AkzoNobel | Case Study

Background

Media Wise has been providing the Industrial Chemicals unit of AkzoNobel with crisis communications and media training since 2005. AkzoNobel is the largest global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. AkzoNobel is a multi-national organisation and as such it is imperative that its spokespeople are able to communicate effectively and cross culturally in many different situations.

Media Wise has had the pleasure to devise many and varied training programmes to suit the needs of the executives that AkzoNobel has invested in. Participants have ranged from senior executives and managers of specific businesses to sales executives and high potentials. In addition, trainings to date have also been tailored to take into account the many nationalities of the participants attending: Chinese, Danish, Swedish, German, British and Dutch employees have all benefitted from Media Wise’s bespoke sessions.

Training Method & Objectives

Preparation is the key to success and handling a crisis situation is a task best entrusted to safe spokespersons who are tried and tested. It is essential to AkzoNobel that their executives are given thorough training in this area, so as to equip them with the necessary skills to deal effectively with any situation that might arise and to maintain the company’s reputation as a responsible and transparent organization with impeccable health and safety standards.

For each crisis communications training day Media Wise has devised a bespoke programme based on the requirements of the AkzoNobel executives, aimed at building the skills and confidence needed to handle any crisis well. These bespoke programmes have also tested potential crisis areas and allowed participants to formulate an appropriate communications approach. The Media Wise training sessions have thus been used as a testing ground for existing or potential official spokespersons.

AkzoNobel has also turned to Media Wise for individual and group assistance with their presentations. During our presentation rehearsal sessions we have addressed content and all aspects of non-verbal communications. We record participants’ performances on video and analyse them afterwards, indicating to participants areas for improvement and helping them to make adjustments.

Results

The results of Media Wise’s communications trainings have been far reaching and tangible. Spokespeople who we have trained have gone on to be regular and impressive spokespeople for the company, speaking at external events such as the Big Improvement Day (a high-level, national, business conference) and internal management conferences. Several senior managers who have since given interviews to the trade press have also reported that they felt much more confident and well equipped to deal with the interview thanks to the Media Wise’s training. As Huub Verbeeten, Communication Manager, Industrial Chemicals, Akzo Nobel confirmed:

“What I like about Media Wise is their thorough approach. They understand our business as well as we do and are extremely skilled in training executives to convey this in a simple, informative yet powerful way. This is one of the many reasons why we consistently return to Media Wise. ”