleet Group’s operations director commented, “I am pleased that I took part in the crisis PR/media awareness workshop. The skills and information I gained have since helped me communicate effectively with the media in a potentially difficult situation. The workshop was very interesting and I am certainly more confident communicating with the media as a result.”