The Crisis Communication Workshop was informational, exciting and unexpected. The workshop led by Kelley doctoral student and visiting lecturer Adam Herman, included real life scenarios. Herman began the meeting by describing a crisis situation as an “operational nightmare.”
To begin the session, the group was split into reporters, agency representatives, and corporations. The crisis situations were centered on the BP oil spill and the Penn State scandal. The teams were given documents detailing the crisis from different angels. The corporations were told of the event leading up to the crisis and details known to the corporation. The agency representatives were given similar information to the corporations as well as additional information, and the reporters were given separate information.
Each corporation was allowed to give a three-minute statement detailing their stance and what they were doing to contain the crisis. The floor was then open to the reporters to probe questions. Following the Q & A session, the agency representatives offered their point of view as to how to attack the situation.
Junior Carly Garber participated as an oil spill corporation employee. Garber was surprised at how difficult it was to think on her feet in the Q & A. “It was hard because of the unexpected information the reporters knew that I had no prior knowledge of. It was challenging to come up with a response right on the spot.”
Another PRSSA member noted that before the workshop she was unaware that agencies can have more information than the corporation. By immersing the members in the interactive event they were able to remain engaged throughout and gain knowledge in the way a real crisis situation may be dealt with.