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Crisis and Reputation Management and its Relation to Corporate Culture

When a crisis looms, why are some companies hit so badly with massive negative media coverage, sharp stock drop off, and ruined corporate reputations, while others seem to have a vast reservoir of good will that carries them through a crisis to recover and rebuild corporate reputation?

Whether the issue is Wikileaks, oil spills, viral videos or product recalls, organizations of all kinds are facing a rapidly growing need for quick and effective response to crises, rumours and uncertainty. This challenge can assume monumental proportions in a context of an unstable policy environment, mergers and acquisitions, ongoing restructuring and the slashing of corporate budgets.

This series of four webinars examines recent damaging cases and best new practices in recurring reputation risk and riding out crises. Featuring corporate communications specialists, the webinars will present a clear picture of how issues and crises can affect any organization, and how corporate culture, management style and effective issues management practices can sink it or save it.

Webinar 1

February 16, 2011 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Corporate cultural strategies for preventing and surviving crises

What kind of corporate culture helps an organization avoid or prevent crises? Rhonda O’Gallagher, Executive Director of Corporate Communications at Pfizer Canada Inc. is no stranger to crisis, restructuring and other corporate reputation issues. In this session, she looks at the effect of an organization’s culture – ethical, legal, leadership style and communicational – on the prevention of crises in the first place, survival through a crisis or major change, and the rapidity of adjustment afterwards.

Rhonda O’Gallagher,
Executive Director, Corporate Communications,
Pfizer Canada Inc.

Rhonda is Pfizer Canada's Executive Director of Corporate Communications. As Executive Director, Rhonda is a member of Pfizer's Canadian senior management team and is responsible for leading Pfizer's Canadian Corporate Communications division which includes a team of 14 communications professionals who specialize in media relations, product/brand PR, crisis management, external communications and branding, internal communications and change management.

Rhonda has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 15 years and has been with Pfizer Canada since 2001, where she held various senior positions within the Communications function.

Rhonda's broad range of corporate and healthcare communications experience was also developed while working as Director of Communications for Novartis Pharma Canada; National Director of Communications for The Kidney Foundation of Canada and as a Communications Manager for Air Canada.

A graduate of Concordia University and its School of Community and Public Affairs, Rhonda has also devoted time to a number of volunteer community activities, including communications advisor to Leave Out Violence (LOVE); The Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society's Daffodil Ball Committee.

Webinar 2

March 9, 2011 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Faster than a speeding bullet: crises and new media

In this era of digital media, egg can be all over your face and around the world in minutes. (Think Dominoes Pizza.) Organizations must constantly track issues and comments that can have a serious impact on their reputations and value. But how to get a handle on this vast mix of communication channels that include the highly pertinent and the useless? Should the digital tech-averse CEO spend hours tweeting or hire his 18-year-old nephew? This webinar looks at how organizations establish practicable and sustainable practices for keeping their eyes and ears open in cyberspace.


Paul Argenti
Professor of Corporate Communication, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College

Professor Paul Argenti has taught management and corporate communication starting in 1977 at the Harvard Business School, from 1979-81 at the Columbia Business School, and since 1981 as a faculty member at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. He has also taught as a visiting professor at the International University of Japan, the Helsinki School of Economics, Erasmus University in the Netherlands, London Business School, and Singapore Management University. He currently serves as Faculty Director for Tuck’s Leadership and Strategic Impact Program, and Tuck’s executive programs for Novartis.

Professor Argenti’s latest book, (co-authored with Courtney Barnes) is entitled Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communication, published by McGraw-Hill in 2009. His other books include: Strategic Corporate Communication, published in 2008 by McGraw-Hill, The Power of Corporate Communication (co-authored with UCLA’s Janis Forman), published by McGraw-Hill, and The Fast Forward MBA Pocket Reference (second edition), released through Wiley. He also published a fifth edition of his textbook for McGraw-Hill/Irwin in 2009 entitled Corporate Communication. Professor Argenti has written and edited numerous articles for academic publications and practitioner journals such as Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, and Sloan Management Review.

Professor Argenti is a Fulbright Scholar and a winner of the Pathfinder Award in 2007 from the Institute for Public Relations for the excellence of his research over a long career. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Arthur W. Page Society. Finally, he has consulted and run training programs for hundreds of companies including General Electric, ING, Sony, Novartis, and Goldman Sachs. You can follow Professor Argenti on twitter at

Webinar 3

March 30, 2011 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
What’s a reputation worth? Supporting and measuring stakeholder support

Can better communications make a difference if an organization has made operational errors or uncovered corruption? Maple Leaf Foods set the new gold standard in Canada for crisis communications in 2008 when it succeeded in increasing positive public opinion to pre-crisis levels. What did Maple Leaf do that BP and Toyota did not? How did the existing corporate culture, goodwill and reputation sustain it through the crisis, help it return to normal and eventually enhance its reputational capital? And what is that reputation worth in financial terms? This webinar will connect the dots from communication to reputation to the bottom line.


Dr. Terry Flynn,
Assistant Professor and Director of Master of Communication degree program,
De Groote School of Business, McMaster University

In his own words, Dr. Terry Flynn is a “pracademic” – a public relations/communications management scholar who bridges the academy with the profession.

For more than twenty years, Terry built an international public relations practice, specializing in risk and crisis communication and community relations with such companies and organizations as: the U.S. Navy Public Health Agency, the Chemical Manufacturers' Association, the American Gas Association, the Edison Electric Institute, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Florida Power Corporation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, and the Town of Walkerton, Ontario.

In August 2004, Terry completed his doctoral degree in Mass Communications, specializing in Crisis and Risk Communication, at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where he also earned a Masters of Science in Communications Management in 2001. He is a member of a number of professional organizations including: the Canadian Public Relations Society – and elected its president in June 2009 – the International Association of Business Communicators, the Reputation Institute, and the Academy of Management. In 1993 he received his APR designation from the Canadian Public Relations Society and in 2008 became a CPRS Fellow.

He is currently on the faculty of the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University where he directs Canada’s first and only Master of Communications Management degree program. In addition Dr. Flynn is an adjunct professor at Syracuse University, a member of the teaching faculty at the Directors College and a member of the Commission on Global Public Relations Research.

Webinar 4

April 27, 2011 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Managing reputation risk in an era of instant global communication

Instant digital communication means organizations now need to speed up their reputation tracking and response exponentially. (Think United Airlines or Wikileaks.) This final webinar in the series will examine what well executed issues management requires from managers in different sectors of the organization, and will look at current best practices in accurate tracking, quick response and reputation management.


François Taschereau,
Executive Vice-President and General Manager,
Weber-Shandwick, Montreal

As executive vice president, Weber Shandwick Canada and general manager, Montréal since October 2010, François Taschereau, APR, contributes to the development and expansion of Weber Shandwick across Canada and leads as the principal of its new Montréal office. Taschereau reports to Canadian President Greg Power, who joined the firm in July 2010. He has achieved success at the executive level in several of Canada’s leading public relations agencies, directed corporate communications for some of the Canada’s most respected companies and worked internationally as an officer in Canada’s foreign service where he served in Ottawa, Bogota, Madrid and New York from 1982-1995. Since 1996, Taschereau has been a respected leader in Montreal’s communications industry as a PR consultant (National, Optimum and Edelman) and a corporate executive (Bell Canada, CAE and Hydro-Québec). Involved socially, he volunteers on the boards of UQAM’s Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, of UQAM’S Public relations and marketing communications Chair, of the Canadian Journalism Foundation as well as the Marie Chouinard dance company and the Festival TransAmériques.

Price per webinar: (*Includes a recorded version of the webinar)
Regular Rate: $69.00* plus applicable taxes
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McGill SCS Partners (CPRS, IABC, SQPRP, CMA, TEC - Tecnológico de Monterrey) Rate: $49.00* plus applicable taxes
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McGill Alumni and Staff Rate: $49.00* plus applicable taxes
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McGill Student Rate: $10.00* plus applicable taxes
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Registration Deadline: 4:00 pm, one day prior to the webinar.

Price for the recorded version of webinar for non-attendee
$45.00 plus applicable taxes/webinar
$135.00 plus applicable taxes/for the webinar series
To purchase

For more information

pd.conted [at]

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