Developing Crisis Communications Exercises

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Practical and easy-to-understand guidelines for developing and scheduling crisis communications exercises. Created by Bill Salvin, President, Signal Bridge Communications

Practical and easy-to-understand guidelines for developing and scheduling crisis communications exercises. Created by Bill Salvin, President, Signal Bridge Communications

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  • 1. Bill Salvin [email_address] www.signalbridge.com
  • 2. Keys to Exercise Success
    • Establish a goal
    • Design the exercise to meet the goal
    • Limit the exercise scope to maximize learning
  • 3. Crisis Exercises: Staff Goals
    • Sharpen individual’s skills
    • Develop statements and talking points
    • Develop internal communications
    • Provide realistic interview practice
  • 4. Crisis Exercises: Organizational Goals
    • Logistics
    • Call-out procedures
    • Personnel deployment
    • Organizational integration
    • Relief procedures
  • 5. What makes an exercise effective?
    • Realistic
    • Has several layers
    • Motivates improvements to existing plans
    • Gets staff working together
  • 6. Exercise Schedule
    • Quarterly tabletop exercises (1 hour)
    • Annual major exercises
    • Use departmental drills as opportunities
    • Unannounced exercises keep people sharp
    • Bring in higher management
  • 7. Focus on Constant Improvement
    • Keep testing to sharpen your plan
    • Update plans to reflect lessons learned
    • Pay attention to organizational changes
    • Make sure plans are up to date
    • Ensure integration with operational plans
  • 8. If you can imagine it going wrong, it can go wrong. The Myth of “That could never happen.”
  • 9. When Crisis Strikes
    • Use the plan
    • Be flexible
    • Work the crisis
    • Don’t fight the plan (“Process Trap”)
    • Remember, the crisis gets a vote
  • 10. After a Crisis
    • Gather lessons learned
    • Revise the plan
    • Rebuild credibility with key stakeholders
    • Keep your exercise schedule
  • 11.
    • Bill Salvin
    • Signal Bridge Communications
    • [email_address]
    • Twitter: azquad6
    • LinkedIn: bsalvin
    • Our Blog: View from the Bridge