Grant Bastedo is the Founder and Principal of Takt Communications Agency
In the final Speaker Series event of the season, held on May 2nd at the SFU GoldCorp Centre for the Arts, attendees heard from Grant Bastedo, the Principal of Takt Communications Agency, and the communications lead behind the scenes the most talked about crises in recent memory: the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.
On April 6, 2018, the Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey team’s bus collided with a semi-truck on a highway north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. The crash resulted in 13 injured and 16 deaths including 10 players, the bus driver, two coaches, the athletic therapist, a volunteer statistician and a broadcaster. The Broncos’ organization, overwhelmed and reeling from this horrific tragedy, engaged Grant Bastedo and his team from Takt Communications to assist with crisis management and media relations.
After getting as much information as possible, Grant and his mighty team of two, quickly created a Crisis Communications Plan. Their plan focussed on four objectives:
Given the magnitude of this crisis, the team faced several immediate challenges:
With the situation growing increasingly chaotic, the team implemented several important measures:
As the relationship between the grieving families and media became more complicated, Takt saw the need to establish protocols and guidelines to ensure media respected the privacy of those involved in both hospital and memorial settings. While failure to adhere to the protocol would result in access to spokespeople and events being denied, media were ultimately deferential and abided by the rules.
Some of the key lesson learned include:
Grant also left us with some parting words of wisdom that we can all take back to our organizations for further thought and action when it comes to preparing for crisis situations:
Paula Schütt has a bachelor's degree in Public Relations from UNIVALI and a marketing certificate from Arbutus College. She has over 3 years experience working both in agency and in-house settings for companies in the fitness, logistics, accounting and cosmetics industries. LinkedIn: @paulaschutt