Respond Communications offers the services of its principal consultant, Tabitha Beaton, and a team of associates, as required, in the areas of:

Communications Project Management

Throughout the year, your organization launches several new projects and programs that require tailored communications plans. Whether you are introducing a new service to the community or trying to raise awareness of a health or safety issue, communications are a big part of getting the word out. We can quickly jump into any project and assist with managing the communications or simply provide a fresh perspective on different communications approaches you could consider. Our background in emergency services means you don’t have to spend a lot of your time getting us up to speed on the nature of the project or program.

Communication project management can include:

  • Planning and managing communications implementation for specific programs and projects;
  • Liaison with other agencies and organizations involved with a project.

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Communication Strategy Development

Once your business strategy is in place, you then need a communications plan and approach that supports your departmental goals and objectives. One of the biggest challenges in emergency services work is the constantly changing nature of what you are doing. Our communication strategies are developed to allow you to provide a consistent set of messages to your key audiences while giving you the flexibility you need to adjust programs and projects based on funding, current events, and shifting priorities.

Communication strategy development can include:

  • Multi-year communication plans linked to your business strategy and goals;
  • Short- or long-term schedule of communications activities to support your broader objectives.

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Employee Communications

Emergency services are faced with some of the most challenging employee communications situations workforces spread across geographic areas, employees working different shifts and managers and supervisors with varying levels of communications knowledge, interest and training. You often hear that your employees want more information and to hear about issues before they hit the media. We can help you find ways to share information with this critical audience in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them.

Employee communications can include:

  • Research regarding employee views on current communications, tools and preferences;
  • Refinement of existing communications tools;
  • Creation of new tools and methods to enhance employee communications;
  • Communication plans and materials for a new policy introduction, leadership directives, or organizational information.

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    Issues Management

    An issue can arise in an emergency service from almost any area personnel, policies, procedures, citizen complaints or media investigations. Being prepared to address an issue in a timely, transparent manner can help keep an issue from escalating into a crisis situation. With our background in emergency services, we can jump into an emerging issue to review its status and develop appropriate messages and actions you can share with your key stakeholders and audiences. Respond Communications can also proactively work with your management team to identify potential issues, monitor their progress, and develop plans to help mitigate them before they become significant concerns.

    Issues management can include:

    • Counsel regarding a current or emerging issue;
    • Preparation of messages, recommended actions and communication materials to address an issue;
    • Proactive tracking and monitoring of potential issues in your organization.

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    Key Message Development

    Often, emergency services organizations are faced with sensitive or political issues requiring a thoughtful approach to how it is discussed with employees and media. Other times, your organization may want to explain a new program or policy to citizens in the simplest way possible. Respond Communications can assist with key message development to make your messages clear, concise and relevant.

    Key message development can include:

    • Broad messages to support your department and its business goals;
    • Messages developed for a specific project or program or a particular target audience;
    • Partnering with human resources, legal and other internal departments to create messages appropriate for addressing an issue internally or in the media.

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    Leadership Communications

    As the Chief or senior manager of an emergency service organization, you are faced with constant, complex communication challenges. Your employees want to hear directly from you more, you are juggling multiple projects and priorities, and you can be are faced with several issues in the media. We can help you develop a plan and communication materials to keep employees, elected officials and media informed, involved and updated.

    Leadership communications can include:

    • Developing a plan to ensure you are regularly and consistently communicating with your key audiences;
    • Writing key materials to keep you in touch with employees, councilors and other managers;
    • Counseling you on effective communications with individuals and groups, including media.

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    Media Relations

    Emergency service Chiefs and managers are often asked to speak with the media on a range of issues. Whether it is a casual conversation regarding a new program or service or a media conference on a breaking issue, you want to feel prepared and confident. We can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls in media interviews and prepare you with the messages and skills you need. If you are looking to develop a media policy and set of practices, we can work with you to define a strategy that will work best given your internal resources and skill sets.

    Media relations can include:

    • Developing media relations policy and media spokesperson strategy;
    • Coaching and counsel for communications leaders and senior management.

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    Municipal and Regional Government Relations

    Explaining the intricacies and needs of your department to elected representatives and other government agencies is a unique challenge for emergency services. Often, industry standards, legislation and governance unfamiliar to many councilors guide your organization’s performance. However, the support and funding you require for your service depends on these individuals understanding how you operate, why you do it the way you do, and how it impacts them and their constituents. We can help you translate the many complex factors driving your department into easily understandable, relevant information for elected officials.

    Municipal and regional government relations can include:

    • Communications counsel and materials to support requests for budget, staffing, or programs;
    • Messaging to clearly and simply explain industry and response standards that guide your organization’s performance;
    • Plans and materials for ongoing communications with elected officials.

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    Program Development

    Emergency services organizations are often looking for new ways to provide service, generate revenue, or extend reach into the community. To provide the best solution possible, it pays to have a communications representative at the table that can provide feedback on the potential benefits and concerns regarding a new program or service. We can provide that voice to your organization, offer ideas for mitigating the concerns your audiences may have, and plan a communications strategy to support your program direction.

    Program development can include:

    • Conceptualizing new programs and services that support a need or goal within your department;
    • Feedback on the pros and cons of a program or series of options you are exploring;
    • Research on the programs and services of other emergency services.

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    Sponsorship and Program Funding

    As budget challenges continue to put pressure on municipalities, emergency services are actively searching for other funding options. Respond Communications can assist you whether you are considering setting up a foundation, exploring program sponsorship, or examining other revenue-generation strategies. Setting up any type of revenue or sponsorship program requires careful consideration of resources, other areas of your organization that may be impacted, and public perception. We can help you prepare a program that suits your unique needs and reflects positively on your organization.

    Sponsorship and program funding can include:

    • Sponsorship packages for a single event or program;
    • Sponsorship program development for use by the entire organization;
    • Counsel regarding communication issues associated with a sponsorship or revenue-generating program.

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    Stakeholder Consultation

    Much of the work your organization performs each day impacts different audiences and stakeholders. Whether it is building a new station in a community that is concerned about increased noise and traffic or developing a new bylaw that will impact local businesses, your organization may need to involve outside groups. Your consultations with different audiences may range from the very simple to the very complex depending on the level of involvement appropriate to the project and your stakeholders. Respond Communications can provide a consultation plan with clear goals, timely communications, and consistent messages.

    Stakeholder consultation can include:

    • Counsel on how to engage stakeholders in your projects and organization;
    • SWOT analysis and input into your communication and business strategy.

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    Writing and Collateral Development

    With new programs and services comes a need to produce materials for a variety of audiences. In addition, health and safety information for citizens, businesses and employees can require print or online materials such as brochures, posters, or web content. Whether your organization has already produced materials and you would like a second opinion on them or want to create a new set of materials to support an initiative, we can help with whatever you need.

    Writing and collateral development can include:

    • Writing, editing, proofreading or designing of print and online promotional materials;
    • Creation of speeches, briefing books, presentations and other communication materials for management use.

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