Melissa Agnes






When you pop a champagne cork, the bubbles of carbon dioxide form at tiny defects in the glass, join together, and explode upward when enough pressure builds. Crises usually start small the same way – and explode when the pressure builds to the breaking point. President and Co-Founder of Agnes + Day Inc., Melissa Agnes has helped dozens of global brands and government agencies deal with crises before that explosion, preventing and managing a wide range of issues before they become catastrophic. Her client list includes financial organizations, technology companies, healthcare organizations, government agencies, cities and municipalities, energy companies, global non-profits, and many others. She is the author of the long-awaited book Crisis Ready: Building An Invincible Brand In An Uncertain World.

An effervescent personality herself, Melissa is a sought-after international crisis management keynote speaker. She travels the world speaking to organizations and audiences including NATO, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Foreign Defense, Ministries of Health, as well as a wide range of private and public companies, universities and non-profit organizations. She has had the honor of sharing the stage with members of the Ukraine government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. A go-to source for the press, Melissa’s recent press coverage includes Forbes, WSJ, VIBE Magazine, USA Today and more. Melissa is also a regular guest on the leading morning radio talk show, CJAD, where she is referred to as “the official crisis manager of the Tommy Schnurmacher show”.

Melissa sits on the Board of Directors for the Online Reputation and Brand Protection Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing businesses with education, solutions, and advocacy to help them protect their reputations and brand online. She is also the editor of the highly acclaimed crisis intelligence blog, and the host of the internationally recognized #CrisisReady Podcast. Published regularly and followed by government agencies and Fortune companies alike, her blog, videos and podcast provide insights to help organizations manage issues and crises in this modern era.

Keynote Presentations

Build an Invincible Brand
Bad things happen to good companies. And issues come in all sort of sizes. The potential risks in modern-day business are greater, more dynamic, and less predictable than ever before. And yet, the greatest exposure does not lie within these risks. Rather, it lies in having a team that is not prepared to anticipate, foresee, or respond to a rising threat, and its impact on your reputation, revenue, and relationships in real-time.

If a negative situation were to strike your organization, how confident do you feel that your entire team would know precisely what to do? Would they know how to immediately and effectively manage the situation in a way that results in increased stakeholder trust and loyalty?

In this program, Melissa Agnes, provides an applicable roadmap for helping you build an invincible brand through effective communication, issue management, and crisis readiness, resulting in increased organizational trust, credibility, and goodwill.

In this session, you will:

  • Prepare for what you need to expect, deal with, and overcome when things go wrong
  • Learn ways to exceed stakeholder expectations when it matters most
  • Discover techniques to empower your team to make smart decisions that are focused on stakeholder-experience and relationship-strengthening
  • Identify the difference between an issue and a crisis, and respond appropriately in real-time
  • Discover the roadmap to brand invincibility
Choosing Your Lens: Transforming Issues into Opportunities
Issue management is a part of every business — whether it’s a customer complaint, an operational mishap, or worse. The lens through which your team chooses to see a negative event directly impacts the actions they take in response to that event, which also directly impacts the result that that event will have on your brand.

Furthermore, when a negative event strikes your organization, your team has one of two options available to them: Respond ineffectively and chip away at the brand’s trust and credibility over time, or respond effectively and make strong deposits into your brand’s bank of stakeholder goodwill.

What is the lens through which your team currently views less-than-ideal situations? How is it impacting your brand’s reputation over time? How does the culture of your business dictate, empower, and reward the mindset of driving those actions? Can you amplify these efforts in a way that continuously strengthens the trust and credibility associated with your brand? As a crisis management advisor, Melissa helped to successfully manage several, real-world viral issues.

This program will examine those issues and:

  • Discuss the powerful advantages of effective, daily issue management in support of the brand’s longstanding reputation
  • Help participants clearly define the difference between an “issue” and a “crisis”, in order to establish effective strategies for real-time response
  • Demonstrate techniques for auditing the organization’s current mindset to identify unique ways to empower and reward the right lens in every situation
  • Provide best practices for effectively responding to viral issues in real-time, in a way that increases trust and credibility for the brand

How can you empower your team to transform every issue into an opportunity to build trust, credibility, and goodwill in the organization? This seminar will give your participants answers and implementable strategies to ensure the right lens is always chosen – inspiring the right actions to transform any business issue into a powerful brand opportunity.

Melissa Agnes Testimonials

“Melissa’s keynote presentation was an excellent start to a quite successful event. Thanks for the superb kickoff.”
Ted Whiteside, Acting Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy NATO HQ

“Melissa was well prepared, great on her feet, thoughtfully challenging, superbly engaging and displayed a depth of knowledge that gave her high credibility. Additionally, she made the session stimulating and fun. Her thought-provoking presentation style spurred exceptional dialogue between the participants that attended our global crisis communications network meeting. Her insight and knowledge of the digital landscape opened our eyes to alternative communications approaches when dealing with a crisis.”
Jeff Martin, The Dow Chemical Company

“We took Melissa’s visit to South Korea as an opportunity to discuss crisis communication with embassies with which we have close contact in Seoul. Crisis communication is of utmost importance in our environment, as tension between South and North Korea fluctuates on a weekly basis. Melissa was able to lead the discussion on various crisis communication strategies where she provided the benefits and the disadvantages of each. She introduced many of the diplomates to various new communication tools and strategies that could be implemented when communicating with our citizens in South Korea. Her command of the subject, as well as her presentation skills were phenomenal, and each embassy representative commented on the high value she brought to the discussion. Her presentation was a catalyst which enabled discussion on the creation and application of common communication strategies in crisis situations, by embassies in Seoul.”
Charles Longtin, Counsellor (Management) and Consul at Global Affairs Canada, South Korea

“I cannot speak highly enough about the quality of the presentation Melissa delivered and about the engagement it generated both on location and on social media. Melissa reminded us that best practices and a deep understanding of current realities can make a crisis work for you rather than against you. Her case studies and practical examples span across industries and got the room thinking and exchanging well beyond our physical location. IABC members in Ottawa, Toronto and Melbourne, Australia followed the event and interacted with us on social media. A must-attend training!”
Maria Constantinescu, President IABC/Montreal

“We brought together our legal, PR, communications, digital and staff engagement teams for nearly two days. Melissa guided our topics in such an engaging way driving us to tap what we already knew and to discover what was lacking in our current process and guidelines. This training session brought us together in such an effective way that not one person regretted the commitment we made to learn. Thank you, Melissa, for bringing a complex topic to us in a way that encouraged debate, hands-on experience and helped us make decisions.”
Jan Walther, YMCA of the USA

“Melissa proved to be highly effective in helping Domtar modernize its crisis management plan in the age of social media. While the fundamentals of good crisis management remain the same, Melissa helped us internalize how social media accelerates the speed and scope of how information is shared and public impressions are formed. As a result, we are better prepared to leverage the benefits of social media in a crisis situation, while avoiding mistakes and minimizing risks. Melissa accomplished this with a critical review of our procedures and plans, a customized exercise that engaged our entire team, and a thoughtful assessment of areas for continued improvement.”
David B. Struhs, Vice President, Corporate Services

“Melissa Agnes accepted my invitation to present a webinar for the Public Relations Institute of Australia. Melissa was great: easy to work with; organized; passionate about her material – “Absolutely brilliant webinar, really useful and practical,” commented one attendee; and generous with her time and resources, freely inviting the audience to download her proprietary Issues Management Response Flow Chart. Not only, but the 12:00 noon webinar in Sydney meant that Melissa started her broadcast at 9:00pm in Montreal, with a terrible cough which she worked hard to suppress. A true professional!”
Julian Kenny, Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA)

“Melissa is energetic, insightful and fun! I loved her session. It was one of the best of the CPRS National Summit this year. And all the sessions were tremendous, so this is high praise, well deserved.”
Dr. Lydia Boyko, Conference Attendee