The press doorstep – can you handle it?

The press doorstep - can you handle it?

Only watch this if you KNOW how to handle a doorstep*

The infamous doorstep only ends when the journalist leaves with something.

A no comment, a closed door, or in this case a response.

Managing a doorstep takes some well thought through choreography.

*Full disclosure, this one features my Dad, Tom Mangold, in action on BBC Panorama in 1997 so I may be biased.

The Post Office, Boohoo and the moments I miss investigative journalism

Investigative Journalism

It’s times like these that I miss making TV.

Watching Mr Bates vs the Post Office and the long overdue response from the Government I’m reminded about the power of TV and its reach – 9.2 million people watched the first episode, and that was before people started really talking about it.

Yes, there are lots of means to get publicity for your cause these days but there is nothing more convincing than real human stories, told well, through public service broadcasting.

Meanwhile, a BBC investigation has found that Boohoo put ‘Made in UK’ labels on clothes made overseas.

Ooooh to have been part of the team uncovering that little nugget.

These dramas and investigations take big teams of highly talented individuals, they take money (so lacking in journalism these days) and they take a collective will to ‘out the truth’ even when it can be months and years to gather the evidence you need.

My advice to any business on the receiving end of one of these investigations is take it seriously, if they’re coming for your response, they’ve already got the evidence they need and the truth, well the truth will always out, even if it takes 25 years.

Accepting and solving a communications training challenge from a global client

Global Client Challenge

Challenge accepted…

Loyal global client presents a new challenge.

“How do we grow our crisis comms resilience as a new team in multiple continents, time zones & cultures”

We got to deliver our solution at their European HQ. The energy, positivity & comments in the room suggest we exceeded expectations.

Job done.

This was followed by a welcome moment to reflect on where the training goes next while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

‘I really don’t want to speak to you again this year’.

Mangold Consultancy Christmas

No offence intended. None taken.

When clients chose us as their 24/7 crisis comms support, we get that a good Christmas for them means not speaking to us.

But if they do, we’re here. Poised with slightly wonky paper hats.

And to anyone else in need of 24/7 crisis comms support on speed dial…You know where to find us!

Happy Christmas to our wonderful team, clients and wider network – may 2024 be everything you wish for.

What everyone must say and do in a crisis

Let's talk… warts and all…

In a crisis, being open and honest with each other is rule number one

Or as one client recently put it brilliantly – “Let’s talk, warts and all.”

Honesty defines how an organisation manages a crisis AND then how its people recover from the impact

Whether you create a safe space, share skeletons, speak up or speak out – always be honest.

Why treat journalists like a friendly dog?

The Hunch Podcast with Abby Mangold - Staying ahead in the reputation game

Who’s the best person to put forward in a crisis?

How does good crisis comms impact the bottom line?

And lessons from NatWest, the British Museum, BBC and Nike

I had a fab time talking to Mark Schmid on his podcast The Hunch about all of the above, and more.

Listen below or follow this link to The Hunch Podcast Episode with Abby Mangold.

“There’s no escaping it, if you run a high-profile business or organisation you will face a reputational issue in the short or medium term. We asked former BBC Watchdog producer Abby Mangold about the changing media landscape and its impact on how leaders prepare for and handle the toughest challenges.”


The Hunch is a Podcast about data and technology. They love educated guesses and gut instincts, too. The Hunch asks experts to predict what’s coming down the line with a focus on the ‘when?’ and the ‘why?’

The car crash interview always begins with… no practice

Jess & Abby Mangold from the Mangold Consultancy

We have known each other our whole lives and professionally for almost a decade.

We have run multiple training sessions BUT…

We still rehearse, every time, individually and together, dropping in the odd mistake to see if the other is actually listening!

It’s all about the practice, so when we do it for real we are focussing on the people we are training and what’s going on for them.

There is no corner cutting. And as sisters, we would be the first to call each other out if we were to try!

Make the time, do the practice, make every interview worth it.

Avoiding on camera confrontation. Advice for reception & security teams

How do you avoid on camera confrontation when cameras turn up unannounced?

Following a sharp rise in YouTubers and TikTokers turning up unannounced at client offices and sites – often trying to provoke reactions from unwitting staff, we’re increasingly asked for our advice on how to support teams on the ground.

Watch Abby explain our top tips for avoiding on camera confrontation.

How to avoid on camera confrontation

What’s the point of media training?

The media Training was so useful…

What’s the point of media training? Actually, this great comment from a happy client sums it up perfectly.

Our media training has always been about the live interview experience, a bit of a grilling and lots of confidence boosting to produce your best performance.

You never know, when it comes to the real interview, you might just enjoy yourself!

Recharged for Autumn – bring it on

Jess & Abby Mangold are Recharged for Autumn - Bring on September!

Is it just me or does anyone else still get that beginning of term feeling?

The end of a holiday is never a highlight. But with plenty of behind the scenes Mangold Consultancy gubbins completed over the summer we are now rested and recharged for a busy Autumn.

Bring it on.

Crisis Communications Playbook

Crisis Communications Playbook

What do you do when you discover one of your employees has behaved inappropriately?
How do you respond when people challenge your business practices on social media?
What do you do when you get a customer complaint?
The list could go on.

Using experience and nous to assess and respond to live issues, based on the specific set of circumstances is absolutely the way to go in an emerging crisis.

Recently however, clients have asked us to compile a “playbook” of responses for the most frequent and reputationally damaging issues, after we’ve completed a reputational risk audit of their competitors and the wider sector.

A playbook is more than collating your “lines to take” or communications responses. Done well, this live document should become part of the Communications Team’s armoury with which you can effectively respond to issues as they develop. The playbook provides important insight such as :

  • stakeholders, reactions and patterns in their responses
  • social media activity including trends, keywords used and priority channels
  • topics which cause the most activity
  • duration of interest
  • key journalists
  • as well as the existing communications to help build a response

All too often the post-crisis sands of time slip away and soon the next issue is upon you. Taking time to stop and reflect on how you responded and what you can learn should be part of the ‘playbook’.

By taking a quick and thorough sweep of actions post-issue you will assess; did we get our message out there or are we just repeating the same old tired platitudes which don’t cut it with our customers / stakeholders.

Questions to ask post-event are:

  • did our last response achieve our objective
  • are our response times working
  • are the comms consistent with commitments made in the past
  • is now the time to review our corporate key messages to make them better reflect our current reality and after effects of an issue

Your playbook is the bible you refer to so the next time you’re challenged about the business, you approach it kitted up with knowledge from previous experiences as well as a starting form of words to use in response.

Background image by Joanna Kosinska , book composition by Studio JERO

Perspectives from the President’s War Room

“I did need to make sure that they knew who was in charge… teams function better when the leader asserts himself. And I wanted them to know that we needed a plan to deal with it and that everybody had a role to play.”

A candid comment from the former US President giving a rare window into decision making and leadership during an exceptional moment in modern history. Over 90 minutes, the documentary 9/11 Inside The President’s War Room scrutinised the 24 hours after the terrorist attacks on New York’s Twin Towers which claimed thousands of lives, impacting across the world in ways we are still discovering today. The programme featured interviews with the then President, his accompanying entourage that day and decision makers elsewhere, inside a bunker below the White House.

In bringing together these perspectives, it helped join the dots between the multiple ripple effects of this crisis.

  • The nature of leadership, or as one presidential aide put it “You are who you are. Whatever you’ve got in you will come out in a moment of crisis.”
  • The importance of working technology, including a good TV, which was incredulously lacking in Air Force One, making them reliant on patchy signals as they flew over major cities, to get rolling TV news updates from the ground.
  • The exposure to misinformation and miscommunication, such as a caller warning about a threat to Air Force One, who was in fact misreported by the person on the other end of phone. “The amount of information that is wrong, when you are in a moment of crisis, the filters are down, people let information through just in case, is staggering.”
  • And even flickers of tragi-comedy, such as a mistaken overdose on anti-anthrax medication, having missed the prescribing advice of the President’s physician. This staffer was unharmed although remains known as the person who tried to OD on the President’s jet.

Huge congratulations to one of my former bosses, Neil Grant, for Executive Producing such an astonishing piece of TV – the programme afforded a rare insight into a crisis, even more so given the global magnitude of those 24 hours. This is a must watch for all leaders and their teams for its historical significance, and because it demonstrates how we must prepare for challenges and then face into the force of the moment, by drawing on the collective expertise and insight in the room.

9/11 Inside the President's War Room

5 Lessons from Senior Business Execs to make you a better leader

Lessons from senior business leaders

Tips from media interviews with Senior Business Leaders: a year of learning in the virtual room

Global Media and Entertainment; Health, Sports and Fitness; High Street Brands, City Law Firms and Entrepreneurs. Over the last 12 months we’ve trained senior leaders from some of the world’s biggest and most successful brands.

When we pivoted to virtual media training, we never imagined the roll call of people we would work with. And yet a year on, we have had a privileged and unique insight into a diverse roster of senior leaders from many industries.

Continue reading “5 Lessons from Senior Business Execs to make you a better leader”