10 episodes

In the age of ‘fake news,’ political discord, lightning-fast news cycles and social media shaming, it’s essential that all businesses understand crisis communications and have a plan in place.

On Crisis, created and hosted by Joanna Doven, one of the U.S.’s youngest big city mayoral press secretaries, led communications for the 2009 G-20 Economic Summit and in 2013 founded a public relations firm, Premo Consultants. She has since helped some of the world’s largest companies, educational institutions and regional nonprofits navigate employee scandals, reinvent their brands, and glide through turbulent partisan backlash. Doven guest lectures at her alma mater, Carnegie Mellon, and serves as a guest talk show host on KDKA Radio, the world’s first radio station.

On Crisis features Doven talking with leaders whose experiences with crisis management run the gamut from skillful leadership that led to better brand recognition to those whose mistakes resulted in dire consequences for the brands they serve. Doven unearths behind-the-scenes stories of real-time decision-making to take listeners inside the crisis, providing helpful takeaways that can be applied to any business plan. On Crisis also explores executives’ ‘aha’ moments, when personal crises helped spawn new perspectives and led to meaningful reinvention.

On Crisis with Joanna Doven Joanna Doven

    • Business

In the age of ‘fake news,’ political discord, lightning-fast news cycles and social media shaming, it’s essential that all businesses understand crisis communications and have a plan in place.

On Crisis, created and hosted by Joanna Doven, one of the U.S.’s youngest big city mayoral press secretaries, led communications for the 2009 G-20 Economic Summit and in 2013 founded a public relations firm, Premo Consultants. She has since helped some of the world’s largest companies, educational institutions and regional nonprofits navigate employee scandals, reinvent their brands, and glide through turbulent partisan backlash. Doven guest lectures at her alma mater, Carnegie Mellon, and serves as a guest talk show host on KDKA Radio, the world’s first radio station.

On Crisis features Doven talking with leaders whose experiences with crisis management run the gamut from skillful leadership that led to better brand recognition to those whose mistakes resulted in dire consequences for the brands they serve. Doven unearths behind-the-scenes stories of real-time decision-making to take listeners inside the crisis, providing helpful takeaways that can be applied to any business plan. On Crisis also explores executives’ ‘aha’ moments, when personal crises helped spawn new perspectives and led to meaningful reinvention.

    Episode 10 w/ Kris Maher, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

    Episode 10 w/ Kris Maher, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

    To launch On Crisis Season 2, host Joanna Doven sat down with 's , one of the nation's most esteemed national journalists writing about major American crises, from Flint's Water Crisis to the spread of PFAS contamination in American communities.    Kris just launched his book, , last fall. Telling the story of an environmental lawyer who waged a seven year legal battle with a large coal company over what was suspected to be a contaminated water supply in Mingo County, West Virginia, the book has been very well-received.   Learn what makes Kris tick, and understand the mindset of a national reporter as you prepare your organization for the next possible crisis.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 9 w/ Jeff Hahn, Owner and Principal, Hahn Public

    Episode 9 w/ Jeff Hahn, Owner and Principal, Hahn Public

    Jeff Hahn is one of the nation’s top experts in crisis communications and recently published his first book, Breaking Bad News. His Austin-based integrated agency combines data analysis with time-proven and researched methods on how to best respond to crises in order to preserve brands’ reputations. In this episode, we talk about why crisis communications isn't a "feeling thing", but why it's an acquired skill set necessary more than ever in the age of social media and cancel culture. We riff on why universities are so slow to respond adequately to crises even though they are at the epicenter of news headlines, from hazing incidents to activist professors! Join us as we dissect Jeff’s 5 step method to crisis response that ensures brands establish and maintain narrative control and hint --  brands need to lose the apology! 

    • 57 min
    Episode 8 w/ Sean Hamill, Reporter, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Episode 8 w/ Sean Hamill, Reporter, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    What is really happening inside of nursing homes and why should we care? COVID-19 has thrust nursing homes and senior care facilities -- rarely in the national spotlight -- into a crisis communications storm.  We talk with award-winning reporter Sean Hamill who has reported for The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and is currently the lead health reporter at his hometown city’s paper, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Sean’s recent series on one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks of any nursing home in America has led to data reporting changes and attorney general investigations that will increase accountability at these “end of life” facilities. As a news veteran, we discuss with Sean the future of local newspapers and how they can be saved, why Google and Facebook can play a key role in their comeback and, of course, the years-long steps that led to 332 residents becoming infected and nearly 100 dying from COVID-19 in Pennsylvania’s third largest nursing home. The real results of Sean’s diligent local investigative reporting backs a saying from his college professor: “Local news is at the heart of what makes America work; you have to have eyes on the mundane.”

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Episode 7 w/ Billie Jo Weyant, Executive Director of CAPSEA

    Episode 7 w/ Billie Jo Weyant, Executive Director of CAPSEA

    These days, you can get by without ever leaving your home – which is a nightmare for victims battling domestic abuse or sexual assault. A recent report calls domestic abuse within the larger pandemic the “shadow pandemic”. Backed by data, Jeffrey Kluger’s reporting points out that U.S. police departments are reporting increases in domestic abuse calls in the double-digits. Only when the lockdown restrictions lift, will the full scope of its impact on in-home violence be known. This week, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day and shining the “On Crisis” spotlight on a non-profit victim service agency in one of the most rural parts of America -- Pennsylvania’s mountain country. Called CAPSEA, its small but mighty staff led by Billie Jo Weyant has been pummeled with steep surges in crisis calls, shelter placement needs and trauma therapy as mostly women and children battle an increase in domestic abuse and sexual assault.  Founded 40 years ago, we talk with Billie Jo about how the pandemic has stretched her agency’s resources and the opportunity within this reality to tell its heroic story of helping victims live a safe and healthy life.

    • 47 min
    Episode 6 w/ Chris Togneri, Pittsburgh's Public Information Officer

    Episode 6 w/ Chris Togneri, Pittsburgh's Public Information Officer

    With distrust in traditional media at an all-time high as news outlets increasingly become platforms for far right and far left ideologies, one thing is certain: "The world needs more Sandy Tollivers." In episode six, we talk with Pittsburgh's chief information officer, Chris Togneri. After receiving his master's in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, Chris covered crime as a beat reporter in California, and then went on to Pittsburgh as a trailblazing journalist, writing award-winning features for one of Pittsburgh's top newspapers. Looking to get an insider's perspective on how first responders really operated, Chris became the city's public safety information officer in 2018 and immediately innovated -- utilizing social media to turn the information portal he was in charge of into a newsroom. We get his insider's perspective on the "defund the police" movement, the lack of editor leadership in local newsrooms, and reflect on the days when local journalism got it right: the era when editors like Sandy Tolliver challenged reporters to spend time on stories, and constantly pique curiosity through source relationship building.  

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 5 w/ Gerardo Interiano & Faryl Ury of Aurora

    Episode 5 w/ Gerardo Interiano & Faryl Ury of Aurora

    Get ready; it’s coming. What does a self driving future look like and how do we get there? From a 40,000 reduction in vehicle-related deaths to turning parking lots into parks -- and, let’s face it, convenience -- we dissected the industry’s possibilities  with two leaders of the self-driving vehicle technology company, . Led by former Google, Tesla and Uber executives, their recent acquisition of Uber’s autonomous driving unit will bring the “Aurora Driver” to the world’s leading ride-hailing network. valued the company at $10 billion, further solidifying their role as the most technically renowned autonomous driving leader.    So, in an industry whose success requires public adoption -- what communications strategies is Aurora deploying to impact the  ‘mental leap’ needed for legislators and everyday citizens to trust a robot-vehicle?   We talk with two of Aurora’s top executives in communications and public affairs, respectively; Faryl Ury and Gerardo Interiano. Together, their impressive careers span journalist positions at The Associated Press and NPR, executive roles at Square and Google and decades of experience bringing highly regulated products to market.  We talk about the long-term communications mindset, getting over public misconceptions and why aggressive communications on the company’s “safety first” commitment is paramount -- especially as they seek to shape regulations for a whole new industry. 

    • 49 min

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