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3. Risk management

Define a media crisis management strategy

Develop a robust media crisis management strategy to address potential negative responses to your ex-offender initiatives, ensuring informed and well-planned actions in the face of adversity.

What does success look like?

  1. A comprehensive crisis management plan in place

  2. Preparedness for handling negative responses

  3. Enhanced organisational resilience.

How would Offploy do it?

  • Identify a dedicated crisis management team, consisting of key personnel from HR, CSR, PR, and legal departments, to handle potential negative publicity. The team should be ready to consider how to respond to an internal or external issue resulting from you having employed someone with a conviction.

  • Identify potential risks and scenarios related to your ex-offender initiatives, taking into account the likelihood and impact of each situation. For example, what will be your reaction if a colleague discovers another colleague’s conviction online and decides to make an issue of it at work? Or how will you react if a local or national newspaper reporter contacts you to ask why you are employing someone with X or Y conviction, and what about the risks (perceived or real) that this might pose to the wider community?

  • Develop a clear action plan for each identified scenario, outlining roles, responsibilities, and communication protocols for both internal and external stakeholders. Ensure that you include the subject of the matter in your decision on how to respond. There may be other factors that you are not aware of and they may have encountered this situation before. Reassure them that your intentions are to support them rather than dismiss them (provided that the subject has been honest with you or was not required to disclose their conviction to you). Consider how you will respond if the subject has not been honest with you and whether a disciplinary process is necessary.

  • Train your crisis management team in executing the action plans, ensuring swift and effective response to any potential negative reactions. Practicing your responses to different scenarios will reduce the risk of mishaps and miscommunication. If you have a trusted third-party ex-offender specialist partner you may task them to run some practice scenarios with your team. There is some good general advice and information about media regulators here: Handling media attention after a major incident - GOV.UK (

  • Regularly review and update your crisis management strategy, incorporating lessons learned and adapting to changes in organisational goals or the external environment. Don’t forget to seek feedback from any colleague who was the subject of unwanted media attention to see whether they have any thoughts as to how things were handled.

Examples in Practice

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