Helpful

Helping emergency responders counter fake news

Terrorism is a real and serious threat that governments and companies alike must prepare for.

And as well as the operational angles, emergency responders are having to get to grips with new challenges posed by social media. These include how to effectively:

  • reassure and give advice to the public
  • provide situational awareness
  • counter misinformation
  • gather intelligence

Exercise Strong Tower was the largest counter-terrorism exercise ever conducted. Running over two days, it simulated a series of high-impact terrorist attacks across London.

Working with the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police Service and a host of other emergency agencies, we helped teams rehearse and test their operational and communications response to the attacks.

Using our Social Simulator platform, we created mock media stories, tweets, Facebook-style queries and live action video content.

Our role-players started rumours, fed in eyewitness reports and put in phone calls as a range of journalists and other characters.

Mobile participants published eyewitness-style footage from inside and around the exercise venues.

It’s a format and platform we’ve deployed across hundreds of other exercises worldwide. We’ve worked everywhere from Vancouver to Canberra, for clients as diverse as the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Change.org and GlaxoSmithKline. We’ve put teams to the test in sectors from extractives to retail.

For every exercise, we debrief the teams afterwards. We review their approach in terms of strategy, process, tone and messaging.

We then give actionable, useful recommendations on how to improve their preparedness for a real event.

Photo: Evening Standard