A national commodity promotion board, one of the largest in the U.S., is tasked with consumer education and stimulating sales and consumption through initiatives including research, consumer advertising and public relations.
While the board was prepared for a variety of crises with established communications plans, it was missing the practical experience of testing the plans through possible real-life scenarios and familiarizing the response team with their roles. Linhart PR led a crisis simulation for more than a dozen participants who left the training feeling more prepared to handle their crisis responsibilities, while also uncovering areas of opportunity to strengthen the crisis response plans.
Because maintaining consumer confidence is the top priority, the board is well-prepared with detailed contingency plans for a variety of events. A cross-functional team comprised of experts in food safety, health, supply chain, policy, retailer relationships and public relations is ready to implement these plans but needed an opportunity to train and practice together and to uncover opportunities for making the board’s crisis plans and response practices more robust.
Linhart PR developed and presented a half-day multi-phase crisis simulation for more than a dozen participants from multiple disciplines within the board, led by the public relations team. The purpose was to familiarize participants with the existing contingency plan and to learn to implement it effectively. The exercise required participants to react as a team in real time to escalating crisis scenarios, ranging from initial rumors to negative national coverage to adverse actions by retail partners to activist campaigns.