Donald Steel is a specialist in crisis communications, reputation and media technique. He works with senior executives to CEO and Chairman level and with communicators to improve broadcast media and presentation performance. He also works extensively as an international responder and trainer in crisis communications. He was for 11 years the BBC's chief media spokesman based in London. During his time at the BBC he dealt with some of the biggest international media stories of the decade, including terrorism, murder, serious accidents, kidnappings and serious international editorial, political and diplomatic
He now works with individual, corporate and government and NGO clients in London,Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia Pacific/Australasia. Clients include many of the worlds leading airlines, medical facilities, universities, hotels, UN agencies, high profile individuals and the government departments. He is in demand as an international speaker, adviser and trainer on reputation and the relationship between crisis management and long term company value. Recent and forthcoming engagements include Singapore, Hong Kong, New York (at One World Trade Center), Dubai, Sharjah, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Rome, Athens, Malta, New York, Fiji, Doha, Muscat, Sydney, Bahrain, Beirut, Istanbul, Amman, Belgrade, Oslo, Skopje, Baku, Almaty, Cairo, Reykjavik and Stockholm.
His second keynote appearance at the global conference of anti-corruption authorities in Hong Kong addressed the possibilities of harnessing video and social media in the fight against corruption. He also made a second appearance at the Government of Sharjah’s International Media Forum, where he led sessions on the dynamics of social media in civil disorder. The Forum, which is receiving recognition on the global media stage, is being developed under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah. He was invited to teach crisis communications at President Ivanov's School for Young Leaders at Lake Ochrid in Macedonia, a project personally supervised by the President, and he made a return appearance in Macedonia at last Autumn. He is a guest lecturer at the China Media Centre of the University of Westminster, the London School of Economics and the Global Leadership Programme at Coventry University. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2008 and in 2010 the BBC Academy, Europe's largest broadcasting training facility, made him the first Associate Fellow.
He is an Associate Director of Crisis Communications at Kenyon International Emergency Services, the world leader in supporting organisations who need to plan for or respond to crises involving large scale injury or loss of human life. Kenyon's subscribers include hundreds of the world's leading airlines, cruise companies, hotel groups, governments, police and local authorities. For Kenyon, he has responded to several incidents recently.
These include two commercial mass fatality aircraft accidents and a terrorist attack on tourists in Sousse, Tunisia. He is also a director of Johnston Associates, a leading aviation PR company, based at London Heathrow.
Born in Dundee, Scotland, Donald began his broadcasting career as a presenter and executive in commercial and BBC Radio.He recently conducted a high profile campaign in New Zealand and Australia to improve safety for tourists on behalf of a UK family whose son was killed in an avoidable light aircraft accident. The campaign led to significant changes in safety enforcement in New Zealand. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations awarded him a Fellowship last Autumn in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the profession. A new PR handbook, The Little Black Book of PR, of which he is a contributing author, has recently been published.
He is based in London.