Today we had our last PR event of this academic year, a crisis simulation! This in particular was an event I was incredibly excited about due to the unknown scenario we would be given as well as an insight into how a crisis could be managed within the industry. We were given a scenario, and in our groups, we would have to attempt to deal with this crisis as the threat escalated throughout the day.
At the beginning of the day we were placed into groups of around 10 people and given our scenario. A cyber-attack had taken place in which private information had been hacked from a University database. Throughout the day more information was hacked and threatened to be released unless a ransom fee was paid. Our task was to manage the situation calmly whilst keeping the public and other stakeholders informed. Throughout the day we wrote press releases, spoke to journalists & students, made multiple statements as well as updating our social media platforms and responding to each comment. The last thing we wanted to do was create panic so knowing what to say and when to say it was incredibly important. At points in the day we did all become fairly stressed. There was a lot of work to do and decisions to make that it could become overwhelming. However, our team worked incredibly well together, and we managed to diffuse the situation in the best way we could. We all had our individual tasks which helped but at points these became blurred and a little messy. At least I know how to improve for the next event!
This type of situation is such a great way to get real life experience on how to deal with a major crisis; which is a necessary skill within the PR industry. I cannot wait to use all of the things I have learnt at the next crisis simulation event!