On Message: Using an Online Interactive Simulation to Train Crisis Communicators

Devin Hayes Ellis

ABSTRACT

Crisis communication research emphasizes the necessity for organized, informed, and effective strategies when engaging audiences. However it is often difficult to apply best practices from academic literature in real life situations. One way to bridge this gap is with an interactive simulation, which lets participants to test their ability to operate in a crisis. This paper describes the creation and implementation of an online crisis communication simulation developed for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The simulation uses a server-side software platform called ICONSnet™, which allows complexity in its design with both minimal overhead costs and human facilitation difficulties.

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