Crisis and Reputation Management in a Digital Age: A Brands Golden Hour

Paramedics will tell you that if they can reach a patient within an hour of a traumatic event, the odds of recovery are considerably higher. Brands too need to be more responsive in times of crisis in today's social world.

We all recognise that the longer you leave a crisis to fester without an appropriate response, the worse the outcome will be. As with the trauma patient, a corporate reputation left untended for too long too, could well die.

In South Africa we have witnessed our fair share of companies who have eroded their brands.  Everything from racial spats on sports broadcasts, the ongoing saga at Eskom, listeriosis, and innumerable scandals that have rocked the auditing profession. From fake news to budget cuts and corporate scandals to political shenanigans, corporate communications professionals have never faced such pressure. Add the intense speed of change in business, an unforgiving audience who have revenge at their finger-tips via social media and it's clear that we need a re-think. How do we avoid, prepare, deal and recover from crisis?

Presenter: Bruce Whitfield, Talk Radio 702 Business Presenter

Opening keynote: Mark Barnes, CEO of the SA Post Office "When I arrived at the Post Office, it was long dead." Mark will explain how he developed a turnaround strategy for transforming the organisation and its culture.   


  • Leading through a crisis and building a turnaround strategy;
  • Pre-planning and crisis avoidance;
  • Crisis management – What to do when disaster strikes;
  • When to go public with a crisis and when to manage it internally;
  • Defending the undefendable;
  • Restoring reputation;
  • Managing public fallout;
  • Communication strategies for online;
  • Managing staff behaviour on social media;
  • Using digital platforms and technology to boost success;
  • Living in a fake news era; and
  • Stakeholder perspectives - working effectively with investors, analysts, HR, the media, legal and staff when crisis strikes.

Speakers confirmed to date:

  • Bruce Whitfield, 702 Business Presenter
  • Mark Barnes, CEO of the SA Post Office
  • Grant Pattison, CEO of the Edcon Group (Edgars, Jet, CNA, Thank u Digital)
  • Michael Oelshig, CEO of Cerebra 
  • Jacqui O Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, MTN 

Groups discounts of 20% for bookings of 5 or more.

Companies wishing to sponsor this conference can contact Katie on

Conference starts at 08:30 and ends at 15:30.

Please engage with us on Twitter: @GIBS_SA | #gibsforum, #gibsconference, #gibsevent, #gibsmba
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