Preparing your team for the inevitable crisis is always challenging, made more so by how social media is impacting organisations. Practising to ensure a good response when things go wrong is essential, and the key is creating a sense of realism, and real-time pressure for participants, while giving them enough space and time to learn.
In previous roles as Senior Press Officer at ICI’s London headquarters and before that in the UK Nuclear industry I was always involved in crisis communications, and the training I’m involved with today reflects the huge changes the internet has brought about.
Now working with the international communications training agency WPNT, I have developed the crisis simulator STORM, bringing real-time digital and social media updates into the training room to enhance our integrated, crisis communications training curriculum – and STORM can also support crisis training or drills you may be running.
STORM is hosted on a private, secure site and enables inputs in real-time — a holding statement, an on-camera interview, public comments — as the training scenario develops and participants react to events. Manned by a remote, external operator, it provides a concise view of how the world would react to a crisis, including simulations of Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and other social media platforms, and updating public comments on an on-line news page.
For additional realism we are able to input in different languages.
If your organisation would like to ensure its communications are up to scratch should problems appear, I would welcome discussing how we could support your next crisis training by adding a realistic up-to-date media component.
WPNT’s crisis communications curriculum can be seen here.