Keeping Cool on the HOT Seat

Keeping cool when a crisis hits is incredibly difficult to do, but with proper knowledge and planning you can keep your wits about you and protect your organization’s reputation and share prices, as well as your career.

Judy Hoffman, principal of JCH Enterprises, is a colleague also in the crisis communication business. She recently published a review of my book on her blog, “Respond and Recover.”

Judy gained extensive experience dealing with an angry public as the Manager of Public Affairs for a large chemical manufacturing company in New York state. She held the position for sixteen years and dealt regularly with distressed citizens in the immediate vicinity of the factory – especially when the wind blew unpleasant smells into the adjacent neighborhood. Judy really knows her business, so it was an honour to have her review my book in such glowing terms.

Judy is also the author of  “Keeping Cool on the Hot Seat: Dealing Effectively with the Media in Times of Crisis” Here’s what one health care professional said about her book; “Not only has Judy captured the essence of establishing a response plan and good media relations, but she has done it in a very easy, readable manner that makes it a pleasant learning experience.” Patrick J. Clark, SPRH, Director – Human Resources, St. Anthony Community Hospital at The Warwick Campus, Bon Secours

In her blog about my book, (a blog btw that goes all the way back to 2004) Judy addressed three difficult questions reporters often throw at spokespersons. I wrote in my book, When the Headline Is YOU that reporters often ask for 1) a “YES or NO” answer … 2) they also try to get you to speculate by ending a question with “is it possible that,” and … 3) the third tough question, “Can you guarantee . . .”

Judy offered up excerpts from my book of these three questions designed to stump spokespersons. You can read more in her blog article; When Reporters Try to Back You into a Corner.

Thank you Judy, KEEP COOL and Be Well!


I’m doing a radio interview with Barry Shainbaum this Sunday, April 17 at 12:30pm about my book and life.

If you’re in the Kitchener area tune into FM 94.3 or you can listen to it here streamed live

William Smith, Communicator and IABC/Toronto member published a report on the IABC/Toronto website about a presentation I gave to the IABC.

I addressed the issue of staying on message regardless of the question asked, and shared with IABC members that staying on message when it is not appropriate often does more harm than good.

You can read William’s article here.

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