In the Wake of Tragedy: Best Practices From Orlando's Nightclub Shooting

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Categories: Communication Strategy, Crisis & Reputation, Social Media

In this day and age, news and social media will shape the public’s reaction to any tragedy or crisis. On June 12, 2016, as the worst mass shooting in our country’s history unfolded, public relations practitioners in varying capacities throughout Central Florida found themselves in the limelight, responding to intense and relentless press inquiries, and having to immediately implement communication strategies to update the media, calm the public’s fears and build community unity. Panelists from the City of Orlando, Orlando Health and Pulse nightclub will share how they communicated in the hours, days and weeks following this horrific tragedy, providing a unique perspective from each of their roles. 

This webinar will walk through a timeline of events, share crisis management plans and provide tips and lessons learned. Hear how behind the scenes, various government agencies, businesses and hospitals worked in a coordinated effort to provide accurate, timely information to reporters, residents and people across the world. This panel also will discuss how each agency leveraged multiple social media channels to disseminate timely and accurate information while concurrently building civic resiliency. Learn techniques for preparing your organization for what to expect in the midst of a crisis and how to best respond to varied audiences including reporters, the community at large and elected leaders when the entire world is watching.

A high-profile tragedy or crisis situation could affect any government entity or business. Learn effective crisis communication strategies including how to quickly and effectively build a coordinated communication response across multiple jurisdictions, organizations and businesses.

Learn to manage the intensive media coverage that follows a high-profile tragedy or crisis. Through firsthand accounts, you’ll hear how Orlando’s public relations professionals leveraged local media relationships and managed national and international media, shared stories of heroism and protected clients from media intrusion.

Social media has changed the speed at which the public receives information. Learn how to develop and implement an effective social media strategy in the wake of a crisis to provide timely information to reporters and their audiences, calm public fears and unify a community.


Heather Fagan, deputy chief of staff for Orlando, Florida, mayor, City of Orlando

Heather Fagan is the deputy chief of staff for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. In this role, she is responsible for strategic communications in the Mayor’s Office and serves as the spokesperson for Mayor Dyer and the City in matters pertaining to public policy, emergency response and program initiatives.

With the City of Orlando since 2006, Fagan has led communication efforts for a variety of community projects including the approval and construction of the new Amway Center, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Camping World Stadium renovation; securing a major league soccer team; and the installation of See Art Orlando. Additionally, she launched Mayor Dyer and the City of Orlando’s social media efforts.

She is a proud University of Central Florida alumna, graduating cum laude with a bachelors degree in advertising/public relations.



Participants with the APR credential earn 0.5 CEUs for a webinar. Learn more about Accreditation renewal.