Directors of comms and public affairs from giants such as Coca-Cola, Ford of Europe and Motorola told their tales from the emergency-handling quarter of the industry.
Highlights included an account of FTSE 100 group National Grid Transco's most uncontrollable crisis, involving a simple mistranslation.
NGT deputy group head of media relations Clive Hawkins said a comment by the CEO of a Grid joint venture in Brazil, attempting to explain that the firm faced difficult trading conditions, was misinterpreted as a profit warning. Panic spread among London analysts and heavily dented the share price.
The APCO-sponsored conference, with delegates from across Europe, was titled New PR Initiatives in Changing Times.