Education & Events

Issue and Crisis Communications

Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Time: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM ET 


Every successful municipal career reaches a stage where strong communications skills are required. Almost any significant municipal decision, initiative or project is now met by organized opposition on social media. Public anger is the new normal. The global pandemic reminded us that all municipalities, large and small, must be able to manage complex issues and deliver crisis communications.

Municipal managers have a daily responsibility to deliver succinct and insightful advice to colleagues and decision makers. Occasionally, they must make very difficult judgments, take decisive actions and comment under intense pressure. Thankfully, communication, issues management and crisis management are all learned skills. With practice, you can dramatically improve your ability to spot issues at an early stage. In fact, you can learn how to spot them before they even start. Sometimes, you can even turn potential issues into good news stories. In your daily work, you can also take small, practical steps to improve your communications skills.

Municipal leaders who make the effort, gain valuable and transferable skills. That skill and experience will serve you well during relatively rare but career-defining moments when you face a crisis.

What you will learn:

This workshop will help you to identify issues and success stories; create effective messages and responses under tight deadlines; communicate municipal services visually using photos, video and infographics; apply best practices when managing municipal media relations and social media; address social media outrage and anger; and help you prepare a personal social media plan.

Who should attend:

This workshop is ideal for municipal managers who have the responsibility of delivering concise and insightful advice to colleagues and decision-makers.

About the Instructor:

Brian Lambie has extensive communications experience gained during his career as a private sector consultant, a political assistant and a public servant. He founded Redbrick Communications in 2002 and leads its large municipal communications practice. 

Brian has served as the primary communications strategist for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) for more than 15 years. He is a sought-after media trainer and conference speaker. In addition to developing and delivering training programs for organizations such as AMO and AMCTO, Brian has chaired the Summers Direct Municipal Communications Conference since 2006. 

He regularly provides training for a variety of public and private sector organizations and is the trainer of record for a number of provincial ministries, working with everyone from front-line staff to Ministers. He also serves as an issues management presenter and mentor for Inside Public Sector Leadership’s Political Acumen Master Class.

Brian's March COVID-19 communications advice for municipal leaders was voted a "2020 Top Ten" read in Municipal World Magazine. 

He earned his M.A. in Journalism from Western University.

Refund Policy: All Cancellations must be confirmed in writing. A refund levy of $113 (includes HST) will be applied to every cancellation received up to five (5) business days prior to the holding of the session. No refunds will be made for cancellations of less than five (5) business days prior to the holding of the session.

Disclaimer: AMCTO reserves the right to decline registration based on proprietary information/material being presented at this session, and for other reasons such as copyright issues. We will endeavour to make sure all scheduled events take place, but AMCTO reserves the right to alter, change or cancel dates, venues and workshops, for any reason.  "This personal information, which you may provide to us, is used only for internal purposes to process your registration fee payment and to contact you or to distribute AMCTO-related materials to you, in the event that you have identified this personal contact information as your preferred means of contact."