PR profession commemorates life and legacy of Michael Bland with launch of new crisis ‘Bland’s Law’ communications learning resource

The public relations industry is coming together to celebrate the life and legacy of crisis communications pioneer, the late Michael Bland, on the anniversary of his passing, with an online Memorial Lecture at 4.30pm on Tuesday, January 18th to launch a free, new learning resource ‘Bland’s Law’ that reveals how in every crisis there is an opportunity.

Event details can be found here.

Speaking at the Memorial Lecture are Michael’s son, Ben Bland, a digital marketing specialist along with leading crisis communications experts, Amanda Coleman and Padraig McKeon. The event is supported by the Public Relations and Communication Association.

The free resource for educators, trainers, academics and practitioners, features contributions from ten of the world’s leading crisis PR experts along with Michael’s own case study exercises that celebrate ‘Bland’s Law’ – how in any crisis there is an opportunity, and ‘Bland’s Law Once Removed’, how someone else’s crisis may be an opportunity for you.

Containing mini real life crisis scenarios originally published in Michael’s book ‘When it Hits the Fan’, along with expert contributions, each has a selection of responses where readers can score their choices and discover and compare with how the scenarios were handled. These include a case study of a video games company wanting to do a publicity stunt of a Zombie invasion during the funeral procession of Princess Diana.

Copies of the free ‘Bland’s Law’ learning Resource can be obtained from the project’s LinkedIn page at where each month additional learning materials and expert interviews will be featured.

Leading crisis communications expert contributors include:

– Tony Jacques (Australia)
– Padraig McKeon (Ireland)
– Kjell Brataas (Norway)
– Mark Borkowski (United Kingdom)
– Amanda Coleman
– Louise Douglas
– Kate Hartley
– Jonathan Hemus
– Sheena Thomson
– Helio Fred Garcia (United States)

The project is supporting the work of Parkinson’s UK, where Michael was a patron.

Paying tribute to his late father and the support shown by friends and professional colleagues, Michael’s son and co-creator of the Learning Resource Ben Bland said:

“My father Michael Bland was a born storyteller and a pioneering crisis communications professional. I idolised his ability to see through the noise and discern the truth and meaning within a messy situation.”

“I am forever inspired by how he approached every challenge with boundless positivity and compassion. This was as true of the crises he tackled for his clients as it was for his personal life, such as his 20-year battle with Parkinson’s, which never brought him down. We offer Bland’s Law to people everywhere with an interest in crisis communications. We hope that you will find it useful and provide further contributions so that it can grow with time. My father would have loved such a legacy.”

PRCA Director General Francis Ingham MPRCA said:
“Michael Bland was not only the go-to practitioner on crisis communications, but he was also an enduring example of kindness, generosity, and wit. Bland’s Law is a fitting and appropriate way to honour Michael’s life and legacy. The PRCA is honoured to support the Memorial Lecture.”

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