How to Handle a Major Incident

A major incident can cause sleepless nights and angst for CEOs, Directors and Communications Professionals. Proper preparation will go a long way to ensuring that your senior leaders are able to cope should the worst happen.

You may have missed out on face-to-face training during lockdown. We are still delivering remote training via Zoom, but here are a few quick tips for handling a major incident. When dealing with a crisis the media want:

  • What they call “Actuality” when they report a major incident.
  • They want a first-hand account of what is the latest news, preferably from the person in charge.
  • They want access and content.
  • A live radio interview for the BBC is 3 minutes and television could be even less.
  • Likely questions – What’s the latest news? Are there casualties? How many? How many injured? What was the cause?

The really difficult questions – who’s to blame, was it negligence, was it corporate manslaughter, don’t come on Day 1.

Handling tough media questions come days, weeks or even months later.

When you’re dealing with journalists you need to have a few basic facts, in the first instance. You don’t need all the facts and your presence in front of a camera or microphone is really all the media really want on Day 1 of a major incident.

Organisations can fail if they allocate all resources to the incident and neglect the importance of the Communications team in maintaining and protecting your reputation.

Media Friendly are specialists in Media Training, PR and Communication skills – everything from Presentation Skills To Crisis Media Management.  We also offer PR and Crisis Management support. For immediate advice and support call Media Friendly on 01628-474154, or email