Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global public health emergency in late January 2020, foreign ministries have been actively supporting national efforts to curb the spread of the virus. They have been put under intense pressure to communicate effectively with their citizens abroad about travel advice, repatriation procedures, border closures and developments arising from the pandemic – all these while combatting the spread of disinformation. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic consistently reminds us that clear crisis communication is critical in crisis management and can save lives.
Crises such as this demand diplomats and civil servants to move beyond their daily work routine to effectively manage the crisis and mitigate its effects. Hence, the Asia-Europe Foundation together with the Clingendael (Netherlands Institute of International Relations) organised the Crisis Communication Training in digital form from The Hague.
The training ran for 2 days, on 27-28 January 2021, and was led by Clingendael trainers who draw from both practice and theory (Situational Crisis Communication and political psychology) to provide the participants with key concepts and insights to communicate clearly and effectively, while maintaining credibility and narrative control during different crises.
The primary aim of the course was to enable participants to become more effective in crisis communication and familiar with some key concepts from crisis management.
The participants were able to:
- Define the key elements that define a crisis;
- Understand the crisis curve and different stages within a crisis;
- Explain the different steps of the crisis management cycle;
- Know the different levels and responsibilities in crisis management;
- Understand and experience the roles in Crisis Management Team;
- Know how to apply the OODA loop for decision-making during a crisis;
- Understand and apply elements from Situational Crisis Communication theory, blame and reputation management and political psychology during a crisis;
- Communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders during a crisis;
- Become familiar with the different tools for crisis communication (press-and holding statements, press conferences and social media)
- Know how to respond to the media and different types of questions made by journalists;
- Have practiced their communication, negotiation and teamwork skills under pressure.
Learn more about the ASEF Public Diplomacy Training Programme here