National Press Club

When a Crisis Goes Viral: How Social Media Has Become Inseparable From Crisis Communications

When a Crisis Goes Viral: How Social Media Has Become Inseparable From Crisis Communications

November 12, 2013 2:00 PM

Location: First Amendment Lounge

When a Crisis Goes Viral:
How Social Media Has Become Inseparable From Crisis Communications
2 p.m., November 12, 2013
The National Press Club, First Amendment Lounge

Crisis managers prepare for the worst. But today, when information travels faster than ever before, a PR nightmare can spread online before the communication director has time to react. What happens when a crisis goes viral?

On November 12, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the National Press Club, join crisis communications veterans who will share their war stories from crises you have watched unfold in the news media. This expert panel will discuss how social media has become inseparable from crisis communications, and what you and your organization can do to prepare for and manage any crisis.

Digital and social media platforms, and the lack of control that goes along with them, can raise the fears of executives. They can also be exactly what an organization needs to spot a crisis before it strikes, contain misinformation before it spreads, and manage conversations to redirect the message.

This event is free for members of the National Press Club and $25 for members of the public. The panel will include:

Jane O'Brien, Reporter, BBC World News Service (moderator)
Leslie Aun, Vice President, Communications at Venture Philanthropy Partners and Former Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Wendy Harman, Director, Information Management and Situational Awareness at American Red Cross
Jan Lane, Director - Federal Government Services, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Patrick Riccards, Partner at Collaborative Communications Group and author of Eduflack
Tammy Gordon- AARP's VP of Social Communications / Consultant


Jane O'Brien is a regular presenter of the BBC's flagship television evening news program, World News America, and is a BBC digital and broadcast journalist based in Washington DC. With more than 25 years in the industry she has first hand experience of how technology and new media have changed the way news is gathered and distributed. She has covered the impact of social media on a number of disasters including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Leslie Aun began her career as a print and broadcast journalist but for more than a decade has led communications at major corporations and non-profits. She is currently the Vice President of Communications for Venture Philanthropy Partners, where she works closely with leadership to develop and implement strategies to increase the impact of VPP's investments. Previously, she served as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, where she led branding, advertising, executive communications and events to drive engagement, awareness and support for the organization's mission to end breast cancer.

Wendy Harman directs social strategy and engagement at the American Red Cross, empowering stakeholders to fulfill the Red Cross mission on the social web. In this role since its inception in 2006, she is responsible for the national social engagement presence as well as listening, engaging, and acting on 3,000+ social mentions each day. She leads the strategic vision and implementation plan for 600+ chapters and 36 blood regions within the enterprise. With strengths in change management and innovation, she spends her days cheering the Red Cross on in a fundamental culture shift towards relevance, openness, and collaboration in the 21st century.

Jan Lane is a Director in Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP in Rosslyn, VA where she leads the Resilience and Disaster Management practice. Before joining Deloitte, Jan served in the Senior Executive Service at the Department of Homeland Security and held leadership roles over three decades of federal service in responding to disasters and spills of national significance, including the BP oil spill, the Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, 911 and the Exxon Valdez, among many others.

Patrick Riccards is a partner at Collaborative Communications Group and writer of Eduflack. He is one of the nation's leading education communications strategists. In 2009, Pat was named one of the top communications professionals in the nation by PRWeek, the first time an individual from the education sector received the honor. He has worked with a wide range of distinguished organizations over his career, including American Institutes for Research, International Baccalaureate, National Governors Association, National Reading Panel, U.S. Department of Education, and many others.

Tammy Gordon manages a nine-person strong team of social media strategists for AARP with a direct-follow audience of more than 2 million people. Her team has trained hundreds of AARP staffers and thousands of AARP members on how to more effectively use social media. In 2013, AARP was nominated for DIGIDAY's Best Facebook campaign of the year and Best Social Media Cause campaign of the year.

For More Information On This Event, Contact:

Anthony Shop

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