CATO highlights Crisis Management

HOW well is your business primed to manage a crisis when it hits? This was the fundamental question posed at the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) crisis management conference which took place late February in Sydney.

Around 100 members of CATO and guest attendees learned that through a crisis, it’s anything but ‘business as usual’ with a number of key note presenters and panel sessions highlighting the impact that a crisis can have on an organisation with all urging the need to be prepared.

Among the speakers included Leah Johnston, Director of Crisis Management & Contingency Planning, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) who highlighted the preparatory work and support they provide for Australians when travelling overseas.

Johnston also flagged a new Smartraveller campaign will be rolled out nationally in 2019.

Reputation and brand protection during a crisis was a focal point with leaders from PR agencies discussing how timely and well planned communications can help mitigate brand risk and maintain reputational control.

Several case studies were cited where an organisation’s goodwill can be rapidly eroded in the absence of communication or poorly timed ones with customers, stakeholders and the media.

Speaking with travelBulletin, Brett Jardine Managing Director for CATO said feedback from the day by attendees “has been excellent,” noting that “the legal session in particular was so popular that CATO has confirmed an encore performance from Aaron Zoanetti, Senior Associate at Pointon Partners.”

Additional sessions will be held in Melbourne on 9 May and Brisbane 16 May, Jardine advised.