2013Nov 25

Communications Crisis Simulation Recap

image_2On Saturday November 16th, 2013, third year Sports Media and Communications students took part in a communications crisis simulation. Most of the simulation work took place in the Fraser Building at Laurentian University. The purpose of the activity is to get students to think on their feet, and effectively respond to rapidly developing crises. It is a fast-paced day for students and faculty, but a great hands-on learning experience for all involved. There were a total of nine groups, consisting of four, five, or six students.

Each group of students received a scenario early on Saturday morning concerning an impeding crisis in their organization. With the information received, students had limited time to plan for their next course of action. Decisions were to be made on how the organization would react to the crisis through the media. This involved staging mock press conferences. Once ready, students made their way to designated rooms in the Fraser Building, where they would play out their respective scenarios to pairs of faculty members and special guests who each played the role of the media.

Dr. Pegoraro was paired up with special guest Conway Fraser for the simulation. Fraser, a former investigative reporter for CBC and current strategic communications consultant, was gracious enough to lend his expertise to the simulation. Furthermore, Dr. Vincent was paired with another special guest, Lacey Caputo. Caputo was also a great guest for the simulation, as she is currently the Director of Communications at Huntington University. The final pairing featured Dr. Church and Professor Zinn. Moreover, Professor Dana Ellis deserves a great deal of credit for organizing and coordinating the entire day.image

After each presentation, the media pairs would hand groups new information about their scenarios. Decisions needed to be made rapidly, as teams had less than an hour to present the next scenario. This process played out until the afternoon, when all teams had dealt with the scenario, and gave closure to the situations they had to deal with.

After all of the simulation work was complete, a debrief was held where everyone had the opportunity to discuss some of the learning experiences of the day. Fraser and Caputo also offered some great feedback to students, and shared some great advice based on their experiences within the communications industry.

As a student who took part in the simulation, I feel the experience was very rewarding. The scenarios we were given required us to think on our feet, and come up with concise solutions quickly. The simulation gave us all a taste of what it is like in the communications industry; the importance of preparation was stressed during the exercise. Overall, it was a great learning experience for all who took part!

image_1On behalf of all the participants, we would like to thank Professor Ellis for making the event possible. Also, a big thank you to Conway Fraser, Lacey Caputo, and all members of the SPAD Faculty who took time out of their schedules to be with us on a Saturday!

Stay connected to the SPAD Blog on social media. Follow us at @LU_SPAD or like us on Facebook for all the latest updates.

Leave a Reply