Media Incident Training Simulator (M.I.T.S)

Overview

MITS (Media Incident Training Simulator) is PlanB Consulting's award-winning Social Media Simulator a bespoke training platform that allows users to interact and practice responding to media and social media channels.

It has the ability to simulate numerous different platforms such as news websites (global and local) and industry publications. It also has the capability to simulate company websites, Facebook and Twitter.

The software is entirely customisable, and each client can utilise as much or as little of the features as they require. Users can post on behalf of their organisation, reply directly to comments, gauge public perception and tailor their message depending on the channel they are posting to.

MITS is a great addition to any exercise to add depth and realism to the scenario, or it can be used as a stand-alone product for crisis communications training. More information on the use of MITS can be found below.

Using MITS

MITS can be accessed by multiple people simultaneously on any web device including Laptops, Desktops, Phones or Tablets. The platform is optimized for all screen sizes. It can also be utilised from anywhere in the world.

During the exercise, users will be given either Player or Viewer accounts, Player accounts allow the user to post to the platform, whereas Viewer accounts can only observe the platform as the scenario develops.

PlanB Consulting have the ability to post in real-time during the exercise, this helps to increase pressure and add realism. The MITS Operator can use the information posted by the users show how it can be interpreted in different ways.

Post types are varied to ensure the players have a lot of different issues to consider. These may include rumours, general complaints, concern from the public, people directly affected by the incident, pictures and videos.

All posts are time and date stamped so after the exercise the response can be replayed and analysed.

The system is secure and on a secure website so there is no chance of an exercise being mistaken for a real event

Exercise Types

Table-top

  • During a table-top exercise, MITS can add an extra dimension by allowing communications personnel to be fully involved in the exercise.
  • It can be used to drive the scenario and deliver injects to the team in an engaging way as opposed to basic delivery using slides on a screen.  

Communications Training

  • It can be used by communication professionals to run exercises or training events and allow them to practice their skills when communicating, particularly on media and social media channels.

Simulated Exercise (SIMEX)

  • During a multi-team exercise, it can be used to practice communications and coordination while driving the scenario.
  • The majority of injects will be uploaded via MITS during a SIMEX, alongside phone calls from role-players.

Ways to Use MITS

PlanB Consulting can develop and deliver the exercise, providing a MITS operator to post in real time throughout the session and react to the team’s response. PlanB Consulting will also produce a post-exercise report detailing general observations and recommendations, as well as those specifically relating to communication.
MITS can also be provided as Software as a Service (SaaS), where you will be given access to the platform for a set period of time, trained on how to use it and provided with ad hoc support throughout.

The Media and Social Media Landscape

  • Communicating during an incident or crisis is one of the most important things an organisation will do. It is often more important than their actions!
  • Incidents are played out across the media and social media and organisations are judged in the court of public opinion.
  • As most of the world has access to the media at their fingertips using smartphones, news travels faster than ever and organisations need to be prepared to respond promptly to avoid looking incompetent.
  • Organisations need to be prepared to face the media.
  • They also need to be prepared to engage with those on social media even if the organisation does not use social media or certain platforms.
  • Social media gives critics, trolls, disgruntled customers and employees a voice which will be listened to.

Awards

MITS has the following awards::

  • Emergency Planning Society Award for 'Most  Innovative Product of the Year'  2016 (Winner)
  • Business Continuity Institute, European Awards as: 'Continuity and Resilience Provider (Service/Product) of the Year 2016' (Shortlisted)
  • Business Continuity Institute, European Awards as 'Continuity and Resilience Innovation of the Year 2015'. (Shortlisted)

Testimonies 

"For many years, our Scenario Cell has carried out a decent job in inputting and reviewing media and communications challenges using telephone and email injects. However, using the MITS in a recent, large scale physical business continuity exercise added a significant degree of realism and engagement to the whole process. The visualisation of media injects coupled with real time and reactive updates really challenged the exercise participants to up their game. As the dust settles post-exercise, we are also finding huge added value from the system as we walk through and review the audit trail of communications captured during the exercise and really drive out the lessons learnt. In terms of cost-benefit, this is paying dividends, as we are able to identify, remediate and tangibly improve our response for the future"

-Business Continuity Manager of recent client

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