About me

I seem to be drawn to crises. Way back in my first life, working in an extremely popular restaurant in Harvard Square, in America, it was always me who had to handle the tricky situations; my first foray into crisis communications involved a hungry customer, a bowl of spicy salsa and a scuttling cockroach. I must have got something right; the customer (but not the cockroach) came back.

Back in England, I fell into party politics just before a general election – which, as every politico knows, lurches from one crisis to another. Next came pressure group campaigning – it’s the p word that’s important there, not least as we seemed to make front page news without even trying, creating a media frenzy that needed constant attention. Then came lobbying. Working at Westminster Strategy, where nearly every client needed crisis management advice or support, producing crisis management plans and working in crisis teams was part of my everyday life.

I joined the NFU press office after it had experienced a prolonged period of attack – the first BSE crisis, the lamb wars and the salmonella scare. Consolidating after these crises, and preparing for whatever was to come next, was our priority. I moved to the Corporation of London, the local authority for the City of London, as head of press just after the St Mary Axe bomb. A year later, the Bishopsgate bomb went off and we were jettisoned into managing a crisis which put at risk the City’s reputation as one of the world’s top three financial centres as well as the Corporation’s reputation as a good manager of its area. Of huge interest around the world, we ran a 24-hour press office for weeks and an extended press office for much longer – the City remained in the crisis spotlight for over a year. I was on the team that developed the City’s overall crisis management plan and revised the Corporation’s plan.

Now, as a freelance communications consultant, I promote independent businesses and that means helping them anticipate, prepare for and manage crises. I have run, with a colleague from Westminster Strategy days, crisis media training courses for airlines. As a greedy foodie, I specialise in crisis management for restaurants and food businesses.

If you would like crisis management training, advice or support – before, during or after a crisis – do get in touch with me:

Me: Joanna Biddolph

Phone: 020 8994 4428

Mobile: 07775 902904

Email: jo@amethystcommunications.com

Website: www.amethystcommunications.com