In addition to this Course Catalog, Fulton Communications also provides Communications Issues Consulting and Strategic Planning.


Basic Risk Communications

This 1 to 3-day* “hands on” course includes instruction on how to communicate with the public about environmental, health, safety and fairness issues or any other issues that create trust and concern barriers.  The course is also applicable to internal organizational issues involving employee trust and concern.


The course includes:

    • A review of the Principles of Risk Communications
    • A simple and practical 6 Step Guideline for responding to the most difficult questions on any issue from the public or employees internally
    • How to avoid the common traps in Low Trust/High Concern communications
    • Actual hands on individual practice of responding to difficult questions that each individual receives in his/her work situations
    • Risk distortion factors – what factors escalate risk in the minds of the public and how to overcome those factors
    • How to raise your credibility using third party support
    • Non-verbal communications (body language, voice, dress, space, location, barriers)
    • How to improve your non-verbal observation skills
    • How to improve awareness of your own non-verbals

The course includes exercises as well as films.

*The course can also include all or parts of the next 8 courses listed.  In this case, 2 1/2 to 5-day courses are available.

Managing Conflict

This 4-hour to 2-day course shows how to turn conflict into a “win/win.”

The course includes:

    • Exercise – How to think out of the box
    • How conflict can be a process that you can manage
    • What are your “conflict hooks”
    • Active listening and non-verbal communication during conflict
    • Exercise – how to find common ground
    • A review of your Conflict Style Profile and what that means for you in resolving conflict more effectively
    • Emotions and negotiation
    • How to deal with activists, hostile individuals or hostile audiences
    • Principled Negotiation-Vs- Positional Negotiation
    • Exercise – How to negotiate across different interests
    • Wrap-up – Individuals determine how they will deal with conflict differently back in the workplace and with the public


This course includes how to effectively write to various public stakeholders.  The course also includes an exercise of the actual writing of documents to the public.  The documents selected for the course exercise will be based on the specific type of the participants’ public assignments.

 The course includes:

    • Paragraph and sentence length
    • Use of layering in writing
    • How to explain technical subjects in a way that can be understood by the general public
    • How to explain simply and in a non-threatening way
    • Avoiding jargon and complex words
    • Avoiding negative terms
    •  Use of future action in letters and fact sheets
    • Use of empathy
    • How to state conclusions

Message Development

This half-day to 1-day course provides skill building and actual development of key messages to be delivered verbally or in writing to the public or the media.  It also includes development of more detailed information such as fact sheets.

The course includes:

    • How to provide messages that address the public’s concerns
    • How to use audience information to tailor your messages
    • Defining your message goals with your audience
    • Elements of effective messages
    • The flexible use of a message model that will be provided
    • What messages should include and avoid
    • How to review written materials
    • Actual development and critique of messages in the class

Cross Cultural Community Relations

This half-day to 1-day course provides skill building or working across the cultural differences in the field of Risk Communications.

 The course includes:

    • A brief overview of Basic Risk Communications as applied to different cultures
    • Discussions of how we mentally group people in various ways and how that impacts communications across these groupings
    • An understanding of what culture is and an exercise of developing their own cultural outline
    • How to conduct Risk Communications in different community cultures
    • Background on Environmental Justice Movement and suggestions on how to work with the movement
    • Stereotyping and prejudging – How that affects Risk Communications
    • A cross cultural simulation exercise where the group is divided into two cultural groups in separate rooms then exchange visitors

Media Interviews and Crisis Communications Interviews

This 1 to 2-day course includes discussions and small exercises followed by “hands on” practice using taped mock interviews then critiques.  The interviews are based on situations that did or could happen in the participants’ interactions with the media.  The 2-day course can include multi-interviews if the number of participants is small.

There are 4 types of interviews that can be conducted depending on participants’ needs:

        • General Interview on a topic – Non Crisis
        • Crisis Communication Interview shortly after an incident – 1/2-hour to 1-hour
        • Crisis Communications Interview – several hours to 1-day later
        • Crisis Communications Interview – a media panel interview, weeks or months later, once the official investigation is completed

The course includes:

        • Media – their culture and how to build a relationship with them
        • How to prepare for a general interview
        • Bridging to your key messages
        • Non-verbal Communications
        • Media Traps and how to avoid them
        • What to do after the interview
        • Conduct the actual interviews

How to Conduct Public Meetings

This course provides skill building for conducting public meetings in low trust/high concern environments.  Course participants will develop tools and techniques for planning and conducting public meetings under any circumstances, e.g., hostile audiences, large audiences, audiences with active third parties, etc.

 The course includes specific background and instruction on:

        • An extensive checklist of items to consider in planning a public meeting
        • What to do in hostile situations including groups or individuals who try to keep you from speaking
        • Pros and cons of “Town Hall” type meetings -vs- “Poster Station” type meetings
        • How to survey your community to determine their concerns
        • Presentation skills required for public meetings
        • Cross cultural considerations
        • A “hands on” simulation for planning and conducting a public meeting

Active Listening

This 1 to 2-hour course demonstrates how to improve listening capability through active listening.

 The course includes:

        • Demonstration that listening is more than words, its specific word emphasis, tone, emotional content, paraphrasing, key phrases, sudden changes and many others.  With improved listening, you can quickly get to the points that matter in a difficult conversation.
        • Two exercises, one on poor listening and another on one-way communications
        • A Listening Style Profile and finding out where you may be missing important information


How to Develop and Implement a Strategy for an Effective Community Relations Program

This course provides a community outreach strategy with nine community outreach components including how to develop these components.  Also, the course reviews how to build on your existing community outreach activities.

This course includes:

          • The purpose for a community relations program
          •  The ten components of a community relations program, and
          •  The “how to’s” for establishing and managing each of the components

The nine components include:

        • How to establish goals for community outreach.  Goals are the desired end results.
        • How to establish objectives that will accomplish the goals
        • How to identify stakeholders in the communities, determining which stakeholders to contact and in what order
        • How to prioritize stakeholders
        • Determining stakeholders concerns and views about your operations
        • Message development
        • Communication methods – the “how” of determining the community’s concerns and issues and the “how” of communicating your messages
        •  Communication skills – who should be trained and for what types of communications skills.  Also, the use of the concept of primary and secondary communitions
        • Community Outreach Program effectiveness – how do you know you’re successful and how do you know what needs to be modified
        • How to involve the community in the above nine components
        • Handling hostile individuals or groups
        • Evaluating your community outreach effectiveness

      The course can be organized and targeted to a

specific community issue or a new community outreach program

Valuing Differences


This 1 to 3-day course covers dealing with group differences in the workplace that may be hindering progress.  The course is tailored to any group difference that is negatively impacting an organization.  These could include age, hierarchy, race, ethnicity, gender style, competing organizational functions and others.

The course includes:

        • Dynamics of working across differences and why obstructions occur regardless of the differences we are dealing with
        • Why we tend to see differences as negative rather than a strength
        • Exercises dealing with the group differences that the participants are focusing on
        • A plan for improving in the workplace

The Upset Customer or Upset Employee


This 1 to 2-day course provides skills development for employees who encounter and must directly deal with upset customers or upset employees on a variety of issues.

The course will include input and group discussion of specific methods for handling these difficult situations.  Then there will be classroom role-playing of some of these upset customer situations followed by a critique of how the situation was handled.

The course includes:

        • Discussions of the various types of upset customer situations that occur
        • Review of 4 Step Model for responding to upset customers
        • Discussion of the importance of non-verbal communications when people are emotional, how to read their non-verbals, and how to use your non-verbals to avoid accelerated of their emotions
        • How to use “Active Listening”.  Active Listening is use of paraphrasing, and observation of tone, word emphasis, speech changes, phrases, and body language
        • Review of several communication traps to avoid in low trust and high concern situations
        • Determining individual “conflict hooks” that sometime keep us in a conflict situation longer than necessary
        • Applying “hands on” practice (role-playing) of real situations that the supervisors and manager encounter with upset customers.  This segment will be about one fourth of the course

The course will be interactive.  In addition to the “hands on” practice noted above, there will be group discussions, twosome activities, and short exercise demonstrating some of the principles of non-verbal communication and active listening.