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The Best Way to Test a Crisis Plan

Every organization is bound to face crisis issues at some point during its operation. If you already have a crisis plan and messaging dialed, the best thing you can do is plan a tabletop exercise where you simulate a crisis event to see if your plan and messaging actually work. This not only prepares your team for times of crisis, it also trains them to identify crises as early as possible.

A tabletop exercise requires some planning and time by all key players involved and is an efficient way to practice your organization’s response to a crisis scenario in a safe environment. Here are some considerations in planning your exercise.

Plan a half-day meeting with all stakeholders to simulate an actual crisis and use your plan to guide your response. Assign a leader or hire a facilitator to be in charge of the simulation and interject plot twists and new developments as the crisis simulation progresses. The leader can test gaps in your plan with developments like:

  • Questions/calls from media or media arriving on site of the crisis

  • Social media reaction, general public posting videos to social channels

  • Questions from key stakeholders, community partners, family members involved in the crisis etc.

  • Employee questions and internal communications response, etc.

  • Managing new developments in the crisis, including plot twists, etc., to help your organization practice their response

The exercise should be designed to test roles of each stakeholder in your organization and navigate the crisis response while identifying gaps, areas for improvement and key learnings.

Taking the time to plan and practice a crisis response is imperative to effective crisis management. Did you know that Think Big Media PR leads interactive crisis communications trainings? Contact us today at to learn more.


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