#GivingTuesday Canada: Tips for Nonprofit Campaigns

GivingTuesdayCA is a National Giving Day

Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday... #GivingTuesday is returning to Canada on November 28, 2017.

It is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

Portfolio Spotlight: Explainer Video for Proactive Backups

An explainer video tells your story with images so your message is easier to understand and remember. Explainer videos are an affordable and effective addition to your marketing strategy to drive traffic to your website, keep visitors on your site longer and increase sales.

Join Crisis Communications Expert, Kathryn Kolaczek at a FREE Seminar This Fall!

Kathryn Kolaczek, CEO of Alchemy Communications is an expert in Crisis Communications planning and Media Training. Learn the fundamentals of crisis communications planning and how to protect your business from Kathryn and the Alchemy Communications team at a free seminar this fall!


Essential components of crisis communications
Thursday, september 28, 2017, @ 10:30-11:30

Crisis Communications refers to the effort taken by a company to communicate with the public and various stakeholders when a negative event occurs. It can also refer to the efforts institutions make to inform the public of a potential hazard, such as
a natural disaster or severe accident. In our digital world, bad news travels fast and is far reaching, and it’s critical for your organization to prepare for an inevitable crisis. You’ll leave this workshop with an understanding of the importance of developing
a crisis communications checklist for your business. 

Essential Components of Internal Communications
Thursday, October 19, 2017, @10:30-11:30

Effective communication between an organization and its employees is essential for building and maintaining an engaged and productive culture. For business leaders, it can be tricky to navigate the messaging of both positive and negative organizational developments. You'll leave this workshop with a plan to improve internal communications processes within your business.

Crisis Communications: Real World Examples
Thursday November 16, 2017, @ 10:30-11:30

There certainly hasn't been a shortage of PR fiascos this year, and valuable lessons can be learned from other's missteps while managing a crisis. In this workshop, we'll dive into various case studies of past PR disasters.

 5940 Macleod Trail SW, Suite 514, Macleod Place II, Calgary
RSVP: (e) KARLA@alchemycommunications.ca
(p) 403.701.7067

Register Today, Space Is Limited!


Trucking Industry Needs To Prepare For Crisis


Businesses can go months or years without a crisis, but eventually, all businesses have to manage one. Although all industries are susceptible to PR disasters, the transportation industry is especially vulnerable. Alchemy Communications Inc. CEO and Crisis Communications expert, Kathryn Kolaczek, has worked with companies in the trucking industry and said: “it’s not a matter of if a crisis will happen, it’s a matter of when, and a crisis in the trucking industry often involves at least one fatality.”

Research indicates that 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality and nearly 90 percent of commercial truck accidents are caused or worsened by some sort of human error. Kathryn has some tips that she urges companies to implement – crisis planning can save a companies reputation, and more importantly, it can save lives.

•    Anticipate Crisis Scenarios – conducting a thorough review of current internal and external communication practices within an organization and studying past crisis situations to identify warning signs goes a long way in preventing a crisis. For example, driver fatigue is a leading cause of accidents and sleep apnea; a common disorder has been identified as a problem for truck drivers. It is wise for trucking companies to implement mandatory testing for sleep apnea so affected drivers are treated.

•    Media Training is Essential – crisis situations attract a lot of mainstream, and social media attention and the way in which a company responds to a crisis is heavily scrutinized. A poorly worded response can make a bad situation worse and destroy the reputation of a company for years to come.

•    Develop a Crisis Communications Checklist – In a crisis, it’s difficult to think clearly. Having policies and procedures in place, along with roles and responsibilities identified for a crisis management team increases the likelihood of handling the crisis well.

Many business leaders believe that a crisis won’t happen to them and unfortunately, it’s just not the case.  Alchemy Communications has developed comprehensive crisis communications plans and ongoing support for the transportation industry. For a FREE consultation, contact us today.

Prevention: The Best Crisis Management Strategy


The best way to manage a crisis is to avoid having one in the first place! One key benefit of investing in crisis communications planning is that it serves as an opportunity to identify areas of vulnerability within your organization. With this knowledge, you can proactively implement policies and procedures that will reduce the likelihood of your organization experiencing a full blown PR fiasco. In this blog post, we’ll discuss three preventative crisis communications strategies for your business.

1) Invest in a Comprehensive Crisis Communications Plan

An experienced crisis communications practitioner will conduct a thorough review of current internal and external communications practices, and identify high-risk areas (i.e. an inadequate internal process for reporting HR complaints). They also conduct extensive industry research and can educate you on how past leaders handled PR issues and what the outcomes were.  For an organization, it’s easy to overlook warning signs of a pending crisis. What’s more, many leaders have a mentality that PR blows“won’t happen to us” – a practiced expert will surely point out your “blind spots” so you can implement a preventative strategy.

2) Cultivate a Strong People-Centered and Customer Service-Centered Culture

Corporate culture goes a long way in preventing a crisis. Employers must communicate clearly to their employees about what performance expectations are, and what the consequences of not meeting expectations will be. Also, employers need to have a well-defined code and conduct and social media policy.

When it comes to customer service, handling complaints swiftly and sincerely cannot be underestimated. Disgruntled customers are hugely problematic to your business. They not only express their grievances on social media but also often are compelled to call members of the press.  Far reaching customer complaints often result in long-term reputational damage that hurts your bottom line.

3) Communicate Your Community Relations Efforts

Many organizations and their staff do great work in the community. Unfortunately, the public isn’t always aware of these efforts. Be sure to highlight community outreach programs on your website, social media pages and in person, by wearing company branded merchandise when volunteering. It may feel like you’re boastful if your company is actively promoting charitable efforts, but if you don't the only people who will be aware of your contributions are those people that you’re helping. What’s more, corporate philanthropic efforts allow employees to feel like they're working for a greater purpose, which leads to increased job satisfaction. Customers also feel like they’re making a difference in the world when they buy products and services from socially responsible organizations. In a study conducted by Unilever, 20,000 individuals from five countries were surveyed about their brand preferences. The results indicated that 33% of consumers buy from brands doing social or environmental good.

Crisis communications planning is an area of expertise for the Alchemy Communications team. We have worked with business leaders across different industries to develop comprehensive plans. To discuss the needs of your organization, please contact us today.














7 Quick Tips for Managing Social Media In a Crisis


In 60 seconds online, there are 448,800 Tweets posted, 3.3 Million Facebook Posts and 3.8 Million Google searches conducted. Today, information is transmitted unbelievably fast and can become a problem for brands dealing with a crisis. Here are seven tips that will ensure you’re prepared when crisis strikes.

1) Have a Social Media Policy

You may be confident that all your employees exercise discretion when it comes to conducting themselves online, but not outlining a social media policy and having clear guidelines is a mistake. Remember that your employees are brand ambassadors and inappropriate or discriminatory posts on their social media pages still reflect poorly on you.

2) Monitor Social Media

It’s important to be on top of your brand's current online sentiment. The longer you go without addressing negative posts, the worse the situation gets. 

3) Get All the Facts, Quickly

Information spreads on social media platforms at a rapid speed, and your stakeholders are waiting for your statement. Furthermore, the longer you go without comment, the longer incorrect or unfair information has to make its way around the Internet.  Of course, it’s important that information is correct and verifying details takes time, just recognize the urgency of the situation.

4) Own it, and Apologize

Never underestimate the power of an apology. Time and again, we’ve seen that companies that apologize swiftly and sincerely improve public perception faster.

5) Address Negative Comments

It’s important for the reputation of your brand to address negative comments posted on your social media pages while maintaining a respectful tone. 

6) Pause Scheduled Posts

Nothing will turn off your customers more in a crisis than having a post that’s out of context. Be sure to turn off all scheduled posts until the crisis has settled down. Even after it's over, be sure to review previously scheduled posts to ensure they’re still appropriate.

7) Update Website

Consider putting a FAQ page on your website that has detailed information about the incident. That way, when you tweet out updates regarding the situation, you can include a link that has critical information for stakeholders. 

We’re experts at managing social media and crisis communications at Alchemy Communications, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help your organization.