Local Government Case Study

Local Government comms training

The client’s challenge

To equip media and communication staff from London boroughs with the skills to manage the complexities surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring that participants understand their legal and statutory obligations.

At the start of 2020, EPiCC was commissioned to deliver a series of crisis communication training workshops across London boroughs to help comms staff respond to conventional major incidents, after a gap analysis undertaken by the London Resilience Forum (LRF) identified a need to enhance training and knowledge. The training was due to be delivered in the spring.

In March, the capital found itself in the midst of managing the response to COVID-19 and EPiCC was invited to lead the media and communication response to the pandemic on behalf of the LRF, and to direct and coordinate the response of partner agencies. EPiCC fulfilled this role for three months.

Based on that experience, and lessons learned, EPiCC formulated a series of workshops for London boroughs to equip communication staff with the necessary skills to deal with further waves of coronavirus.

Due to restrictions, traditional face-to-face training was not possible, so workshops were delivered virtually via the Microsoft Teams Platform. Communication staff, partners and stakeholders participated in the workshops.   

Services provided

Building on its successful relationship with the LRF and its experience of handling previous major incidents and emergencies, including COVID-19, EPiCC used a number of experts with detailed knowledge in the development of crisis comms strategies and plans, mortality management, effective leadership and effective change management to support the delivery of a series of interactive workshops.

The workshops were structured so that one built on another, thereby providing participants with a sound understanding of the different elements of a pandemic and a major incident response.

EPiCC used these events to target areas of potential vulnerability, complexities and organisational demand. We provided support and guidance throughout, ensuring maximum cumulative benefit from the perspective of managing the response, resilience and recovery phases.

 Outcomes

  • The workshops helped participants focus and challenge their emergency preparedness, fulfilling statutory obligations and ensuring current policies and strategy fully supported the needs of their organisation
  • Participants, including new personnel, had the opportunity to develop their skills within the safety of a controlled environment, providing the benefit of learning and engaging with experts who had dealt with the first wave of the pandemic and broader major incidents
  • The workshops required participants to develop a timely and corporate approach to media and communications management, to meet the needs of their respective organisations and stakeholders
  • Allowed for creative systems to be developed to deal with fast moving and often unpredictable events or series of events that could negatively impact reputation
  • Improved communication lines and working practices between stakeholders and partner organisations, and provided a greater understanding of how they fitted into the wider response
  • Built confidence in participants and their own abilities to manage major incidents, their teams and key organisational staff at times of crisis