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Crisis communications at Novartis

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This presentation was delivered at a BCI Swiss Chapter event in April 2017

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Crisis communications at Novartis

  1. 1. Crisis Communications BCI Swiss Chapter Event Jim Sheldrake – Director, Issues and Risk Communications Novartis Campus, Basel April 5, 2017 Group Communications
  2. 2. Global External Communications Eyjafjallajökull (Iceland) 2
  3. 3. Global External Communications “We make the world understand what Novartis does and why it matters.” Novartis Communications
  4. 4. Global External Communications Not every issue is a crisis or emergency 4 Emergencies Crisis Communications Issues Management
  5. 5. Global External Communications Preparedness Response Recovery 1. Preparedness: tracking issues and risk mapping, preparation of materials, risk mitigation, training and exercises. Business Continuity planning. 2. Response: rapid, clear, consistent, continuous communication in a crisis situation. Business Continuity communications. 3. Recovery: restoration of trust in the organisation, supporting ongoing Business Continuity activity and lessons learned. Crisis communications phases 5
  6. 6. Global External Communications Who manages issues and crises? Local / Site Country / Region Division/ Business Unit Group 6 Geographic spread Risk
  7. 7. Global External Communications 1997 • Media release / statements • Press conference • Interviews 2017 • Multimedia release / statements • Press conference / webcast • Interviews • Online updates • Infographic, video, GIFs • and .... External channels and audiences 7
  8. 8. Global External Communications Good process is essential ... ... but so are great people and leaders How important is process? Crisis communications needs process and leadership 8 Mobilise Assess Respond
  9. 9. Global External Communications Used to test people and processes Needs commitment and investment of time/resource All functions best, not just communications – also third parties Submarine escape training in Gosport, UK Communications training and exercises 9
  10. 10. Case studies
  11. 11. Global External Communications The issue led to widespread international print, broadcast and online media coverage Global flu vaccine supply (2012/14) Complex and rapidly escalating product issue 11 • In October 2012 Novartis seasonal flu vaccines put on hold after small particles were found in certain batches • EU and other countries followed suit • Novartis said the vaccines were safe and the particles normal • Vaccine batches eventually released for use
  12. 12. Global External Communications Ebola required extensive, multichannel internal and external communications by Novartis and numerous other stakeholders • Impact on Novartis – People – R&D – Travel – Business • Communications – Internal – Media – Digital / social media – Third parties Ebola Virus Disease (2014/15) 12 The outbreak in West Africa had global implications
  13. 13. Thank you Questions? Contacts LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimsheldrake/ Twitter: @jimsheldrake

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