Crisis PR planning

Helping to prepare for every eventuality


ESPO is a professional buying organisation for the public sector. It supplies everything from insurance services to pens and pencils to over 9,000 schools and other local authority organisations. With a large supply chain, thousands of customers, a busy warehouse and a fleet of vehicles on the road, a crisis situation involving a product supplied by ESPO or with one of its vehicles could occur at any time. Crisis PR planning is essential.

Communicating with the media is essential during a crisis and handling it effectively is vital, as it can have an extremely negative impact on an organisation’s reputation if it is unprepared when required to speak to the media or says the wrong thing to them.

Having provided proactive PR for ESPO for a number of years the organisation looked to us to create a crisis PR plan which would enable it to speak to the media confidently and effectively in the event of a number of different situations.


Skout worked with ESPO to identify the types of crisis it could potentially face.

These incidents were then categorised into minor or major crises and plans were formulated as to how to respond in each situation.

A detailed crisis communications plan was created explaining how ESPO should approach communications during each crisis situation.


The plan offered a step-by-step approach to crisis communications, including; how to lead and control communications; what constitutes a minor or major crisis and steps for handling it internally; how to deal with the media; procedures for the whole ESPO team and key stakeholders; incident check lists to ensure all details of the crisis situation are captured, and holding statements which can be amended to suit the type of incident that has taken place.

With a comprehensive plan in place ready to be used in the event of a crisis ESPO is now well placed to communicate effectively with the media in a serious situation.

Skout has given us the tools we need to ensure that in the event of a crisis we are prepared for all communication needs. All bases are covered, from what our receptionists need to do if they take a call from a journalist through to preparing our key spokespeople to front an urgent press briefing.

Claire Edwards

Head of marketing and communications, ESPO