Crisis Simulation FAQs

Got questions about what a crisis simulation is, how they’re run and how they might work for you? Find out more below:

Who are crisis exercises for?

We’re a small team, is a crisis simulation still useful?

How long does it take?

How is the simulation built?

How realistic is it?

Is a crisis simulation difficult?

We’re not sure we’re ready for a full-on crisis exercise, so what can we do instead?

What actually happens during a crisis simulation?

How secure is it?

How can we prepare for a crisis when we have teams located all over the world?

What happens after a crisis exercise has ended?

How can a crisis exercise help identify weaknesses in teams?

Who are crisis exercises for?

Any organisation can face a crisis at any point, no matter how hard we work to avoid them. We help companies prepare for any eventuality, from marketing fails and cyber breaches to terror attacks and supply chain issues. A crisis exercise is recommended for all businesses. Because of that, we can adapt our simulation to cover any topic so it’s completely tailored to you and the potential crises you may face. 

 

We’re a small team, is a crisis simulation still useful?

Even a small team of 4 or 5 can get a lot out of a simulation, whether you’re a well-oiled machine or a newly formed team. Even if your crisis team is small, it might be worth getting other staff members involved to develop their skills. 

 

How long does it take?

A crisis simulation can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a whole day depending on the scale of the scenario, the number of participants and issues you want covering. We can also support your team with theory training at the beginning of the session and a debrief afterwards. 

 

How is the simulation built?

Having run hundreds of simulations around the world, we know how to build a crisis simulation that will test the key areas you would like to target. We’ll work with you to design a crisis scenario relevant to your work that takes place across the channels you use and involves the media, stakeholders and influencers you’re most likely to hear from. Whilst it’ll be kept a surprise from the team being tested, we’ll still liaise with you on the content of the crisis to ensure its accuracy.  

 

How realistic is it?

A lot of clients have commented on just how realistic it can feel!

We work hard to make the exercise feel as realistic as possible and will work with you to make sure we get those details specific to your organisation right. We also do a lot of research to help us get it right. We’ve become knowledgeable in all sorts of sectors this way! 

 

Is a crisis simulation difficult?

A crisis exercise on our Social Simulator platform is certainly no walk in the park. It’s designed to really test your team and your crisis plan. Having said that, we monitor the exercise as it is running and can adapt the difficulty level at any point. If your team is finding things easy, we can put on some extra pressure. If they are struggling to keep up, we can slow things down so they can catch up. If it sounds like too much, why not look at our Crisis90 platform instead?

 

We’re not sure we’re ready for a full-on crisis exercise, so what can we do instead?

If you’re still developing your crisis plan and might not be ready for a full-scale exercise, why not look at our Crisis90 platform instead?

Crisis90 is a less intense, guided session to work through a crisis as a team. It can be completed in as little as 90 minutes as part of an away day or training session and can be delivered alongside crisis theory training from our team of crisis experts.

 

What actually happens during a crisis simulation?

There’s no one size fits all exercise. What happens will depend on the scenario, number of participants, the channels you’re using and what it is you’re testing. A rough agenda includes a quick run-through of the platform with all participants, a crisis will then unfold over 2 or 3 phases and then a debrief afterwards. During the phases, participants will be receiving a variety of communications via email, social and conventional media. We may also include telephone calls and media interviews. With the information they are receiving, they will need to discuss as a team, develop a plan and then put it into action. 

 

How secure is it?

Confidentiality, resilience and protection of data is at the core of our work, Our Social Simulator and Crisis90 platforms are security-tested regularly as part of our Cyber Essentials Plus certification and Participants access our products over an encrypted connection. Learn more about our security features. 

 

How can we prepare for a crisis when we have teams located all over the world?

Because Social Simulator is web-based, your team doesn’t need to be all in one room to participate. We’ve run virtual simulations in a number of different countries using a combination of video conferencing platforms and collaboration tools, alongside Social Simulator. In fact, a virtual exercise might be more realistic as crises don’t always occur when you’re all sitting at your desks! Find out more about virtual exercises. 

 

What happens after a crisis exercise has ended?

Straight after an exercise has ended, we normally run a debrief with your team to identify skills gaps, and other feedback to enhance your crisis strategy and plans. With this information, we can develop training content, specific to your needs, write a report or help you to develop your crisis strategy further. 

We also recommend you run the exercise more than once. An annual test of your crisis capabilities can help you to see improvements you’ve made, refresh your skills to stay well prepared for whatever might come your way and help new members of the team to know what to do. 

 

How can a crisis exercise help identify weaknesses in teams?

It’s not our aim to call out or embarrass individuals through a crisis exercise but the simulation often identifies weaknesses with the process or crisis plan which can be improved. This might be skills gaps, missing tools or communication issues. Throughout the exercise, our facilitators will be monitoring the crisis team, looking to see how they handle the different information they are receiving and can offer constructive feedback afterwards. 

 

Have more questions?

If your question hasn’t been answered above, please do get in touch and we can explain in more detail or set up a time to demo our platforms for you. Get in touch: hello@helpfuldigital.com