Lesson 8: Which Team is in Charge During Your Crisis Drill?

By Gerard Braud

Gerard Braud * 15I worked in drills in which I facilitate everything on behalf of the crisis communications team, while also developing the scenario for the drill. I’ve also worked in drills in which the emergency manager selects the drill scenario and acts as lead facilitator. Simultaneously, I facilitate only the cascading events dealing with internal and external communications, as well as managing the mock media.

The fact is, I don’t care which team is in charge, as long as every team gets to experience the realistic anxiety and decision making necessary for everyone to learn.

A crisis communications drill is an opportunity for all teams to execute their respective plans to test their readyness, while also making sure that each team can coexist with the others, both in a drill and in a real crisis.

The bottom line is just make sure someone sets the course to have at least one drill a year. Remember, a drill allows you to mess up in private so you never mess up during a real crisis.

7 Things Your Crisis Communications Drill Should Test

By Gerard Braud

Entergy drill Gerard Braud 1A clear sunny day is the best time to deal with your crisis. Your darkest day is the worst time to deal with a crisis. Let me explain…

A Crisis Communications Drill can simulate realistic emotions and pressures in a controlled environment, where you can mess up in private, rather than messing up during a real crisis.

Your goal in every Crisis Communications Drill should be to test multiple aspects of the organization. These are the seven most important things I test in the drills for my clients:

1) Is there a properly written Crisis Communications Plan that is so thorough that it can be read during the drill, word-for-word, in real time? Does it ultimately result in flawless performance by the Crisis Communications Team?

2) Did that Crisis Communications Plan allow the organization to begin issuing news releases, postings to the web and e-mails to employees within one hour or less of the onset of the crisis?

3) Did executives within the organization slow down the communications process by excessively word-smithing news releases?

4) Did the Crisis Communications Plan have pre-written news releases that were pre-approved on a clear sunny day by the executive team, so they could be released quickly without re-writes?

5) Are their multiple spokespeople who are qualified to stand before my mock media and survive their questioning?

6) Did misguided egotists step out of their assigned rolls and try to take over other people’s jobs? Did they withhold information that kept others from properly doing their jobs, thereby compromising the organization and in its crisis response?

7) Did the drill create enough realistic drama and anxiety, to add a level of fear into all participating teams? Did it help them realize drills and media training must be treated like an athlete treats their sport? Did it help them understand that regular practice on a clear sunny day makes you your best on your worst day.

This Friday the 13th (September 13, 2013) you will get an inside peak to the secret techniques I use with my clients as I take them through the rigors of a crisis communications drill.

Entergy Drill Gerard braudYou will learn:

• How to weave social media into your drill

• Details about who should be involved

• Secrets to a realistic scenario

• Benefits to testing your spokespeople

• Ways to test your team and your Crisis Communications Plan

• Best options for getting future drills in your budget


Here are the sign up details and here is a companion article as a preview:

The Perfect Crisis Communications Drill

Friday, September 13, 2013

EDT     Noon

CDT     11 a.m.

MDT    10 a.m.

PDT     9 a.m.

Registration here $99

Free to those who use my Crisis Communications Plan with the Living License.