Crisis Communications and Media Training Masterclass

Belinda Boxall: +27 11 771 4318

Disaster will strike your company and it's a question of when, not if. But when that crisis arrives, will you know immediately what to do? In this modern, social-media led world, events can overwhelm a communications team with frightening speed. How should you try to control such an event and what plans do you need to have in place? Two of South Africa's best-known business journalists, Chris Gibbons and Francis Herd, will guide you through the basics, discuss the crafting of stories and messages, reveal the latest academic research on the topic and workshop a theoretical disaster with you. This GIBS Masterclass is a must for both communications professionals and executives who want to be prepared when crisis strikes.

Programme agenda:

Why We Need Media Training

What We Know Now – The Fundamentals of Crisis Management

Crafting Stories

Case Studies – What They Did Wrong, What They Did Right

The Role of Leadership & Dealing with Journalists

Crisis Management Workshop

How to Stop a Crisis Before It Begins & Final Reflections


Francis Herd is an experienced radio and television broadcaster with a focus on economic and business news, and she is currently the face of prime-time news on SABC. She began her career at Talk Radio 702, was a long time anchor at eNCA, and joined the SABC to launch a business show. Francis holds an honours degree in Politics and an MBA. Her thesis dealt with relationships between business leaders and journalists, and how these impact the fortunes of a company when a crisis strikes.

Chris Gibbons is a successful journalist as well as a sought-after public speaker, conference facilitator and media trainer.

Currently, he edits the magazine Acumen for the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), University of Pretoria, which he also conceptualized and launched in 2012. In addition, he presents a daily market report on AlgoaFM.

Between 2002 and 2012, Chris anchored The Mid Day Report, a hard-hitting news, current affairs and business show, simulcast on Gauteng's Talk Radio 702 and the Western Cape's 567 Cape Talk. The show won three successive MTN Radio Awards (2010, 2011, 2012).

He has had a distinguished career on both radio and television, anchoring Newstalk on 702 from 1987 until 1997 and News Hour on SABC TV3 between 1997 and 1999. During his career at 702, he conducted a number of historic interviews, including the first between any SA radio station and the still-exiled Thabo Mbeki. He also interviewed Nelson Mandela several times, as well as Margaret Thatcher and US Vice-president, Al Gore.

Chris also spent time in the publishing industry as Group MD of the New Holland Struik group of companies and was part of the team that listed Primedia on the JSE.

With an MA from Cambridge, Chris also holds an MBA from Henley, one of the UK's leading business schools.


Managing media relations in a crisis, as well as during normal times, is an exercise in building a trusted connection.  This requires a combination of exceptional storytelling skills, poise and understanding the media environment to ensure that you are meeting both your brand's needs and those of the media.

At the heart of the process is knowing what story you want to tell and to whom. 

  • What is the message that you, as a communications professional, want to put across?
  • Who is the target market or audience that you want to reach? 

    Your communications or disaster recovery plans will certainly fail unless everyone involved is 100% sure of the basic stories and messages on which your brand is built.

    Who should attend?

    This INTRODUCTORY course will benefit entry to middle levels professionals who are responsible for corporate communications, reputation and crisis management, media relations, corporate affairs, public relations and stakeholder engagements as well as those want a refresher course.


    GIBS campus, 26 Melville Road, Illovo, Sandton, Johannesburg

    Fee and cancellation penalty:

    Fee of R4700/p includes masterclass materials, lunch and refreshments for the day.

    Payment of R4700/p must be received latest 2 weeks prior to start of masterclass to secure seat. Please adhere to cancellation policy outlined below.

    Online booking:

    To book your seat, please click APPLY NOW (top right corner of this page). If you have queries on how to book online, please send an email to

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