Pinnacle worked with the federal government of a Gulf state over an 18-month period to help create its very first communications strategy that covered more than 50 different government entities. As part of this process, we conducted a government-wide communications audit, which involved interviewing more than 100 ministers, director generals, director of communications and managers of communications; conducting capacity assessments of more than 300 people to evaluate their skill level and capacity to work in communications; bench-marked successful government communications from governments around the world; and identified the most successful channels for government communications with local, regional and international stakeholders. The entire audit was conducted in Arabic and English.
Pinnacle was asked to help restructure and reorganise communications for a water utility’s PR department who were doing typical communications – sending out press releases, writing newsletters and organising events. The CEO brought Pinnacle in to audit the overall success of existing communications activities, as well as identify how the department could be restructured to offer more strategic stakeholder engagement. Pinnacle worked with the company’s team for three months to restructure its communications team, including new job descriptions and KPIs for each employee; assessing the communications team’s capacity for delivering a number of key initiatives from the CEO; develop systems, processes and templates that could be followed by the team; and developed a comprehensive training programme for the communications team to help them fill any skill gaps.
Pinnacle has worked with Saudi Aramco since 2006 on the development of its communications team. We developed a core competency map of skills for employees working across public relations, government affairs, land affairs and correspondence/translation. After three separate competency maps were developed, we created online and face-to-face assessment tools for its employees to assess their skill level and knowledge. We subsequently developed individual development plans (IDPs) for employees, and a comprehensive training strategy and plan was developed. The Saudi Aramco Affairs Training Academy was launched and more than 200 employees were trained in key communications skills over a nine day period. The training was later expanded and employees took highly specialised training courses that were relevant to their roles and linked to their development plans.
Pinnacle worked with a global appliance manufacturer who was named by government authorities as having been at fault for a number of household fires. The government authorities had named the appliance manufacturer before an investigation had taken place, and the media began to write several negative stories without speaking with the company. Pinnacle’s crisis management team went to the client’s offices and worked with them 24/7 for two weeks. This involved handling media that were door-stepping the clients offices and executives’ homes; setting-up a consumer hotline to handle enquiries; providing correct information to the media about the situation; arranging media interviews for the CEO and key spokespeople; responding to on-going media enquiries and correcting misinformation; and arranging for social media channels to be regularly updated.
Pinnacle worked with an international university to test its crisis preparedness through a semi-live crisis role-play over two days. The senior management team were given two scenarios (a bus crash involving students and a fire on campus that resulted in injuries) that were treated as if they were live and were asked to respond to the situation. Three journalists and a crisis management expert were involved in the rolling exercises which also involved TV, radio and print interviews; “live” TV reports that appeared on screen in the training; and mocked-up social media posts that looked like the real thing.