Crisis Communications is War: Lessons from the U.S. Army

Crisis Communications is War: Lessons from the U.S. Army


Rudy Burwell

Chief of Media Operations
Burwell Group

PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

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Event Location

Kalypsos Sports Tavern
1617 Washington Plaza N
Reston, VA, 20190

Agenda and Cost:

11:30 am: Networking 12:00 pm: Program PMIWDC Members $18 Non-Members: $18 *Lunch will be served

Crisis Communications battles happen not only internal to your organization, but also in the media, and the glare of the spotlight can turn even a mild matter into a full-blown crisis. This month’s program will share lessons from the "battlefield" in order to help industry leaders navigate the often frantic and hostile media coverage associated with these "wars." As Chief of Media Operations, Retired Colonel Rudy Burwell handled crisis communications for the U.S. Army ranging from the alleged shooting of Iraqi civilians by private security forces to the aftermath of the Fort Hood killings. Now, he is using his communications management skills to help government agencies and corporations deal with some of their most vital and sensitive communications issues. Colonel Burwell will discuss:

  • How Senior military officials handle major communications challenges and the parallels for lawyers;
  • How the Army's practices and procedures can position your firm for successful communications campaigns; and
  • How to build beneficial media relationships when dealing with stressful events, tight deadlines, and highly sensitive information.
PDUs Available: 
1.00 PDUs for Certified PMs

About the Speaker

Rudy Burwell

Burwell Group
Chief of Media Operations

Colonel Burwell offers a comprehensive range of crisis-related services, including executive-level crisis communications and litigation public relations counsel, pre-crisis communications audits, and post-crisis analysis modeled on the U.S. Army’s renowned “after-action” review process. He started as a media relations officer in the Army and became Chief of Media Operations for the U.S.-backed coalition during Operation Iraqi Freedom, which included the intensely observed military “surge” of 2007-08. The Burwell Group is also a distributor of industry-leading electronics and stored energy solutions for defense and aerospace applications.

About the Reston Local Community

Each month, PMIWDC Reston Local Community volunteers strive to bring you interesting and informative speakers from a wide range of professions. They present these speakers to you at the Leidos building or other organization located at Reston Town center. This is an opportunity to network with other professionals of the PMI. The conference center at Leidos offers a maximum seating of approximately 30 guests. Pre-registration is required. Luncheons are held every third Wednesday of the month. If you are interested in presenting please contact the PMIWDC Staff who can put you in touch with the Luncheon Committee Volunteers. List of past events can be viewed below. Please follow PM Reston on facebook.

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