During this week we have had several intense sessions that deserve a post in this blog. Both on Monday and Wednesday, we did a role-playing for our Issues, Crisis and Stakeholder management course.
On Monday, the class was split into several small groups of people. There were four groups that played the role of WTO and the other two groups represented the journalists from several organizations. The WTO spokespeople had to prepare a “press conference” regarding some issues that they had and wanted to clarify. Each of WTO groups had a specific role, in terms of the response that they had to give to the journalist. For instance, there was a group that should answer the questions in an aggressive way while other groups had to try to ignore and try to reframe the questions as much as possible.
The second day, the class was divided in two groups. One of them assumed the role of a company that was undergoing a crisis situation such as an explosion in one of the buildings of the company. The other group played the role of the journalists. At the end of the role-playing the ones who represented the journalist switch to the company side and vice versa so all the people had the opportunity to play both sides. Doing this exercise was an amazing experience since both groups had real timing, which means that, for example, every 20 minutes the company needed to write a press release and hold a press conference for the journalists… On the other hand, the journalist had to be prepared with questions for the press conference and write short articles every few mintues.
The Professor, Laura Illia took into account these practical exercises to give us the opportunity to experience the stress and intensity that occurs during a real crisis within a company. Below, see some pictures of our role-playing experience: