What is the International Chamber of Shipping?
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for shipowners and operators. Formed in 1921, it is made up of national shipowners’ associations in the Americas, Asia and Europe whose member companies operate over 80% of the world merchant fleet.
What does ICS do?
ICS is concerned with all technical, legal, employment and policy issues that affect international shipping. It represents the interests of shipowners and operators at bodies including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), and develops best practices and guidance.
Why provide its senior executives with media and presentation training?
The board of the ICS were keen to raise the profile of ICS and ensure that key stakeholders and the media were better informed of the key issues facing the organisation and the industry. To support this goal Stuart Neil was appointed as Communications Director. His strategy was to ensure that ICS is recognised as a dynamic, pro-active and outward-looking body.
Traditionally, our core audience was a few trades and focusing on the IMO as our regulator, but we wanted to be much more external facing as an organization, to articulate the value of the sector and the challenges it faces.
The best way to ensure your team feel comfortable in doing that is to give them training to build their confidence and empower them to evangelise and talk about what the ICS does in a more effective way.
Read more: Presentation skills training
What happened next?
In close association with ICS, Rough House Media designed a programme of media and presentation training for members of staff, including the Secretary General. The programme started with a day-long taster workshop for a large group who were divided into two groups for separate media and presentation sessions.
As well as giving the delegates basic and media and presentation skills, the aim of the workshop was to see what their strengths were, and how they might be used to benefit ICS and shipping as a whole.
Stuart and Rough House then assessed each of the participants and decided which delegates should have further media training and who would benefit from more advanced presentation training.
The senior leadership team were to have a rigorous two-day media training course, including dealing with crisis interviews, while a larger group of staff were to have training aimed at specialists in their field.
For presentation training, we grouped the delegates based on ability and role. The aim of all the training was to build on the delegates’ media and presentation skills and refine their messaging.
In terms of communication or presentation training, I could see that there was a diversity of skill, and I just wanted to try and level up so that people had equal skills, and then help them be better at articulating. People have different mindsets and you want to be able to help those who think in a very linear, detailed way in telling stories.
Telling stories is a skill, and many people need to be helped to tell stories because you often do not realise how you are being perceived by others, so this training helps you improve your ability to be perceived by others and get your message across.
How was the training done?
The taster workshop was delivered face to face, but then Covid-19 struck which meant the rest of the programme had to be conducted online. This presented new challenges but also fresh opportunities. Whereas previously the delegates had to travel to ICS’s London HQ for the training, now they could take part in the comfort of their home via a Zoom call.
This also meant we were now able to train the ICS chairman who is based in Singapore – and who was receiving a lot of requests for virtual interviews.
The media training courses were individually designed and featured a series of mock interviews based on realistic news scenarios including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global shipping. Similarly, the presentation training focused on individuals’ strengths and areas of development and covered both face to face and virtual presentations.
Our first phase was done in person in our office, and we were planning to do the same thing, then COVID hit. We worked very closely with Rough House to re-orientate the training so we were able to use these new technologies.
We also reflected the way that we do business is going to change, so the interactions you would normally have at somewhere like the IMO, it provided an additional value to us as an organization to use this medium to communicate with audiences.
Read more: Media training
How did the training go?
Happily, there were no glitches, and both rounds of training went according to plan. The delegates responded positively, and without exception all made notable progress.
It left ICS with a group of people they could rely on to give engaging and effective media interviews and presentations and help create a positive image of the organization.
I think it’s always difficult working with different personalities and different mindsets. You go into this with a great deal of hope, and knowledge that providing this will add value to their business, but not always believing that might be the case.
But what we found working with Rough House Media was that those we thought might be the most hardened to such training came back independently to say they got such great value out of it and really appreciated what was put in place for them.
Were there any additional benefits?
We’ve noticed that we’re able to communicate as a team much better as well, which is another benefit which we hadn’t really meant to create, but as a team now, and a management team, having to work via a different medium, the ability to be more honest and open in our communication has helped us as an organisation.
Another thing, intangible but very valuable, is that communications media training can be a very good team building exercise as well… You’re also learning and skilling the organization. So, in that respect, there’s added value in using presentation communications training as a team building exercise to deliver for the organization.”
Were the Rough House Media team good to work with?
Rough House has a completely flexible approach to training. All our courses are tailored to meet the client’s exact needs. We carry out extensive research into their organisation and sector, so we have a full understanding of the issues and challenges they face, and we are happy to make changes at any time. Thanks to this approach, ICS says it was easy to work with Rough House and get everything they wanted from the training – and more.
For an organization like ours with very limited budgets, the pressure to deliver quality within our means is important. Rough House is very flexible. You’re not just buying a product off the shelf, you are working with Rough House as a team player to find the best solutions for your organization, which isn’t always the case. Sometimes you buy a product off a shelf, which some people like, because then you tick a box. But at ICS we’re about outcomes not about output.
Would ICS recommend Rough House Media?
I would of course recommend Rough House Media. It is really interesting that our Secretary General, who has been involved and had media training from a number of organizations, has said that working with Rough House would probably one of the best experiences he’s had in the media training terms. So, I think that says it all.
If you have any questions about this International Chamber of Shipping case study, or to discuss a tailored programme of training for your organisation, please get in touch by calling 020 8332 6200 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.