Crisis simulations

Chelgate has delivered crisis simulations to a range of large and small firms, and to several British charities. Clients report that they find themselves reassured, and better-prepared when the next, real crisis strikes.

Typically, participants range from 10-20 in number, but events can cater to smaller or slightly larger teams if needed.

Desk-based scenarios

The desk-based scenario is a lower-key test of an organisation’s crisis resource than a full, live action simulation (see below).

The desk-based scenario is, like the live action counterpart, run by a Chelgate convener. Over the course of a half day or day, events will be unfolded by the convener, events to which the client crisis communications team must react. The events will not be known to the participants in advance.

The stimuli from Chelgate and the reactions from the team will not range beyond the meeting room: there will be no interview simulations, phone calls, or tests of the client’s ability to handle difficult, angry, or manipulative enquiries from the press or public. Instead, this form of scenario tests the team’s judgement and approach to a given challenge, including the approaches the team takes when discussing appropriate written responses (e.g. press releases or statements drafted in response to events).

Live-action scenarios

Live action scenarios simulate crises with a higher level of realism than desk-based exercises. In contrast to a desk-based simulation, live action adds the pressure of time, and of additional stress.

Live emails, calls and face-to-face interviews feature in live action scenario day. The client team must respond to developing events throughout the day, and events will alter in response to choices made by the team. It is therefore on the day itself, as well as in the follow-up report, that the team will get a feel for how well they have handled journalists’ questions, drafted appropriate messages to key publics, or made relevant business decisions (e.g. whether or not to recall a dangerous product).