The Changing Media Landscape: Key issues for dealing with social media and fake news

In Information and Communications by Amanda Anderson

Duration: 1 week
Dates: 3 to 7 June 2019
Tuition fees: £2,170 (exc. VAT)

About the workshop
The media landscape is changing so rapidly that it’s essential to understand the new dynamics of social media and how to develop an effective and modern communications strategy.  This workshop will cover everything from how to counter fake news and produce video podcasts on your mobile phone, to understanding risk communications and performing on camera for traditional media.

The workshop is designed to develop your knowledge and capability and give participants the confidence to prevent an emergency becoming a crisis. At the end of the workshop you will know be briefed about the best way to deliver messages and deal with difficult questions and will learn about effective communication techniques and the importance of tailoring the message to different audiences, both at home and abroad on different platforms such as TV, radio, newspapers, online and on social media.  This is especially important when dealing with transient populations at ports and airports, especially to protect key economic industries such as tourism.  The workshop will include sessions on the use of language and human behaviour shortcuts, known as heuristics, and special issues such as social amplification of risk during crises.

Emergency planning is essential for business continuity and to prevent a local incident becoming an international crisis.  Emergency planning has distinct phases such as Prevent, Plan, Prepare and Protect, as witnessed by  international strategies for countering man-made or natural disasters.  It is vital that your media and risk communication strategy covers all four phases so that it is fully integrated with your emergency planning processes.  It is no longer realistic to think that media and communications are separate from the main business of an organisation and that they can easily be left to a press office.

Planning ahead and protecting citizens from natural and man-made hazards is becoming ever more demanding: pandemics, civil unrest, flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, nuclear emergencies and the disruption of essential services are just a few of the unpredictable events that have left governments looking vulnerable and unprepared.

In recent years we have also witnessed a huge rise in cyber-crime which can lead to economic crises, and the failure of financial systems, in which instant communication between individuals has  changed the face of politics for ever. In addition, fake news has dominated discussions since the US election in 2017 and politicians have become increasingly nervous about the effect that this may have on their elections.  These events show how rapidly crises can develop and how important it is for governments to manage their communications efficiently and effectively to maintain the public’s trust in their ability to govern.

We include visits to top national and regional emergency planning organisations so that you can meet people who have dealt with major national and international disasters such as the London terrorist attacks, the Grenfell fire disaster, the Salisbury nerve agent attack and disasters such as flooding and health emergencies.

During the workshop, we show you how to use free internet tools, such as aggregators to monitor social media, and spot developing trends which could damage your government’s reputation.  We also help you to select the right messengers and messages for different audiences and how to make broadcast quality video on your mobile phone which can be used on your website as vodcasts – video podcasts.


Who is it for?
The workshop is designed for senior policy officials, managers responsible for operational, tactical and strategic planning as well as public service communications and media specialists who are responsible for government/public service communications during times of emergencies and crisis.


How participants will benefit
The workshop will:

  • Broaden your knowledge of the nature of risk and crises, and how the public perceive them
  • Raise awareness of the importance of risk communication planning in the development of policy and operational strategies and provide practical experience of designing strategies both to pre-empt crises and deal with them when they happen
  • Create an understanding of how the media reacts to risk, the influence this has on the public, and the importance of building good relationships with the media
  • Develop your skills to enable you to make the most appropriate decisions during the management of a crisis.